Wednesday, August 10

Three keys to understanding Afghanistan

Key 1. Opium

The main historical source of financing for the Taliban is the collection of 20% of the net profit from the global opium trade from producers. It is like a tax. Afghanistan produces 90% of the world’s opium. In 2001, when the US decided to invade the country, the opium plantations in Afghanistan covered 74,000 hectares. Only between 2016 and 2017, with the country still invaded, crops had grown by an additional 120,000 hectares. That year, in 2017, the total opium cultivated in Afghanistan, that is, the economic staple of the Taliban, already occupied 328,000 hectares. And it is paradoxical, because that same year there were two million opium addicts in the United States.

The number of addicts, today, is estimated to be double if those who are dependent on other synthetic derivatives of opium are also counted, such as fentanyl (cheaper and effective immediately). Every day 44 people die in the US from the effects of opium. The US, which represents 5% of the world’s population, consumes 94% of the opiates produced on the planet. Aren’t the “consequences” of this 20-year war against Afghanistan paradoxical?

In its previous defeat in Vietnam, the United States brought opium into its territory by the ton. He did it in military planes, camouflaged in coffins of supposed soldiers killed in combat. That is why that war, like the one in Afghanistan, lasted so long and so long.

Key 2. Lithium

North American geologists discovered in 2010 that under the arid soil of Afghanistan there is as much lithium as in the Bolivian Uyuni salt flat, around 1.4 million tons if rare earths such as neodymium or lanthanum are added. In other words, if Bolivia has 50% of the world’s lithium, Afghanistan has another 45%. The future of electric vehicles and cell phone batteries depends on both countries.

Lanthanum is used to make smart TVs, energy-saving lamps, glasses or camera lenses for mobile phones or telescopes. But Afghanistan is also rich in copper, like Chile. Copper is such a rare electrical conductor that this year it has beaten its price on the London markets, reaching 10,000 euros per ton.

While the US has spent money on killing the Taliban before fleeing from Afghanistan, the Taliban met last July in Tianjin (China) with the Beijing Foreign Minister and agreed on the following: dear Taliban – the minister told them -, If you stop supporting Uighur “terrorism” in China’s Xinjiang region, bordering Afghanistan, China will invest whatever it takes to create infrastructure to exploit strategic minerals under Taliban rule. And the proposal closed with a “guaranteed!” on the Afghan side.

Between two countries that share the most absolute disregard for Human Rights (as opposed to demure Europe), such a pact is common. And what can the US say to China, if China has bought 80% of the US public debt in the markets? Well, little or nothing. 80% of the strategic minerals that the US bought in 2019 came from China. That year, Europe bought 98% of the lithium and rare earths it needed from China.

China, which handles 80% of the world rare earth market and 60% of the lithium market, has already signed its first contract with the Taliban: the exploitation of the Mes Aynak copper mine, 35 kilometers south of Kabul . It is the first message to Russia, which will soon also meet with the Taliban and tell them: if you neutralize Chechen “terrorism” we will invest whatever is necessary to exploit your oil and gas fields.

With the resources that a Taliban state could obtain in the medium and long term, the United States risks having lost 20 useless years and seeing Afghanistan and Pakistan once again become a sanctuary for anti-American terrorism.

And key 3. The Taliban Sharia

Anyone who does a fundamentalist reading of the Bible must, by faith, kill his own son. If God decides to test Abraham, he must demonstrate his loyalty by raising a dagger over his son Isaac. And it is the same with the Koran. Horror texts, such as the Koran or the Bible – especially the Old Testament – allow thousands of interpretations, and the Taliban have made their own radical reading of the book of Muhammad, the Sharia Taliban, regulating all public and private aspects of the life. The Sharia is therefore a legislative interpretation of the Koran by the Taliban whose cruelty, not only towards women, borders on paroxysm. The first Taliban government (1996-2001) hung men, amputated arms and hands, and buried the concept of woman after squandering her in public. Now that the Taliban have returned, their particular and humiliating Sharia returns with them.

Afghanistan, submerged in an eternal war, one of the poorest countries in the world despite being the historical axis of the Silk Road, hides in its subsoil copper, iron, mercury, cobalt, lithium, uranium, chromite, gold in abundance , diamonds, emeralds, rubies, tarmaline, lapis lazuli, zinc, natural gas, petroleum, bauxite, marble and millions of tons of the so-called rare earths. But on top of all that untapped wealth, the Afghanistan Taliban has a problem: its particular Sharia. With a law that causes so much legal uncertainty, no company is crazy enough to invest there.

The Taliban Sharia is a desperate response to a curse that for centuries has buried Afghanistan, the country that Alexander the Great, who conquered 331 years before Christ was born, called “the tomb of empires.” The country soon after surrendered to the arms of Buddhism, until centuries later Iranian and Turkmen invasions brought it under fierce repression. For several centuries, Afghanistan was conquered and attacked from all angles until it fell into Arab hands. Then came Genghis Khan, who took only a year to completely destroy that country (1221-1222) and scrap the ancient irrigation systems forever.

After centuries of tribal struggles, and unwittingly acting as a buffer state between tsarist Russia and British India, Afghanistan suffered the worst of its invasions, that of the English settled in India – every colony touched by the British Empire is eternally damaged. . Until 1921 the British ruled at will in Afghanistan, until they were defeated, expelled and a few decades later, in 1979, replaced by 120,000 Soviet soldiers who occupied the country.

To stop the Soviet advance, the US and Pakistan armed the Taliban, then mujahideen, to the teeth, even with missiles. Stinger. In 1989, defeated, the last Russian occupiers left Afghanistan. These weapons, and the conviction of a part of the Afghan tribes, allowed the Taliban to seize power in 1996 and maintain and apply their particular Sharia until their great benefactor, the United States, decided in 2001 to search for Osama Bin Laden on Afghan soil. and incidentally overthrow the Taliban government and occupy the country with all Western support.

Thus, the Taliban Sharia can only be explained from the perspective of a country with more than 50,000 years of existence, which has gone through all possible creeds and invasions, which has defeated all empires and which only believes in eternal salvation. that promises the Koran under the interpretation of the disciplinary crime. Women can’t even laugh at men, but men can’t even make the slightest display of solvency. Not even at her children’s weddings.

Everyone interprets the Qur’an in their own way. Adultery is punishable by hanging in Afghanistan. In the fundamentalist reading of the Old Testament, however, the right of man to “lie” with any other woman is recognized if he cannot have children with his. And as an example, another son of Abraham, Jacob, who showed off the best Don Juan lying with all the women around him. Where then is fundamentalism?