Front row, from left: Major Gen. Hamid Gul, director general of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), Director of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Willian Webster; Deputy Director for Operations Clair George; an ISI colonel; and senior CIA official, Milt Bearden at a Mujahideen training camp in North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan in 1987. (source RAWA)
Ronald Reagan meets Afghan Mujahideen Commanders at the White House in 1985 (Reagan Archives)
Ronald Reagan called the terrorists “freedom fighters”. The US supplied weapons to the Islamic brigades. It was all for “a good cause”: fighting the Soviet Union and regime change, leading to the demise of a secular government in Afghanistan.
The Great Game (The politics behind Radical Islam)
By Alfred W. McCoy TomDispatch
American diplomats added layers of encircling military alliances -- the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (1949), the Middle East Treaty Organization (1955), the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (1954), and the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty (1951).
By 1955, the U.S. also had a global network of 450 military bases in 36 countries aimed, in large part, at containing the Sino-Soviet bloc behind an Iron Curtain that coincided to a surprising degree with Mackinder’s “rimlands” around the Eurasian landmass. By the Cold War’s end in 1990, the encirclement of communist China and Russia required 700 overseas bases, an air force of 1,763 jet fighters, a vast nuclear arsenal, more than 1,000 ballistic missiles, and a navy of 600 ships, including 15 nuclear carrier battle groups -- all linked by the world's only global system of communications satellites.
As the fulcrum for Washington’s strategic perimeter around the world island, the Persian Gulf region has for nearly 40 years been the site of constant American intervention, overt and covert. The 1979 revolution in Iran meant the loss of a keystone country in the arch of U.S. power around the Gulf and left Washington struggling to rebuild its presence in the region. To that end, it would simultaneously back Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in its war against revolutionary Iran and arm the most extreme of the Afghan mujahedeen against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
It was in this context that Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, unleashed his strategy for the defeat of the Soviet Union with a sheer geopolitical agility still little understood even today. In 1979, Brzezinski, a déclassé Polish aristocrat uniquely attuned to his native continent’s geopolitical realities, persuaded Carter to launch Operation Cyclone with massive funding that reached $500 million annually by the late 1980s. Its goal: to mobilize Muslim militants to attack the Soviet Union’s soft Central Asian underbelly and drive a wedge of radical Islam deep into the Soviet heartland. It was to simultaneously inflict a demoralizing defeat on the Red Army in Afghanistan and cut Eastern Europe’s “rimland” free from Moscow’s orbit. “We didn’t push the Russians to intervene [in Afghanistan],” Brzezinski said in 1998, explaining his geopolitical masterstroke in this Cold War edition of the Great Game, “but we knowingly increased the probability that they would... That secret operation was an excellent idea. Its effect was to draw the Russians into the Afghan trap.”
Asked about this operation’s legacy when it came to creating a militant Islam hostile to the U.S., Brzezinski, who studied and frequently cited Mackinder, was coolly unapologetic. “What is most important to the history of the world?” he asked. “The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?”
Washington attempted to replace some of its ineffective boots on the ground with drones in the air. By 2011, the Air Force and the CIA had ringed the Eurasian landmass with 60 bases for its armada of drones. By then, its workhorse Reaper, armed with Hellfire missiles and GBU-30 bombs, had a range of 1,150 miles, which meant that from those bases it could strike targets almost anywhere in Africa and Asia.
Significantly, drone bases now dot the maritime margins around the world island -- from Sigonella, Sicily, to Icerlik, Turkey; Djibouti on the Red Sea; Qatar and Abu Dhabi on the Persian Gulf; the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean; Jalalabad, Khost, Kandahar, and Shindand in Afghanistan; and in the Pacific, Zamboanga in the Philippines and Andersen Air Base on the island of Guam, among other places. To patrol this sweeping periphery, the Pentagon is spending $10 billion to build an armada of 99 Global Hawk drones equipped with high-resolution cameras capable of surveilling all terrain within a hundred-mile radius, electronic sensors that can sweep up communications, and efficient engines capable of 35 hours of continuous flight and a range of 8,700 miles.
