OPINION | Anti-war groups ready to protest escalation of war in Afghanistan


Twin City anti-war groups are waiting to see what President Obama will do in Afghanistan. If, as expected, he sends in more troops, then many groups are planning protest demonstrations. The Twin Cities Peace Campaign-Focus on Iraq and Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) are planning a special vigil on the Lake Street-Marshall Avenue Bridge this Wednesday, Nov. 18, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. They say, “We should not wait for the escalation to be announced before we speak out! More troops will not bring peace and justice or development but only more destruction.”

The Anti-War Committee and the Iraq Peace Action Coalition are sponsoring a protest at 1 p.m. on the Saturday after an escalation is announced. It will take place at Lake Street and Hiawatha Avenues. They say, “The U.S. war and occupation of Afghanistan has nothing to do with fighting terrorism or human rights. The war has always been about the U.S. control of the emerging markets in Asia and the Middle East, especially oil and gas resources. Activists in the Twin Cities and other cities across the U.S. plan to make opposition to any escalation of the war visible by taking to the streets. All are encouraged to come out to the first Saturday protest to have a visible anti-war presence along the sidewalks of one of the most heavily trafficked streets in Minneapolis.”

Another group, unidentified, is planning an unauthorized march through downtown on the day it is announced that there will be an escalation of troops in Afghanistan. They are planning on meeting at the southwest corner of Loring Park and march through downtown at 5 p.m.

A majority of the American people (54 percent in the latest poll) believe it is foolish to continue to pour money and American lives into the bottomless pit of Afghanistan. Most observers, including the U. S. ambassador, a former military commander for Afghanistan, believe the Afghan government is hopelessly corrupt and a narco-terrorist state. The ambassador believes sending more troops would actually hurt the possibility of genuine Afghan democracy.

Obama is a smart man, probably the smartest president since Thomas Jefferson. Why can’t he see that the military industrial complex through its mouthpieces in the Republican Party are pushing him into this just to alienate his base? They want to do everything they can to get Obama to frustrate and anger his supporters.

Who benefits from the war in Afghanistan?

There are Three Chief Beneficiaries:

First, Big Oil: Unocal, probably in partnership with the Bush family, was the owner of the pipeline that brings natural gas out of Turkmenistan and Central Asia to markets in Pakistan and India. Hamid Karzai was the Unocal representative and CIA operative sent to deal with the Taliban government in the late 1990s, and, when the Taliban government said they didn’t want the pipeline, they were told it would happen with or without their approval. Most of these discussions took place in the State Capitol in Austin with Governor George W. Bush presiding. The Bush family interest in oil is well documented. They owned Dresser Industries, which manufactured oil drilling equipment, and in 1998, family friend and business associate, Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney, negotiated a sweetheart deal for the Bush family by buying Dresser for $8 billion in stock and thereby giving the Bush family controlling interest in Halliburton. After that, wherever oil moved the Bush family made money on it. The U. S. military is protecting that oil pipeline, defending “vital American interests”-which translates to Bush family property and profits.

Second, the Opium Warlords: The war in Afghanistan overthrew the Taliban government and restored the opium warlords to power. The CIA had a government in place ready to function. It was the old colonial government that worked for the British-a network of warlords whose main concern was growing, selling and transporting opium. These were the U. S. allies. The Taliban had outlawed opium production, and the U. S. and CIA got opium production back up to 93 percent of the world supply. But all that opium production isn’t worth anything unless the government and the U. S. military will help get it out of the country. Karzai and his brother have been very cooperative as long as they get a fair percentage of the price. The U. S. military has defended fields from the Taliban and even cooperated in sending drones and the Pakistani military into Helmand Province to safeguard the traditional smuggling route through Pakistan. Obama has been sending drones into this area to soften up Taliban resistance to smuggling. The Bush family connection to CIA drug smuggling is well known. When George H. W. Bush was head of the CIA, Ollie North was working with the Meo tribesmen (Hmong) to organize resistance to the Viet Cong in the border region between Laos and Vietnam. As in Afghanistan, our allies were cultivators of opium and had a long-standing relationship with the French to export opium to Marseilles. North and Bush continued that tradition. North and Bush worked together again in the basement of the White House when they needed a way to fund the Contra war in Nicaragua. Ollie bought cocaine from the Contras, sold it to American dealers, took the money and bought Soviet weapons in Iran and brought the weapons to the Contras in Honduras. George W. Bush must have treasured these old family ties because he couldn’t let the Obamas use Blair House while they were waiting for their inauguration because he was using the facility to entertain President Aribe of Colombia (a notorious member of the Colombian cocaine cartel) and award him the Medal of Freedom.

Third, War Profiteers: President Woodrow Wilson thought it would be a good idea to have all the companies involved in the production of war materiel to meet together as a War Industries Board. Of course, the unintended consequence of this was to form the Military Industrial Complex that has directed U. S. foreign policy ever since. Sam Bush (George W.’s great granddad) was head of small arms production. His son Prescott added to the family fortune by selling weapons to Nazi Germany until he was closed down by Truman’s Trading With The Enemy act. With the acquisition of Halliburton, the Bush family now not only supplies guns and munitions but also meals and accommodations to our fighting men and women.

So, who benefits from our continued war in Afghanistan? In all three areas, the paths lead back to the Bush family. They are big oil. They are the drug lords. They are the war profiteers.

For Obama to continue this war is to continue the Bush war without Bush.