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tv   Going Underground  RT  February 28, 2022 9:30am-10:01am EST

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ah, option returns any what you're going underground as we again appeal to any journalist royball edition from ukraine or nato countries who support kiev to come on the show and explain their opposition to vladimir putin. recognition of their hands can donates republics. we have yet to probably hear from the other side, even if they are only too willing to appear on so called nato nation, mainstream media bow. while later nation media sees ukraine is the only new story. tomorrow is the one year anniversary of jo biden's defeat agreement with the taliban. so what was it? all? 4, tens of thousands of nato did a wounded on calculated numbers of ordinary afghans, killed, wounded or displaced. joining me now is prolific journalist an author until may guarantee lowenstein, author of prophets of doom is off to capitalism, making a killing catastrophe and pills, powder and smoke inside the bloody war on drugs and co founder of declassified
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australia joins me now from sidney and australia. thank you so much, anthony fara, coming back on. obviously ukraine is the world story yet. so your declassified australia, a piece, appears to suggest that the, the, well, the intentions of the war in afghanistan weren't quite what the media told us. it was obviously, but there it's even quite and down in a donation mainstream media about the freezing of assets during the winter. so it wasn't about un security council resolution 1378, allowing invasion by nature countries. there, there were other aspects to the occupation of afghanistan. i think the last 10 years looking at this issue, f canister, and i've been there twice in 20122015. and one of the things i've been investigating for a long time is the natural resources under the ground in afghanistan. the soviets, in fact, discovered this 15 years ago, and i were in the country, i couldn't do much with it. south for 2001,
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the us and its allies went into the country. and they sang, discovered the soviet plants essentially for always, minerals, gold cup, a lithium, rarer. and for the 20 ease of the us led occupation. they try, they've been the u. s. australia, u. k. try to exploit those resources which are worth anywhere between $1.00 to $4.00 trillion us dollars. and in short, they didn't get to a father country was at war, there was massive corruption. and the question i really was looking at for this declassified australia and the classify u k. investigation, but also in my work on disaster capitalism is what was the reason behind these countries trying to extract the mean was on the one hand yes, i want to make money. trump was a big fan of the resources he actually opened. they said, this is maybe a way i could support the afghan war. american corporations could make money from the resources. and i reported a number of british and australian, large corporations, and individuals who tried mostly unsuccessfully to make deals with the afghan
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government for taliban took over in 2021. to sign deals to try to extract these resources. and the sad reality is that of any of those deals that actually gone through the only way to extract those resources in a was i, is to pay off militias and to pay for you right now. me. and which is what a lot of people do in counseling science to extract resources. and the question really i have been having is why is this issue really talked about them? and i know why, but it should be, and i think why we'll get in to why, but i guess visibly major countries, britain in australia of course, are focused on in your life, just piece with the glass of idols, trailer, you know, we know why the lesser of 2 evils, if one evil is poverty, the other is to mind for the benefit of the african people. just remind us of the role of u. s. contractor eric prince. i mean i thought the trump advisory was brother of trump's education secretary, betsy. the he was about you see
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a security say about security. why is eric prince in your article about this idea of mining for the benefit of the people of afghanistan? and eric prince is material that's obviously very polite. he had a vision. if you can call it that in afghanistan, for 2 things, when the trump administration office one, he advertised and promoted to trump and his people that they should privatize the war. he argue that the war was a finally and the only way to the u. s. could when the war was, of course, was before the taliban took over last year, was the war should be privatized, that his people should essentially run the country and in a private army, that was the 1st a brand idea. the 2nd one was he talked openly and proudly, and he spent time in cobble. i did some reporting about this a few years ago, and his questions were put directly to him that he advocated mining in afghanistan . in fact, because he knew trump was so keen on the idea of the afghan war being his v. a
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benefit if you american companies could actually extract resources. prince was exploring the possibility of extracting some of these rarer. so we shouldn't forget these rare lithium, amongst others i key ingredients in mobile phones and computers. and of course, as we move towards the d carbonized world. so we hope these resources which often are in conflict zones, they are, say, congo afghanistan and elsewhere are part of the question of how do you expect these resources when you're claiming to be carbonized in a secure and beneficial way. whereas the actual extraction is so dirty and messy, and i'm going as it often is, that people like eric prince, the 1st in line to try to get the results of suffice to say didn't get anything. the plan failed, as most of his plans often do. but he was on the more prominent advocates for this plan, but there are many others. let me get to its failure in a moment. obviously he wouldn't say was harebrained. i bet there's a lot of good know him that the national security council, the u. s. who's