The ISIS’s practice of beheadings is part of the US sponsored terrorist training programs implemented in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
If people can study history and see today's events are simply the relabeled repeating of what empire has been doing for centuries, the public as a whole will be less likely to go along with what is in reality an exploitative, murderous crime spree of global proportions - merely sold to us as justified intervention.
Many people remain in the dark about what Wall Street and London do overseas. While military interventions grab headlines and create a brief but confusing diversion for most, they are but mildly aware of the concept of NGOs, let alone how they work in tandem with the creeping war machine making its way from Tunisia to Thailand and everywhere in between.
The US sees the Syrian state as one of the last spheres of Russian influence beyond the borders of the former Soviet Union, and a threat to its Israeli ally in the region. The presence of ISIS and other terrorists groups serves these interests. The US has a history of using terrorism to topple governments friendly to Russia. Al Qaeda itself was borne of the US objective to topple the Soviet friendly government of Afghanistan. The dismemberment of Russian-friendly Serbia and the creation of Kosovo was done via the same means.
It is therefore not surprising that since Russia entered the war in Syria, Saudi clerics and the Muslim Brotherhood - both US state assets - declared 'jihad' on Russia.
Former US National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, the man largely responsible for the creation of Al Qaeda, expressed his frustration with the fact that Russia was targeting Al Qaeda as well as ISIS through his twitter account.
The Saudi-led intervention force in Yemen is deterring vessels from delivering humanitarian aid, according to a new report from the U.S. Navy that cited a warning broadcast to all commercial ships off the Yemeni coast. Fighting between Houthi rebels and the pro-government forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition continues: Airstrikes in Taiz and Bayda province killed 22 women and children.
Remember, Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy. Saudi Arabia law is sharia, Islamic law and the Quran. No political parties or elections are allowed. Yet Saudi Arabia wants a political solution. Disposing of the elected president of Syria, Assad.
Saudi's have no business in Syria. We have no business backing these rebels who are al Qaida. Y'all know them don't you. Blew up World Trade Center and attacked the Pentagon. Why McCain wants to start another hell hole war like Viet Nam right in the Middle East is beyond me but the Saudis are involved and you can bet there is a lot of money on the line.
Now they are arming Lebanon supposedly against Syria, but that is Hezbollah, the Iranian backed military group. Watch they will get those arms, one way or another, remember "Fast and Furious"?. America arms and funds both sides. I do not want to pay for this mess.
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Afghan heroin & the CIA
By Andrew G. Marshall
Amazingly, “Before 1979 Pakistan and Afghanistan exported very little heroin to the West,” but by 1981, “trucks from the Pakistan army’s National Logistics Cell arriving with CIA arms from Karachi often returned loaded with heroin – protected by ISI [Pakistan’s internal security service] papers freeing them from police search.” This change occurred in 1981 when then CIA Director William Casey, Prince Turki bin Faisal of Saudi intelligence and the ISI worked together to create a foreign legion of jihadi Muslims or so-called Arab Afghans. More than 100,000 Islamic militants were trained in Pakistan between 1986 and 1992 in camps overseen by the CIA and [British] MI6. The SAS [British special forces] trained future Al-Qaida and Taliban fighters in bomb-making and other black arts” while their leaders were trained at a CIA camp in Virginia. Further, “CIA aid was funneled through [Pakistani President] General Zia and the ISI in Pakistan.”
Former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, wrote in a 2007 article in the UK Daily Mail, that what has been achieved in Afghanistan is “the highest harvests of opium the world has ever seen.” Murray elaborated that, “Our economic achievement in Afghanistan goes well beyond the simple production of raw opium. In fact Afghanistan no longer exports much raw opium at all. It has succeeded in what our international aid efforts urge every developing country to do. Afghanistan has gone into manufacturing and ‘value-added’ operations.” This means that Afghanistan “now exports not opium, but heroin. Opium is converted into heroin on an industrial scale, not in kitchens but in factories. Millions of gallons of the chemicals needed for this process are shipped into Afghanistan by tanker. The tankers and bulk opium lorries on the way to the factories share the roads, improved by American aid, with NATO troops.” Murray explains that this was able to happen because “the four largest players in the heroin business are all senior members of the Afghan government.” Murray stated that, “Our only real achievement to date is falling street prices for heroin in London.”
