Slouching towards balkanization

 Balochistan has very attractive assets: natural wealth, scarce population, and a port, Gwadar, which is key for Washington’s New Great Game in Eurasia Pipelineistan plans. 

And it’s not only oil and gas. Reko Diq (literally “sandy peak”) is a small town in the deserted Chaghi district, 70 kilometers northwest of already remote Nok Kundi, near the Iran and Afghanistan borders. Reko Diq is the home of the world’s largest gold and copper reserves, reportedly worth more than US$65 billion. According to the Pakistani daily Dawn, these reserves are believed to be even bigger than similar ones in Iran and Chile. 

Reko Diq is being explored by the Australian Tethyan Copper Company (75%), which sold 19.95% of its stake to Chile’s Antofagasta Minerals. Only 25% is allocated to the Balochistan Development Authority. Tethyan is jointly controlled by Barrick Gold and Antofagasta Minerals. The Balochis had to have a serious beef about that: they denounce that their natural wealth has been sold by Islamabad to “Zionist-controlled regimes”. 

Washington is focused on Balochistan like a laser. One of high summer’s blockbusters will be the inauguration of Camp Leatherneck, a vast, brand new US air base in Dasht-e-Margo, the “desert of death” in Helmand province in Afghanistan. Quite a few of Obama’s surge soldiers will be based in Camp Leatherneck – a cross-border, covert ops stone’s throw from southeast Iran and Pakistani Balochistan. 

Under McChrystal, the new US and North Atlantic Treaty Organization top commander in Afghanistan, one should expect a continuous summer blockbuster of death squads, search-and-destroy missions, targeted assassinations, bombing of civilians and all-out paramilitary terrorization of tribal Pashtun villages, community leaders, social networks or any social movement for that matter that dares to defy Washington and provide support for the Afghan resistance. 

“Black Ops” McChrystal is supposed to turn former Chinese leader Mao Zedong upside down – he should “empty the sea” (kill and/or displace an untold number of Pashtun peasants) to “catch the fish” (the Taliban or any Afghan opposing the US occupation). There couldn’t be a better man for the counter-insurgency job assigned by Obama, Petraeus, Clinton and Holbrooke. 

American journalist Seymour Hersh has detailed how McChrystal directed the “executive assassination wing” of the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command. No wonder he was a darling of former vice president Dick Cheney and secretary of defense Rumsfeld. The Obama administration’s belief in his extreme terrorization methods qualifies as no more than Rumsfeldian foreign policy. 

And McChrystal still has the luxury of raising any amount of calibrated hell in neighboring Balochistan to suit Washington’s plans – be they to provoke Iranians or incite Balochis to revolt against Islamabad.  read full article

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