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a bali right, and they wouldn't have been defeated if they've taken eric frances advice. i know we're kind of smiling, but we see this is her effect for the people of afghanistan in terms of oh, what happened to them or during this occupation? you, you then talk in your piece by the british geographical survey, i completely benign, lovely organization, i'm sure, and they would deny any wrong doing in this they, they may have a gun expirations from 2004 and m. and your saying that to what the british geographical survey may be doing may have been directly linked to this idea of expectational mineral resources, which would de facto some suggest a b stone. yes, i mean, obviously there's no connection to eric crane, but what they were doing there amongst other similar organizations, including the equivalent organization in the u. s. was they were working with the afghan government, which was then how many cars are with the afghan ministry mines,
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which was notoriously corrupt, pretty much for the entire 20 year occupation to do 2 things. first, to claim that we're building a fair and equitable mining law. so foreign companies want to come in, they could sign deals with the afghan government, and the afghan people would benefit, which is in theory, what should happen, right? and secondly, they were also working on an area called ms. i now which is now from table in our province. it is one of the largest corporate deposits in the world. it was the graphical organization was working with the afghan government to make it possibly up for 10 to the chinese caught that contract about 15 years ago. and they've done nothing with that. in short because the violence corruption, i'm and i was damaged 2015. i spent time in the villages in this community right next to the proposed mine. and they were so devastated and angry at the chinese, at the afghan government at the taliban. because that being shafted,
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they had been promised the world. they've been promised roads and schools for their kids. and that were given nothing and they were facing violence on the taliban from the afghan government in front of milton, like isis. so they're on the verge of joining search and see at the time because i was so angry by what was happening then he says one example, but it shows the broader question and the irony is the group that benefited motion the results boom in afghanistan in the last 20 years, was the taliban to tell. and we're making huge amounts of money from exploiting resources. i mean, a lot of say illegally. i went to an empire afghan government, of course, that were doing it themselves. there were exporting the resources around the world and i'm making a lot of money. and in fact, alabama generally getting their money from 2 major sources, drugs and mining people to know more about the drugs aspect, but less about the mining. in fact, now that the taliban are in jobs since august last year. what's interesting is that
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they are clearly cash pool to put it politely, the countries collapsing the way the census abandoned the nation, the bait them, and they punishing the afghan people for the fact of the taliban. one, the war and what the tell a been trying to do is 2 things. one is trying to sell some of the mines off the creek cash. and the countries that are most likely to benefit from the potential results for him is china and pakistan. the western nations, us astray, you invested huge amounts of money in trying to argue we steal those resources. i've got nothing out of that. and that's to me, i think it's a pretty interesting lesson for many colonialists everywhere will oversee britain in the united states. say that they're not punishing the alabama for winning in the war. i mean, what do you think the insurgents, i mean, those people you talk to back then, what would they think about the freezing of assets by joe biden? today, given that as you say,
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all the promises made to them were broken about how mining would enrich their lives and the explanation of resources in the region. i think i would be angered and desperate and incredibly frustrated and i have a lot of african friends, but i think that's kind of stand in the diaspora in the u. k. a u. s. and i've never met anyone in the last 6 months to tell a man took over to support what the us is doing. i mean, whether they supported the u. s. leaving or not. there's different views about that to be fair. but in terms of what's happening now, there is no one he thinks the u. s. policy is moral or even the legal. i mean, the afghan people are on the verge of mass starvation, the population of 40000000 people. the un estimates 98 percent of them a food insecure. there is a country incomplete, not to collapse. most them western media ignores that. there are some journalists to cover it to be fair,
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but in general it's mostly ignored. whereas when the taliban were taking over in august, there was a huge orgy of concern, apparently for the afghan people, most that has not disappeared. and to me a some they spend a lot of time in afghanistan in the last 10 years. and he still believes that afghanistan deserves independence and freedom a tell a bad one, whether we like it or not. and the fact is that the people of afghanistan don't deserve to be punished for the fact that the taliban beach, the entire major western armies in the space of 20 years and the african friends i have. the ones who are still in afghanistan are desperate. they're mostly desperate to get out. most of them can for a range of reasons, most western countries and not really open their doors to african refugees. some have to be, show the countries that have mostly a closer its neighbors pakistan, principally. but many afghans on the article is written, the officials, some of who may be involved in these sorts of mining conversations have been given