U.S. military transport aviation is used for the delivery of drugs from Afghanistan to the American airbases, Ganci in Kyrgyzstan and Incirlik in Turkey.
Afghanistan supply's about 90% of the worlds opium. We arrived in 2001. In the following nine years opium production has surged 700%. Recording all time record harvests beginning around 2010.
During the time opium production was being ramped up in Afghanistan, Mexico was retooling their ability to convert ever larger supply's of opium into increasingly potent heroin and developing new infrastructure to transport it.
During the decade or so all this was going on in Afghanistan and Mexico, scripts here in America for Oxycontin, Fentanyl, Hydrocodone and the like were wildly available to any person claiming chronic pain. Nothing was done to confirm the claims of pain, sorta like the stated income, liar loans that set up the housing collapse. Basically scripts were available to almost anyone for the asking.
That all ended one day in 2011.
Almost overnight The Oxycontin and Fentanyl was turned into useless plastic and millions of scripts across the country were shut down with the exception of those few in truly chronic pain.
Simultaneously and amazingly as if by magic, that very day every city in America suddenly had a fresh two ton supply of high quality vary affordable heroin. In fact the prices have never been lower and the quality never higher.
UC Berkeley Professor emeritus Peter Dale Scott:
"It is now generally admitted that Ali Mohamed (known in the al Qaeda camps as Abu Mohamed al Amriki — “Father Mohamed the American”) worked for the FBI, the CIA, and U.S. Special Forces. As he later confessed in court, he also aided the terrorist Ayman al-Zawahiri, a co-founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and by then an aide to bin Laden, when he visited America to raise money."
WikiLeaks: HACKED STRATFOR EMAILS:
The US Government Sent Blackwater Veteran To Fight With Rebels In Libya And Syria (in 2010)
By Michael B Kelley
The former director of the security firm Blackwater aided the Libyan opposition and was subsequently sent to contact Syrian rebels in Turkey at the request of a U.S. Government committee, according to published Stratfor emails and reported by Al-Akhbar English.
Jamie F. Smith, former director of Blackwater, is currently the chief executive of the security firm SCG International.
In an email sent to Stratfor on February 11, 2011, Smith praised the company's intelligence gathering and said his "background is CIA and our company is comprised of former DOD [i.e. Department of Defense], CIA and former law enforcement personnel. We provide services for those same groups in the form of training, security and information collection."
Smith became a major source for Stratfor by September as he and Stratfor vice president Fred Burton built a rapport. Smith provided intelligence (under the codename LY700) to Burton on developments in Libya— where SCG International was contracted to protect Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) members and train Libyan rebel fighters after the implementation of the no-fly zone in March 2011.
Smith provided information on missing surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and allegedly “took part” in the killing of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in the town of Sirte.
Burton was impressed by Smith's intel and reciprocated praise by writing, "Good skinny. This is what is defined as a credible source. Not some windbag Paki academic belching and passing gas."
The last emails about Smith came on December 13, days before the Stratfor mail servers were reportedly hacked. In one Burton says:
"**Source and Dr. Walid Phares are getting air cover from Congresswoman [Sue] Myrick to engage Syrian opposition in Turkey (non-MB and non-Qatari) on a fact finding mission for Congress.
** The true mission is how they can help in regime change.
** Source intends to offer his services to help protect the opposition members, like he had underway in Libya."
Walid Phares is a Lebanese-American citizen who is currently co-chair of Mitt Romney’s Middle East advisory group.
In another email from December 13— in which Stratfor is organizing intelligence on the Syrian opposition that Smith had requested— Burton reports that Smith "is meeting w/specific people described as key leaders."
Burton is a former Deputy Chief of the Department of State's counterterrorism division for the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). The DSS assists the Department of Defense in following leads and doing forensic analysis of hard drives seized by the U.S. government in ongoing criminal investigations.
Stratfor provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations and government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Marines and the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency.
WikiLeaks has published 925 out of what they say is a cache of 5 million internal Stratfor emails (dated between July 2004 and December 2011) obtained by the hacker collective Anonymous around Christmas.
