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Kucinich: Afghan Mineral Discovery Demands a Thoughtful Way Forward
WASHINGTON - June 14 - Following reports that nearly $1 trillion in natural resources have been found in Afghanistan, Congressman Dennis Kucinich released the following statement:
"We have just learned that there are nearly $1 trillion of untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan. This is a massive find that must be managed by the Afghan people.
"Even before the discovery of these minerals, we knew that we were propping up a corrupt government in Afghanistan. According to officials, it is likely that Afghanistan's former Minister of Mines took a $30 million bribe to give China the rights to develop a copper mine.
"This discovery demands a more thoughtful and comprehensive way forward in Afghanistan. In the coming weeks, Congress is expected to be asked to allocate another $33 billion for the war. Congress must take a stand and say no to additional funding. Congress must end this disastrous war and acknowledge that weapons and force will not ensure that these valuable resources do not fall into the hands of international mining companies at the expense of the Afghan people, among the most impoverished people in the world.
"Afghanistan has been presented with an opportunity to boost its economy and usher in a new era of transparency and stability. It is incumbent upon the American government to provide Afghanistan with the necessary resources and support to develop a central government that reflects the interests and will of the Afghan people. We ought to nurture democracy and peace; our presence there now only sows discontent and violence," said Kucinich.
Kucinich has led the opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Kucinich was the first to charge that the U.S. invaded Iraq in order to secure valuable oil contracts for American based multinationals. It was widely reported in 2008 in the New York Times and elsewhere that American advisors and the State Department played a key role in writing international oil contracts in Iraq.