Afghan sounds - British troops and oil pipelines...

It was recently announced that yet more British troops are heading for Afghanistan.

George Bush and his malleable sidekick, Tony Blair , have decreed that in their crusade to save the world (especially the USA and UK) from the far-reaching tentacles of terrorism - and heroin[ism] - Afghanistan must be tamed.

British troops are being stationed in the southern territory of Helmand, with the expectation that some 3,300 of them will be deployed there by late summer. This UN-sanctioned intervention has a multi-pronged purpose: Helmand is considered to be a lawless region; under the control of drug lords, the Taliban, and an alleged al-Qaeda stronghold. Added to this, the area is fertile ground for poppies, estimated at yielding a trade in heroin valued at £650 million per year.

Military bigwigs spout the well worn soundbite that interrupting the flow of the region’s narcotics trade will deprive al-Qaeda of lucrative funds, and therefore keep the threat of terrorism away from our shores. Helmand, roughly the size of Wales, is considered by the militarists to represent a fertile training ground for insurgency. What everyone still seems to be avoiding mentioning, however, is the subject of oil.

Specifically, the Caspian Sea Pipeline Project. Not so back in 1998, when Dick Cheney was enthusing, “I cannot think of a time when we have had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian.” However, in order to make this pipe-dream of pumping black gold all the way back to the Mediterranean a reality, Afghanistan was vital.

Then came the slightly convenient 9/11, and shortly afterward troops moved in, removed the Taliban and the pipeline was back on. So frantic were the US to have things run smoothly, Congress lobbied for the overturning of sanctions against Azerbaijan, in order to allow the proposed pipe to run through that territory.

Iain Mckay

Posted By

Mar 27 2006 13:33


Attached files