As we reported on the FP here at Blue Virginia, there is about $ 1 Trillion in riches to be tapped in Afghanistan. With a mother lode of zinc, gold, lithium and other minerals, it’s enough to keep Americans “free” to use their iPads for a very long time. The story was reported as if this news were just discovered. Surprise, surprise. Except that it isn’t. Though the New York Times reported the story Sunday here, this isn’t real news, except for the curious timing of the release of such.
First, the USGS initiated a study in 2004. As Rachel Maddow reported Monday evening, that the region was rich in minerals has been known at least since the 1970s. The latest “news” was first reported in 2007 during the GWB administration. And NOW, TODAY, just two days after the “Trillion Dollar Baby” story, we read this headline: “Setback Clouds US Plan to Leave Afghanistan.” From the latest Times article:
Within the administration, the troubles in clearing out the Taliban from a second-tier region and the elusive loyalties of the Afghan president have prompted anxious discussions about whether the policy can work on the timetable the president has set.
But, you know, the Afghani president Hamid Karzai, and the government there itself, aren’t “ready.” There is massive corruption there. And the “Government in a Box” we promised (more on this absurd notion of “Government in a Box” is forthcoming) isn’t what we promised. Where have we read this before? The NY Times wants to remind us of this during this particular week, two days before they tell us that President Obama may not be able to leave Afghanistan…ever?
The oil barons now also count visions of gold, zinc and lithium instead of sheep. I can almost hear “Rev.” Pat Robertson and Glenn Beck, fulminate about “freedom,” as in freedom for them to mine for riches wherever they want. “Freedom” (and riches) for all, except 99% of Americans who will be told they are out of luck and out of any government services, much less a Social Security.
In the latest NY Times article, we also read that the Vice President (no slouch in the Hawk department) is skeptical (about staying the course), but that “others who supported more troops, like Gen. David H. Petraeus, want to stay the course.” You can almost see the 2012 lineup as I write this. It will be very difficult for the Obama administration to stand up to this, if indeed it wanted to.
Finally, might I ask, why is a general directing foreign policy? It becomes more and more apparent Petraeus will run for president at some point, probably in 2012 or 2016. And the Tea Baggers think they are the ones who need to “take our country back.”