Every religion, including Islam, has its crazed fanatics. Few in numbers and small in strength, they can properly be assigned to the “loony” section. This was true for Islam as well until 1979, the year of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Indeed, there may well have been no 911 but for this game-changer.
Officials like Richard Perle, Assistant Secretary of Defense, immediately saw Afghanistan not as the locale of a harsh and dangerous conflict to be ended but as a place to teach the Russians a lesson. Such “bleeders” became the most influential people in Washington .
The task of creating such solidarity fell upon Saudi Arabia, together with other conservative Arab monarchies. This duty was accepted readily and they quickly made the Afghan Jihad their central cause…. But still more importantly, to go heart and soul for jihad was crucial at a time when Saudi legitimacy as the guardians of Islam was under strong challenge by Iran, which pointed to the continued occupation of Palestine by America’s partner, Israel. An increasing number of Saudis were becoming disaffected by the House of Saud – its corruption, self-indulgence, repression, and closeness to the US. Therefore, the Jihad in Afghanistan provided an excellent outlet for the growing number of militant Sunni activists in Saudi Arabia, and a way to deal with the daily taunts of the Iranian clergy.
The bleeders soon organized and armed the Great Global Jihad, funded by Saudi Arabia, and executed by Pakistan. A powerful magnet for militant Sunni activists was created by the US. The most hardened and ideologically dedicated men were sought on the logic that they would be the best fighters. Advertisements, paid for from CIA funds, were placed in newspapers and newsletters around the world offering inducements and motivations to join the Jihad.
Investigative journalist Robert I. Friedman wrote in New York Magazine in 1995:
Shiekh Omar Abdel Rahman commands an almost deified adoration and respect in certain Islamic circles. It was his 1980 fatwa – religious decree – condemning Anwar Sadat for making peace with Israel that is widely believed to be responsible for Sadat’s assassination a year later. (Rahman was subsequently tried but acquitted.)
The CIA paid to send Abdel Rahman to Peshawar ‘to preach to the Afghans about the necessity of unity to overthrow the Kabul regime,’ according to Professor Rubin. By all accounts, Rahman was brilliant at inspiring the faithful.
As a reward for his services, the CIA gave the sheikh a one-year visa to the United States in May, 1990 – even though he was on a State Department terrorism watch list that should have barred him from the country.
After a public outcry in the wake of the World Trade Centre bombing, a State Department representative discovered that Rahman had, in fact, received four United States visas dating back to December 15, 1986. All were given to him by CIA agents acting as consular officers at American embassies in Khartoum and Cairo. The CIA officers claimed they didn’t know the sheikh was one of the most notorious political figures in the Middle East and a militant on the State Department’s list of undesirables. The agent in Khartoum said that when the sheikh walked in the computers were down and the Sudanese clerk didn’t bother to check the microfiche file.
Says one top New York investigator: ‘Left with the choice between pleading stupidity or else admitting deceit, the CIA went with stupidity.’
The sheikh arrived in Brooklyn at a fortuitous time for the CIA. In the wake of the Soviet Union’s retreat from Afghanistan, Congress had slashed the amount of covert aid going to the mujaheddin. The international network of Arab-financed support groups became even more vital to the CIA, including the string of jihad offices that had been set up across America with the help of Saudi and American intelligence. To drum up support, the agency paved the way for veterans of the Afghan conflict to visit the centres and tell their inspirational war stories; in return, the centres collected millions of dollars for the rebels at a time when they needed it most.
There were jihad offices in Jersey City, Atlanta and Dallas, but the most important was the one in Brooklyn, called Alkifah – Arabic for ‘the struggle.’ That storefront became the de facto headquarters of the sheikh.
On November 5, 1990, Rabbi Meir Kahane, an ultra-right-wing Zionist militant, was shot in the throat with a .357 magnum in a Manhattan hotel; El-Sayyid Nosair was gunned down by an off-duty postal inspector outside the hotel, and the murder weapon was found a few feet from his hand.
