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Monday, August 31, 2009


In Afghanistan, A Cruel August for Soldiers

Is TAP or TAPI the real cause for the war * Megrahi * Obama Administration

"August is the Cruelest Month" is the title of a novella by Edna O'Brien. Historically, August has played a role in wars.

As the August of 2009 winds down, reports indicate heavy toll paid by soldiers. Since Americans form largest contingent of NATO forces, more of them have lost their lives (reported to be 47) battling the Taliban. Some call it a war of "liberation". The primary reason was, of course, to crush bin Laden's al Qaeda operating from the border area between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The administration of Hamid Karzai, installed by us as president, is corrupt. Karzai is leading in the recent election but there are allegations of "widespread" fraud. No surprise there, although it is doubtful whether victory of his opponent would mean much of a difference for the people of Afghanistan.

In the meantime, plight of civilians continues to worsen. Fundamentalist Islamic groups are engaged in daily incidents of bombing and killing.

Pakistan, recipient of huge sums of money and weaponry from the United States, is outwardly an ally of America. It,too, has its share of militant Islamic groups who have influence over the populace. The current prime minister, Asif Zardari, was once known as Mr. Ten Percent when his wife, the late Benazir Bhutto, held that position.

The high number of civilians killed in attacks by U.S. drones have not earned us friends.

The NY Times reported on August 27th:
  • Last week, during a visit to Pakistan by Richard C. Holbrooke, Mr. Obama’s special envoy, Pakistanis told his entourage that America was widely despised in their country because, they said, it was obsessed with finding and killing Osama bin Laden to avenge the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
A mess, and no end in sight. Because of our history of engineering coup d'etats for the benefit of transnational oil companies one cannot shrug off reports about the natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to India via Afghanistan and Pakistan -- TAPI --being the real cause for America's involvement in Afghanistan. Release of Megrahi as part of a deal between UK and the Libyan Government is a recent example of major powers and the politics of oil.

British Petroleum and Libyan Terrorist Megrahi
  • BP was finally given the go-ahead six weeks after a volte-face by the British government to include Megrahi in a prisoner transfer agreement with Libya under which prisoners could serve out sentences in their home countries. Jack Straw, the justice secretary, revealed this decision in a letter to his Scottish counterpart. He cited “wider negotiations” and the “overwhelming interests of the United Kingdom”.
Jewish Settlements

"U.S. drops demand for Israel building freeze in East Jerusalem" (Haaretz 8-27-09)

Following a now familiar and predictable pattern, the Obama Administration softened its position on construction of settlements by the Israelis.

And so it goes.

I don't know how the U.S. is planning on protecting such a long pipeline from sabotage. Maybe we should start being nice to the Taliban.
I say give them a cut of the profits and kill two birds with one stone. The war would end and the pipeline would be protected.

But that would be the honorable thing to do and we all know that there is no honor among thieves.
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