Now comes the newest report from www.uruknet.info that states that thanks to America bringing in a "western style" banking system into Afghanistan, the entire financial structure of Afghanistan is on "Life Support" and the entire nation on the verge of economic collapse. Here is that Uruknet article, in its entirety, for my readers to view:
Afghanistan on Life Support
Tomdispatch, September 13, 2010Part of a fledging banking system proudly mentored by American experts and Treasury Department officials, that sinkhole of a bank now threatens to take down far more with it. In 2001, according to the Washington Post’s David Nakamura and Ernesto Londoño, the Americans arriving in Kabul wanted to create a "Western-style banking sector... that would make it more difficult for terrorists to get money, while promising Afghans that a regulated financial system would be more reliable and trustworthy." And, in a perverse sense, they succeeded.
You’ve undoubtedly had the experience of pulling on a tiny, fraying thread and discovering, to your shock, that the larger piece of clothing you’re wearing suddenly begins to unravel. The equivalent seems to be happening in Afghanistan right before our eyes. There, "the pride of Afghanistan's financial system," Kabul Bank, with more than a million customers, is undergoing a slow-motion collapse.
We don’t yet know whether or not Kabul Bank is "too big to fail" and so will prove to be the Goldman Sachs or the Merrill Lynch of poverty-stricken Afghanistan. At the very least, it represents a fraying Afghan cloth woven from just about every disastrous thread of the American war and occupation: the deep corruption of the ruling elite, the looting of what wealth the country has and its squandering abroad, the tens of billions of dollars of drug money and reconstruction/aid funds that have washed over a land with a gross domestic product of only about $27 billion, and finally Washington's whole project in Afghanistan, which, as TomDispatch regular Nick Turse indicates below, promised so much and delivered so desperately little. (Of course, the very fact that the Taliban, the discredited former rulers of that country in 2001, should be experiencing a renaissance, tells you everything you need to know about the American disaster there.)
To provide protection for themselves in the snake pit of Afghan politics, the Kabul Bank’s two owners brought in (that is, bought) a brother of President Hamid Karzai (who has been living in a $5.5 million villa in Dubai purchased with bank funds) and a brother of Vice President Muhammad Fahim (to whom it loaned a mere $100 million). Its top officers also evidently loaned out millions to themselves, splurged on 18 "villas" and other property in Dubai just as the real estate market there was preparing to take a nosedive, while playing fast and loose with the bank's deposits. Since Kabul Bank holds government funds for salaries to be paid to the Army, police, government workers, and teachers, the possibility for popular discontent runs deep. In Kabul, the only remaining branch of the bank still open is now surrounded by barbed wire, and guarded by security forces prepared to beat back Afghans besieging the place desperate for their money or simply their salaries.
The Kabul Bank collapse is a genuine Afghan nightmare that threatens to engulf the major politicians of that land and possibly the rickety, rotting political system the Americans helped build over the last decade. It may, in the end, prove a symbol of everything the American war delivered to a tiny slice of Afghan society and almost no one else. Nick Turse’s newest book -- he’s the editor -- The Case for Withdrawal from Afghanistan (Verso Books), is just out and how could it be more timely? The impressive war reporter Patrick Cockburn calls it "a fascinating and essential guide." As we watch the American project in that country unravel, isn’t it the moment to finally put withdrawal on the American agenda? After all, we don’t really need to oversee the collapse of Afghanistan’s banking system when we’ve done so well here at home.
(To catch Turse in Timothy MacBain's latest TomCast audio interview discussing why withdrawal from Afghanistan hasn't been on the American agenda , click here or, to download it to your iPod, here.) Tom
How Much "Success" Can Afghans Stand? The American War and Afghanistan’s Civilians
Unlike victory, success turns out to be a slippery term. As the United States approaches the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan, pundits have been chewing over just what "success" in Afghanistan might mean for Washington. What success might mean for ordinary Afghans hasn’t, however, been a major topic of conversation, even though U.S. officials have regularly promised them far better lives and trumpeted American efforts to reconstruct that war-torn land.
NTS Notes: Congratulations, America! Your own debt based monetary system is already a dismal failure that has brought the US to the verge of economic collapse, and now that you tried to bring in that same debt based system, with the corruption of such a system, into Afghanistan, that nation as well is on the verge of economic collapse!
It is a fact that any nation that brings in a debt based monetary system eventually sees its own economy fail. The failure of the system in Afghanistan after only 9 years is a microcosm of the entire American failing banking system. It is just the fact that because Afghanistan's weak economy is peanuts compared to the United States' own economy that it collapsed so much sooner.
So here we are 9 years into the Afghanistan occupation with no hope of victory over the Taliban, and now the entire economic system brought in by the occupiers is a shambles... When the heck will the people finally say enough is enough and demand that we take our forces out of that country and bring them home!
The people of Afghanistan must have the right to decide their own future without the interference of foreign powers that have ruined the nation. That time is long overdue....
More to come