And the chief of the visa section at the U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (J. Michael Springmann, who is now an attorney in private practice) says that the CIA insisted that visas be issued to Afghanis so they could travel to the U.S. to be trained in terrorism in the United States, and then sent back to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon next to a wounded mercenary, Israeli military field hospital at the occupied Golan Heights’ border with Syria, 18 February 2014.
The Central Intelligence Agency has its own argot for describing the hallucinatory world within which its employees move. None of its esoteric terms are more euphemistic than "blowback", the term coined to describe operations which end up rebounding against their creators.
But as the Americans slowly unravel the international network surrounding Osama bin Laden, the man they blame for the embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, "blowback" is exactly what they are finding.
It was revealed that one of those under arrest is a former Egyptian soldier named Ali Mohamed, who is alleged to have provided training and assistance to Mr. bin Laden's operatives. Yet Mr. Mohamed, it is clear from his record, was working for the US government at the time he provided the training: he was a Green Beret, part of America's Special Forces.
Mr. Mohamed's arrest seems to be part of a pattern, as the US slowly moves towards the realization that many of those now arrayed against it with Mr. bin Laden were once its allies in the war in Afghanistan. The two sides turned against each other as the war in Afghanistan unwound, and America, not Russia, came to be seen as the enemy.
The US poured cash into Afghanistan throughout the 1980s in an effort to defeat - or at least tie down - the Russians. Its principal ally was Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a ferociously anti-communist and militant Islamist leader. The US and Saudi Arabia both sent about $500m (pounds 300m) annually between 1986 and 1989 to fund the mujahedin, and other rich individuals from the Gulf - including Mr. bin Laden - spent an extra $20m every month. The US funded the construction of the camps at Khost which it attacked two months ago in response to the embassy bombs.
It had already been known that in those days, the US and Mr. bin Laden were on the same side, but it now appears that America may actually have aided Mr. bin Laden's organization and even trained some of those who it now contends are "terrorists". Mr. Ali may be the missing link.
It had already been known that in 1989, Mr. Ali came to the New York area to train mujahedin on their way to Afghanistan. Those visits have put him in the spotlight once before: among those he trained was El Sayyid Nosair, who was jailed in 1995 for killing Rabbi Meir Kahane, leader of the Jewish Defense League, and, along with several others, with plotting to blow up several New York landmarks. At his trial, Mr. Nosair claimed that the reason he had military manuals was that he was being trained by the US, not because he was intent on terrorism. It is uncertain whether Mr. Mohamed came to New York on official business, but for some of the trips, he was a serving US Special Forces' sergeant.
Mr. Mohamed met the men at the Al-Kifah Refugee Centre in Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue, a place of pivotal importance to Operation Cyclone, the American effort to support the mujahedin. The Al-Kifah Centre and the associated Afghan Refugee Services Inc. were raising funds and, crucially, providing recruits for the struggle, with active American assistance.
The other end of the pipeline was in Peshawar, where the Services Office coordinated the transit of people, equipment and cash to the mujahedin, and to Mr Hekmatyar in particular. The Services Office was run by Abdulla Azzam, a colleague of, and influence on, Osama bin Laden, and was part of Mr bin Laden's effort to back the mujahedin. Both the Services office and Al-Kifah were also linked to Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, an Egyptian religious leader later jailed for the planned New York bombings.
The US took a benign view of this at the time. The operation was, after all, assisting in the fight against Communism. As Mr Mohamed's presence showed, those associated with the US military were providing assistance to Al-Kifah. The recruits received brief paramilitary training and weapons instruction in the New York area, according to evidence in earlier trials, before being sent to fight with Mr Hekmatyar. Even Sheikh Abdel-Rahman had, apparently, entered the US with the full knowledge of the CIA in 1990.
But by the mid-1990s, America's view of Al-Kifah had changed. It discovered that several of those charged with the World Trade Centre bombing and the New York landmarks bombings were former Afghan veterans, recruited through the Brooklyn-based organization. Many of those the US had trained and recruited for a war were still fighting: but now it was against America. A confidential CIA internal survey concluded that it was "partly culpable" for the World Trade Centre bomb, according to reports at the time. There had been blowback.
