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Open Letter to Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC ( 0) Printer friendly page Print This
By Michael Feltham
Axis of Logic
Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008

Editor's Note: We are delighted to have the author, Michael C. Feltham, back at his keyboard to share with Axis of Logic readers his keen observations gleaned from his wealth of experience in life and international trade.

- Axis Editors 


DATE:
TO:
FROM:
JUNE 11, 2008
MR. MARK THOMPSON, BBC
MICHAEL FELTHAM, BRITISH CITIZEN

Dear Mr Thompson

Whilst I realise that post-Gilligan, the BBC has become a sort of unofficial PR and Spin Agency for Government. With the sad achievement of the one hundredth British serviceman being killed in the Afghanistan theatre, it is surely high time the once hallowed promulgator of truth and reasonably unbiased analysis of current affairs, the British Broadcasting Corporation disseminated to the British public the truth on this conflict.

After Mr Gordon Brown�s hollow, callow, sententious and patronising utterance on the matter on June 9, and since currently, our troops are less well remunerated than traffic wardens, we as a society owe them more; much more!

Despite Mr George Walker Bush�s loud protestations and oft repeated mantras and his boringly repetitive assurances about a �War on terrah!�, US and UK forces are in Afghanistan for one reason and one reason only: to  suppress a tribal people who object to their country being used for a commercially lucrative oil and gas pipeline between Central Asia to the Indian Ocean. The consortium, UNOCOL comprises 11 foreign oil companies, including four American companies, Unocal, Amoco, Exxon and Pennzoil.

In the main, the people of Afghanistan wish to lead their lives according to their own customs and social and religious mores. They certainly prefer their own ancient culture rather than suffering an imposed set of Western ideologies which emerging principally from a nation state which presents as Godless, morally decadent, self-absorbed and wholly preoccupied in the pursuit of personal wealth through the extortion of other weaker and less military nations.

Whilst a route through Iran would be logistically easier, political and diplomatic relations make this obviously impossible: as do current sanctions extant against Iran.

In 1998, whilst still CEO of a significant oil company, Dick Cheney made the following statement:

�I cannot think of a time when we have had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian. But the oil and gas there is worthless until it is moved. The only route, which makes both political and economic sense, is through Afghanistan.�

Further, giving evidence to the one hundred and fifth congress second session on February 12tth, 1998, Mr. John J. Maresca, vice president of international relations, Unocal Corporation made the following specific statement.

�From the outset, we have made it clear that construction of the pipeline we have proposed across Afghanistan could not begin until a recognized government is in place that has the confidence of governments, lenders, and our company.�

I cannot summarise this dire situation and the fumbling, bumbling circumstances and political-economic meddling in a foreign nation state�s affairs (mainly by the CIA, aided and abetted by both Britain and Saudi Arabia) more effectively than has Professor Phil Gasper at Notre Dame de Namur University:

�The U.S. war on Afghanistan is a brutal attack on a country that has already been almost destroyed by more than 20 years of foreign invasion and civil war.' The Soviet occupation, which lasted from 1979 to 1989, left more than a million people dead. Millions still live in refugee camps More than 500,000 orphans are disabled. Ten million land mines still litter the country, killing an average of 90 people per month. At 43 years, life expectancy in Afghanistan is on average 17 years lower than that for people in other developing countries. The countryside is devastated and is currently experiencing a severe drought, with 7.5 million people threatened with starvation. The death and destruction wrought by the U.S. bombing campaign-and the cut off of food aid deliveries it has caused-have already killed hundreds and produced thousands more refugees scrambling to escape into Pakistan.

�But not only is Washington attacking one of the poorest countries in the world, past U.S. government actions are in no small part responsible for the current situation in Afghanistan. The Bush administration claims to be targeting Osama bin Laden, who it says masterminded the September 11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon (even though it has offered no concrete evidence to back up this accusation), and Afghanistan's Taliban government, which is sheltering him. But as the Economist magazine noted soon after September 11, " [U.S.] policies in Afghanistan a decade and more ago helped to create both Osama bin Laden and the fundamentalist Taliban regime that shelters him." An examination of this history will reveal the extent to which U.S. foreign policy is based on hypocrisy, realpolitik, and the short-term pursuit of narrow interests.� (Read on ...)

For far too many years, the US, UK and what was then Soviet Russia abused weaker nation states as they played political games of trying to destabilise  each others economic, diplomatic and political positions.

Mr Bush avers that his actions have brought democracy to Afghanistan: I posit that this �Democracy�, is a phantom and merely window dressing in the vain attempt of concealing the truth and enjoys as much legitimacy as does Robert Mugabe�s election endeavours!

As Britain learned in the days of the Raj: and as Russia learned in their own occupation after invading a nation state comprised of hard devout and disparate tribesmen, capable of survival in extremes of weather and in circumstances of privation, political and or commercial self-interest is rarely sufficient to overcome fervent nationalism.

Whilst Britain has a most unfortunate track record in attempting, for strategic and commercial cause, its failed Post-Colonial subjugation of nations as disparate as Malya, Aden, Cyprus etc, since the end of WW II, the U.S. and in particular CIA has an even more heinous reputation for fomenting insurrection and aiding and abetting the subjugation of a wide raft of states from Iran, in the early 50s through to numerous Central American, Middle Eastern and Asian locations, more recently.

Perhaps from now, from the day of this awful milepost forward, Mr Director General, we the British public who fund your corporation and the multitude of listeners abroad who rely on you for honesty, integrity and transparency might expect some truth and clarity in reporting and the addition of cogent factual backdrops, rather than the bland repetition of ministerial calumny.

I remain, Sir, your obedient servant,

Michael C Feltham


Michael C Feltham resides in Shoeburyness, England. He is highly respected for his analyses and writing on national and world economic matters. He is by professional discipline, an accountant, who specialised in international finance and economic analysis in the 1970s. In the 1970s, Mr. Feltham was Chief Finance Officer of Dunnshaw-Patten, Ltd., a London trading house working primarily with transactions in the Middle East and West Africa. In this role, he became involved with crude oil and product trading. Until December 2001, he was an External Examiner and Moderator to Ashcroft International Business School at their Cambridge and Chelmsford faculties at MBA level. He writes widely on technical finance and economic matters. Michael is Founder and CEO of a software company and for 27 years has been working as a consultant, specializing in Business Strategy Development. You can reach Mr. Feltham at: micheleff@axisoflogic.com.

READ THE BIO AND ADDITIONAL ESSAYS BY THE AUTHOR AT

FELTHAM ON THE ECONOMY

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