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asylum in australia. and i should just say it's all about the drug accusation. they say it's the nature of countries that was monitoring the drugs over there. they do that. yeah, that's not true, but yes, i know they denied, but now it is been a number of countries including the u. k. and australia who have taken lots of someone and i was african refugees. and i applaud that, but there's been a certain number of afghan senior government officials in that former asher kani regime with serious allegations against them. serious allegations of corruption and worse against them. well, i hope you have navigation. as regards the freezing a message, you talk about the imminent starvation that we've had in joe's on this program. you can also watch our hobbit cause i interview actually way denies corruption, but with the threat of starvation at the moment as biting freeze of these assets job, i'm not sure what the direct relevance of afghanistan,
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the direct relevance to $911.00 is. he says ok, they may be starving their, the 911 compensation fund needs the afghan assets money. i mean, it's the logical and there are a number of families of 911 victims who have come out. not only said in the last weeks, this is a completely moral policy. we don't want to punish the afghan people for what happened on 911, which let's not forget. 15 in the 19 hijackers with sadie, they weren't afghan, there were no afghans on those planes. yes, i am going to send out the taliban gave shelter to our car, but yes, damn people to 40000000 and people not at fault for non 11. and i think this is a case where the us, this is mostly bipartisan. there are, some democrats have come out and being critical of biden's policy that, you know, republicans have said much about it. and i think this really goes to the heart of how u. s. foreign policy. and frankly, u. k or australian foreign policy operates caused chaos leave, mess, leave,
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and don't wage on the way out. i mean this essentially what happened a little, the money to china. obviously those countries deny all of that and say that they were mandated under the un resolution 1378 to do what they did to defend the united states. as we learned, right, i'll stop you there. more from the prolific journalist or the filmmaker co founder of the class, right, australia, after this break. ah, and i dream shaped with in a there's
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things we dare to ask. hello . welcome back. i'm still here with that's the lowest around the bill. it again to been a journalist all the filmmaker and co founder of declassified australia. tell me about after i've gone you denies corruption and wrong. do we invite him on the program? you said that the one of an official in his government told you about how government contracts was signed regarding the mining leases. yes, i mean, one of the things it's been very clear he is in afghanistan, has been the role of u. s. u. s. and u. k. embassies in campbell, australia also had a much smaller role where it's much smaller country with there was a military presence in afghanistan, but i was the compared to the u. s. u k,
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much smaller, smaller economically. so exactly, yes. not. yes, exactly. no, basically what my so said to me and i've heard it in other examples too. is it often the embassies of u. s. and u. k. particularly strong arming the afghan government on a range of mining contracts because they wanted companies from their countries to benefit from mining extracts. and this colleague of mine, all sorts of mine, was saying that he was in a room where he saw us and british officials pressuring afghan officials, senior afghan officials to sign a contract. now ultimately, as i said, all these contracts failed, no mining in any kind of decent, reasonable way actually happened because of mass corruption and the fact that there was a was on. and what's so disappointing here is this may no real accountability at all
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. there's no real discussion about the role that nations like the u. s. and e k had and their embassies in cobble. i should also say alongside the question of mining. i also heard from the same source which isn't put in that story in declassified australia, but i've written that elsewhere is how often there was well awareness of the mass corruption that was within the afghan government that there was pressure on nations to keep on bringing the aid, even though they knew that the vast bulk of it was disappearing into can bank accounts a very tiny minority of african bank accounts. so the afghan war itself cost the us putting side any other countries? well over a trillion dollars they stand with. and that's obviously from military and also i suppose that aiden government support the u. s. but anyway, between half a trillion. so a trillion dollars on trying to build up an afghan state that essentially was
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arguably a failure from well argued weight, 2002 for 20 years. and as the washing and post reveal the fees ago, and it's really important series on afghanistan, u. u. s. officials and the u. s. military mute, the war was a failure and when he wakes, documents of mine at all. so i show years ago how many officials, including from australia in the u. k was saying privately that the war was a disaster, but publicly they were continuing. and so i think the lesson for me at of all this and for i think anyone who's now center and human being is always be skeptical of government claims of that war. and especially when there's an attempt to try to steal a country's results of which are not based to steal. i mean, now the countries in a bind, afghanistan, even if they can extract those resources, can be done safely, can it be done securely? are there questions around extraction in terms of climate change research? there are an afghan friends of mine. science can stand,
