Donald Trump made a deal with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to allow American companies to “develop” Afghanistan’s rare earth minerals as part of President Trump’s effort to offset the costs of the war in Afghanistan. This deal, like many others made by Trump, is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, these thieves are lining up at the back door.
Rare earth minerals are a tremendously valuable commodity. None of our modern technologies work without them, especially not the phone you are likely reading this on. All of the electronics that power our lives, computers, healthcare products, and energy sources rely on these elements.
“They agreed that such initiatives would help American companies develop materials critical to national security while growing Afghanistan’s economy and creating new jobs in both countries, therefore defraying some of the costs of United States assistance as Afghans become more self-reliant,” the White House said.
That is absurd on its face. They talk about jobs, they talk about off-setting the costs of the war, but it’s just another boondoggle for private mining interests to get into a place they haven’t been able to. “Jobs” in both countries? Low-paid miners in Afghanistan, of course. But what it amounts to here for “jobs” just isn’t clear — the chips and products made from rare earth minerals are for the most part not manufactured in the USA — in fact, as of 2011, China made up 97% of the rare earth mineral trade worldwide.
So after the U.S. spent nearly a TRILLION dollars in Afghanistan militarily, our new president has a plan for making “our” money back — so long as it goes to private interests.
Taxpayers won’t see a dime of this. It will go to “American Companies” exploiting those resources.
We should not be surprised. This is a President who frequently lamented during his campaign that we blew our opportunity to “take” Iraq’s oil – with a “to the winner goes the spoils” philosophy that hasn’t been considered anything less than a war crime since the Nazis looted Europe. Just this week he “complimented” African leaders at the UN with a comment about his friends going to their countries to get rich.
Perhaps by now, he’s learned “taking” Iraq’s oil would have involved thousands of engineers, troops, pipelines, ships and infrastructure that frankly could not happen. But a handshake with the Afghan President can open the doors for all of his big-money donors with mining interests for this most-desired treasure under some semblance of respectability.
Call it what it is. Economic colonialism. Trump’s transactional basis for his entire being is “who makes money?” Which is what makes him spectacularly unfit to be President and the head of the Executive Branch of our government. Government isn’t a business. Nor should it be. It’s supposed to answer to and serve the people it governs, not make money for the exorbitantly rich.
Again, Trump is opening that back door wide to make the super-rich even richer, while taxpayers foot the bill for his and his cabinet’s luxurious tastes.
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons