Oil and gas lie in Afghanistan saga

IF 40 per cent of the public don't know why we are in Afghanistan it is because they are not being given the facts, and that includes a map of the area showing what is going on in the Gulf/Caspian Sea region as far as south-west China and Russia to the north. (The generals in the Pentagon know this region as "The Grand Chessboard".) It is under the control of Centcom – the US Central Command Area of Responsibility. Different areas of the globe are under similar arrangements

Vital natural resources, mainly oil and gas, are given top priority. The Caspian Sea Basin, land-locked, and surrounded by volatile nations, most of them Islamic, is within spitting distance of the tribal areas of north Afghanistan, and needs a network of pipelines, each with their terminals, to transport this liquid gold to open sea ports. Directing pipelines through Afghanistan to Pakistan's coast on the Indian Ocean solves the problem.

But it is only when we superimpose on our map the 13 American military bases scattered over the region's nine mainly Islamic countries do we get the full, true picture, a picture that is in sharp contrast to the lies we are being fed, like keeping our streets free of Taleban, be it Cowdenbeath or Croydon – the self-same Taleban we assisted during their ten-year Russian occupation. The propaganda being pedalled by the government on why we're there is both infantile and absurd. Plundering the Third World's natural resources to assuage our own greed is why we are in Afghanistan. Our colonial past is with us still.

George B Anderson, Dunfermline

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