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doesn't have the luxury of not extracting those resources while at the same time it's incredibly unclean with showing the structure to do so. who would really benefit if there was an ability for to do that now? who would benefit and i fear it would not be the afghan people. will the nato countries always? he deny theft, and that's really just raging leaseholder about the future exploitation. i was the julie massage detained here in london, and he famously said there was a recycling operation. nothing estimates were actually to drill and it may have cost of the u. s. you talk about how an n c s come on handling company have access to the former. is gracie a boss general betray us? he's being interviewed by a lot of the moment because of the ukraine. that is a great, a great insight into that conflict. i mean, obviously for to skew the essay, yes, they all deny they're doing anything wrong. they'd say they're just trying to help the african people with their mining practices. what, what,
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what were they doing in this region and having to, with a, having to negotiate with that we're trying to make money. i mean, one of the interesting things of that for the c national, which is you don't know, is the largest mining companies in australia, or it's run by and who forest is, was phase, which is man, he has ambition is to be one of the largest angie companies in the world which might sound like hyperbole, but he's incredibly stiffly very powerful man. he had a vision of the show. i should just say he denies all wrong during he does. he doesn't day he's company does as well, and he's company signed a deal. this is not a statement, but he's company signed a deal in 2020 with the afghan government we've released and the classified australia, a contract of that where he was actually his company was able to get exclusive access to many the areas, if i can stand for a number of years to try to exploit a range of minerals and rare earth that never got off the ground. in short, because of the ongoing war, the british interests a number of them had tried with the support of david cameron's conservative
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government back in the day to also try to access the results of them. if you look back even most publicly available from 10 years ago, there are countless articles by u. s. u. k. and australian officials, talking about the huge potential of afghanistan's mining boom boom, never happened. suffice to say, almost like every case that i've investigated on the story has been a shambles. there's no mining contract that i've seen in afghanistan that went well, not one week, none of that stopped a range of companies and countries pushing that. so i'm not saying the war in afghanistan was fought for 20 solely to extract the resources that would be untrue . just like, and i think the iraq or was for solely for the oil. i think it was a factor, but i think it was the only race and there was imperial huberts amongst many other reasons. and but the afghan resources were definitely part of that agenda. and it's a, it's an absolute disgrace after 20 years. that i those resources whenever i didn't
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get benefits to the afghan people, and he, we are in 2022 and none of the countries or companies that try to exploit those resources are being held to account for what was which would to what would have been a massive grand theft of countries, priceless resources, that's amazing is for, and much jama. some might add or asleep at the wheel when it comes to the story. as you say, there were many is multifactorial. the invasion of afghanistan, as you were just talking about in terms of journalism. so many journalists supposed to have canister. i mean, 2 decades of war, united states is longest war when there was some mention of possible pipeline activity for energy resources in the initial stages of the war. during these journalists who were on the ground in kabul, some of them obviously in the green zone, just didn't know about the mining deliberately, didn't to talk about the mining. we're told not to talk about the mining with the
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idiots or was this? was this something they wanted to avoid when they reported for their corporate media, barons look, i think there was obviously some good journalism done by jenna's in the last 20 years, u. s. u k, in a straight, but so much of it was embedded and i said that i just made embedded in a literal sense. you know, in betting with us. so pretty sure straight and true for that also happened to it's embedded psychologically with the belief in the us is and there was benign to spite all the evidence to the country, whether it's war crimes, whether was mass violence committed by us. so british forces or drawing a tax, whatever it may be, love us, just some harsh reported, nice stories, of course, but often i think they will still this belief that the u. s. has goal, there was no goal and he saw some of that come out very clearly when the us was
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a drawing and all this last year that love those channels that spend 20 years supporting and blinding propping up by the us occupation and the afghan government almost in tears with the fact that their beloved occupation was coming 20, not often, they didn't explicitly say the occupation should last and different been, i mean there's 2 choices here. the tell a man take over all the us occupation continues. there's only 2 options in the end . that was the choice. and i think for many corporate journalist who invested so much psychologically and blood and cheese since 2001, i think for them this i'm talking about u. s. u k. and us jam us is the cross much of the west and well with some notable exceptions that were very invested in that war. continuing their invested in a continuing under the guise of saving afghan women, whatever the reasons are justifications that bank fees. and there's no doubt that elements of the war and i saw myself where african women, some of them were educated,
