Source: AP

PARIS (AP) — Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai lashed out at the United States, accusing it of making threats in the dispute over an agreement to keep U.S. troops in the country beyond 2014.

In an interview published Tuesday by the French daily Le Monde, Karzai says the U.S. is “absolutely” acting like a colonial power in its attempts to force him to sign the bilateral security agreement by the end of this year. The paper quoted him as saying: “The threats they are making, `We won’t pay salaries, we’ll drive you into a civil war.’ These are threats.”

Washington and NATO officials say the pact is critical to the plan to keep thousands of forces in Afghanistan after 2014 for a training and counterterrorism mission.

Those wondering what lies in store for Afghanistan need only look at the way the British Empire ruled Iraq in the 1920’s. As Shakespeare wrote, “what is past is prologue.”

Imperial Britain created the state of Iraq after World War I to secure Mesopotamia’s vast oil deposits that had become vital for the Royal Navy. To control this artificial nation seething with unrest, Britain imposed a puppet king, Faisal, and created a native army commanded by British officers.

Britain’s colonial rule was formalized by the 1930 Anglo-Iraq Treaty, a deal between puppet and master.

But real power in Iraq was held by the Royal Air Force, which was “granted” two permanent bases at Habbaniyah and Basra. The RAF ruled supreme over the open wastes of Iraq.

Winston Churchill, patron saint of today’s war-lusting neoconservatives, authorized the RAF to use poison gas against “unruly” tribesmen in Iraq and Afghanistan. Britain created public institutions and sham political parties in Baghdad that had no links at all to Iraq’s population, which mostly hated their British rulers.

British Iraq was the prologue to today’s Afghanistan. The British Empire’s heir, the American Imperium, plans to duplicate the Iraqi Brittanica in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s US-installed current ruler, Hamid Karzai, a former CIA “asset,” may stay on after 2014 or be replaced by another US-designated president. Change the title of president to king, and, voila!, Iraq’s puppet king, Faisal.

Washington says it will withdraw all US combat troops from Afghanistan by 2014. But read the fine print. As of now, 14,000-16,000 US troops will remain on so-called “anti-terrorism” missions and for “training” – though Washington admits there are not more than 50 al-Qaida members in Afghanistan.

Source: Ron Paul Institute

(CNSNews.com) – After 12 years of occupation by U.S. military forces, Afghanistan set a record for growing opium poppies in 2013, according to newly released data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

“Opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan reached a sobering record high in 2013,” said the UNODC. “According to the 2013 Afghanistan Opium Survey, cultivation amounted to some 209,000 hectares, outstripping the earlier record in 2007 of 193,000 hectares, and representing a 36 per cent increase over 2012.”

In the years following 2001, the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan generally increased, especially after President Barack Obama took office in 2009 and launched a military surge there.

As of Sept. 2002, a year after the terrorist attacks, there were 10,400 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, according to the Congressional Research Service. In January 2009, the month Barack Obama was first inaugurated, there were 32,800 U.S. troops there. By December 2009, there were 69,000. And, by September 2010, there were 98,000.

Source: CNS