Does anyone remember the old corny joke “the shirt and pants do all the work, and the tie gets all the gravy?”
Well, the joke’s on us, and China, Russia and Norway are the ones making us look like clowns.
The U.S. is spending billions of dollars and sacrificing the lives of its young soldiers in Afghanistan, while China is busy securing raw material for its booming economy.
At the same time, Lukoil of Russia and Statoil of Norway have signed a contract with the Iraqi government to develop the vast West Qurna 2 oil field.
Wasn’t it grand of the U.S. to rid Iraq of Saddam Hussein? He was in no hurry to turn his oil fields over to Russia in 1997, but now that he’s gone, and the conflict in that country seems to be settling down, Lukoil and Statoil stepped back in with an offer the Iraqis couldn’t refuse.
Reportedly, the U.S. didn’t want to get into the competition for West Qurna 2 for fear that it would look as if this country got into the Iraq war just to get to the oil.
What a noble gesture. Let our soldiers die in the socalled quest of bringing democracy to Iraq, but cede the oil reserves to the Russians so they could open more Lukoil gas stations on American roads and capture U. S. drivers’ dollars.
Meanwhile, back in Afghanistan, the China Metallurgical Group Corporation, a Chinese state-owned conglomerate, has won the bid to mine copper deposits near the village of Aynak.
Like the oil fields in Iraq that have been gobbled up by the Russians, there are those who felt that had an American company won the rights to the copper mine, some would have accused the United States of waging war to seize the country’s mineral wealth.
In addition, Beijing has engaged in the single largest investment in Afghan history, and promised to create thousands of new jobs, build roads, schools and even mosques for the Afghans. Without firing a shot, the Chinese have become long-term players in Afghanistan’s future.
While American troops, it has been reported, do not, in a very narrow sense, protect the Chinese mine workers, the Afghan National Police, which does protect the mine, was largely built and trained with American money. The U.S. Army stations about 2,000 troops in Logar Province, where Aynak is located, but an Army spokesman said they generally patrol well south of the mine area and have not provided direct security for Chinese investors or mine workers.
While America grapples with double-digit unemployment figures, China’s economy is barrelling along, and they are now getting ready to bid once more in Afghanistan on a mineral project that is said to contain 60 billion tons of iron ore.
Obviously, the United States has become the world’s soldier force, sending our young men and women out to die in the name of making the world safe from terrorists, while places like Russia, China and Norway jump on the gravy train and take advantage of the spoils of war.
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