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that would not have been without the occupation. that's just a statement of fact batch. and it's a very big heavy as 70 percent african population is outside the major cities. so. so many of the journalists who are recording stan didn't leave travel. well didn't leave kandahar. so what they saw was on mosul or whatever it made. some ice will start as i sharif. so what i was saying was a very narrow slice of afghanistan. so many of the afghans who lived in the rural areas 70 percent, for then the last 20 years has been hell. that's from us forces the taliban and militants. and obviously now the countries can play economic collapse and to maybe any way to address that is to engage in family. recognize that tele balance is on the view. many people want to hear back to those communities to live outside the cities, despite the economic collapse, it is the most peaceful in afghanistan. now for the last 40 years, none of this defends or denies the violence,
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it's going on still now some communities have been impacted. i'm not denying any of that. and i know friends of mine have family cobble who are being targeted now by the taliban. so this is not a defensive tell about at all, but it says that for many afghans outside the cities who often didn't speak to jam a, so say journalists for them the end of the us occupation at least briefly, was the rest by and as that's a be that should be heard. often, it was not often exam journalists, some journalists did go to those other areas and ideally they were, they, arguably that their reporting wasn't exactly the best either. but overall, all those journalists to, apart from the notable exceptions that you mentioned, obviously say they were doing their best. just finally, how does this kind of action and this kind of reporting and analysis back fire on the nature of military industrial complex as china and pakistan as you say in your new bees move in. i mean, you said the investment isn't there yet, and there,
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there are a lot of sanctions that are trying to prevent that. inward investments. do afghans down and i know the taliban despite the alleged human rights abuses they, they've come on this program all the deals, all for the name or on congress in moscow meeting vladimir putin just before the you grain. the conflict kicked off. what i mean without the analysis in journalism is basically the perceived adversaries of nature. are they going to, are they going to exploit the middle resources? potentially? yes. is the short out so many one. i wouldn't be confident to 100 percent say that he won't have in 612 months or 2 years weston governments and for that matter, western corporations trying to exploit the resources. to me, i see this is on a pause right now. all it would take is a major western nation to recognize the taliban. that to me may happen. i mean, i've got no insight into that, but i think it should happen tomorrow, but i think it needs to happen to allow potentially those western companies that
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want to go back into afghanistan to exploit the results. and i don't think that's a good thing, but i think it won't happen while much of the west. in fact, there's no real country in the world right now, including pakistan. and my dad does recognize to tell him that no one has an x. i think something a surprise to tell a band that they were hoping to release pakistan wouldn't others would. china is not officially or they're trying to get lots of money to tell a band to be sure. but yes, mean the idea that one would uncritically accept the argument that we should trust either nato forces after the debacle in afghanistan and libya or western corporations that have tried to exploit resources. as there is somehow the trusted forces to go in there and help the afghan people, yes. can people themselves should have the ultimate say hello, and sent. thank you, and that's it. show will be back on wednesday, the 20th anniversary of the u. s. invasion of afghanistan, code named operation anaconda, until then keep in touch for all our social media. let us know whether you think
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major countries did the right thing in the have to have a oh, we're told russia's special military operation in ukraine is to demilitarize and be not so by the country. negotiations are likely to start, so what kind of ukraine can we expect after the special military operation is come to an end? when i was showing wrong, when i just don't, i mean you have to shape out the same becomes the african and engagement. it was the trail when so many find themselves, well,
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the part we choose to look for common ground. ah hope for a diplomatic solution is talks between ukrainian and russian. officials get underway on the bedrooms, florida. why are you crying? second largest city, half cove is now at the center of fighting with a huge explosion report to the numerous kinds of st battles with russian troops on the you and i says, hundreds of millions of euro's worth of support for ukraine, including high caliber arms as it condemns rushes, actions, however, nights i says membership of the military block is not currently on the agenda, and the you, you close is it says face to russian friday, the 9th is a band or news organizations are c and sputnik and their subsidiary ah.

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