Monday, June 14, 2010

Blood for oil minerals

With the war in Afghanistan reaching various awful benchmarks (deaths, cost, length, worth) there is the tendency of Americans to ask of itself "Is this war worth it?"... followed by a an almost instantaneous self-answer of "Nope." Of course the immediate answer from our elected betters is "Yes. And even if it wasn't, we'd stay anyway to keep from admitting we were wrong. So fuck off."

But what if I were to tell you the war was worth it. "Worth" it. Not in any manner like tactically, making us safer, defeating terrorism, or pissing less people off, but in terms of cold hard cash. Yes, I'm not rubbing my thumb and forefingers together to play the world's smartest violin, that's right baby, I'm making the money sign. The thumb and forefingers means the money. C'mooooooooooon.
The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.

The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.
The article even uses the phrase "the Saudi Arabia of lithium", A phrase which makes me shudder for some reason. So now they'll be the kings of actual lithium instead of merely the kings of the medication lithium, which most of our soldiers have to take after coming back from Afghanistan.

And how did they find these vast untapped riches? Eventually one of those mountain tunnels Al Qaeda dug hit something valuable. Thanks God, for once again putting all the valuable resources in the shittiest and most dangerous countries imaginable.

But if you're thinking "Hey, this seems like a naked attempt to make seem as if the war was worth it. As if we're ever going to see any of these minerals or the money generated by them." your cynicism is warranted. All this information has been available since 2007, is on the website of the Afghan mining ministry (Afghanistan's most corrupt government agency), and has been the subject of past surveys by the US and British Geological Surveys. It is a naked attempt to make it seem like the war is worth it.

So don't get excited and start counting your theoretical money. It isn't ours, it'll take decades to ever get, assumes that mining will easily be able to take place in Taliban controlled territory, it assumes massive corruption won't somehow ruin everything, and assumes that Afghanistan's complete aversion to industry or any technology besides the broken down van and shoulder mounted rocket launcher will end at some point. Nope, this invisible money doesn't make the Afghan War any less of a giant fuck around.

Besides, who needs this Afghan mineral money when we're all sitting back kicking our feet up on the piles of money from all that Iraqi oil, right? Right.

No comments: