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Monday, July 19, 2010

Afghanistan and Lithium

The United States is going broke funding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. By most accounts we are losing the war in Afghanistan. This is no reflection on the troops serving there. They are bravely serving, fighting, dying and being wounded in frightening numbers. That we are losing is a reflection on the leadership of this country.

One of the lessons of the 20th century should have been that wars of choice and occupation are always lost -- the USA in Vietnam, Russia in Afghanistan, Germany in both the world wars. The list goes on. There is also a list of countries that tried and failed to occupy Afghanistan that goes back beyond the 20th century.

Recently the information, long known, that there are lithium deposits in Afghanistan was touted by the main stream media, at the behest of the Pentagon and the White House. Lithium is a main part of batteries in cell phones and lap tops.

It appears the government is now trying to drum up support for this insane war by implying that we might not have lap tops and cell phones if we don't stay in Afghanistan. The truth is that there are more than ample deposits of lithium in Bolivia. No one has to fight for these minerals. Bolivia does expect to get paid for them, though. (Likewise, there is plenty of copper in Bolivia -- another mineral being touted as "discovered" in the 'Stan.)

The simple truth is that the USA is in Afghanistan so that the war profiteers can continue to make obscene amounts of money, while citizens in the USA find themselves in evermore dire financial straits. Meanwhile, we are propping up a corrupt government and funneling money to dubious partners.

I feel for the people of Afghanistan should the Taliban take over again there. But the Taliban are not our concern. The Taliban is a religious group. Are we fighting a religious war there? The people there should rise up against their domestic oppressors. I hope the women, who reportedly suffer the worst under the Taliban, castrate the mullahs and their enablers in their sleep. But it's up to the people there to stand up for themselves. It's not up to us.

There are not enough Al Qaeda members there to make a difference. According to the CIA director, there may be as few as 50 members of this group in the region. If Al Qaeda comes back and starts building training camps for terrorists, use cruise missiles to eliminate them. There is no need for this bloody and hamstrung campaign to continue to drain the US.

It is time for this war to end. Now.

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