How and why did the people behind Al-Kifah turn against America? The US cut off funding in 1991 to Mr Hekmatyar, both because the Russians had withdrawn from Afghanistan and because it had at last started to realize that backing Islamic fundamentalism was perhaps not the brightest idea the CIA had ever hatched. America had also gone to war against Iraq in 1991, and stationed troops in Saudi Arabia, outraging Mr. bin Laden and other devout Muslims.
There also seems to have been a huge disagreement over Bosnia. In December 1992, a US army official met one of the Afghan veterans from Al-Kifah and offered help with a covert operation to support the Muslims in Bosnia, funded with Saudi money, according to one of those jailed for assisting with the New York bombings. But that effort quickly disintegrated, leaving a great deal of bad feeling.
There are probably only three people outside the US government who ever knew exactly what role the Al-Kifah refugee center really played, and how far the US helped to build up Mr. bin Laden's organization. One was Mr Azzam, the charismatic Palestinian who ran the Peshawar operation. He was killed by a car bomb in 1989. The second was Mustafa Shalabi, who ran Al-Kifah. He was murdered in 1991. The third is Osama bin Laden, and he is not telling.
CIA's Intervention in Afghanistan (the official and the unofficial story)
By Christopher R Rice
Before we can get started we must clear fact from fiction, bull shit from reality. The official and the unofficial versions. From the Bay of Pigs, cold wars, red scares, drug smuggling, welcome to the shadowy world of the CIA.
‘Blowback,’ the Prequel
By Eric Altelman The Nation
The story of what historians call the second cold war often begins with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979, which shocked Americans into their own overreaction in Central America and Africa, as well as into arming the mujahedeen resistance. Today, it is a truth universally acknowledged in the punditocracy that while the United States may have played an indirect role in the creation of the Taliban and perhaps even the bin Laden terrorist network through our support for the radical Islamic guerrillas in Afghanistan, we did so only in response to that act of Soviet aggression. As Tim Russert explained on Meet the Press, “We had little choice.” Speaking on CNN, former US Ambassador to Afghanistan Peter Tomsen speaks of our “successful policy with the ordnance we sent to the mujahedeen to defeat the Soviets.” Writing on “The ‘Blowback’ Myth” in The Weekly Standard, one Thomas Henriksen of the Hoover Institution rehearses the Soviet invasion and then notes, “First President Carter, then, more decisively, Ronald Reagan moved to support the Afghan resistance.”
The truth is that the United States began a program of covert aid to the Afghan guerrillas six months before the Soviets invaded.
First revealed by former Director of Central Intelligence Robert Gates in his 1996 memoir From the Shadows, the $500 million in nonlethal aid was designed to counter the billions the Soviets were pouring into the puppet regime they had installed in Kabul. Some on the American side were willing–perhaps even eager–to lure the Soviets into a Vietnam-like entanglement.
According to Gates’s recounting, a key meeting took place on March 30, 1979. Under Secretary of Defense Walter Slocumbe wondered aloud whether “there was value in keeping the Afghan insurgency going, ‘sucking the Soviets into a Vietnamese quagmire.'” Arnold Horelick, CIA Soviet expert, warned that this was just what we could expect. In a 1998 conversation with Le Nouvel Observateur, former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski admitted, “We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.”
MSNBC reported in 1998:
As his unclassified CIA biography states, bin Laden left Saudi Arabia to fight the Soviet army in Afghanistan after Moscow’s invasion in 1979. By 1984, he was running a front organization known as Maktab al-Khidamar – the MAK – which funneled money, arms and fighters from the outside world into the Afghan war.
What the CIA bio conveniently fails to specify (in its unclassified form, at least) is that the MAK was nurtured by Pakistan’s state security services, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI, the CIA’s primary conduit for conducting the covert war against Moscow’s occupation.
The CIA, concerned about the factionalism of Afghanistan … found that Arab zealots who flocked to aid the Afghans were easier to “read” than the rivalry-ridden natives. While the Arab volunteers might well prove troublesome later, the agency reasoned, they at least were one-dimensionally anti-Soviet for now. So bin Laden, along with a small group of Islamic militants from Egypt, Pakistan, Lebanon, Syria and Palestinian refugee camps all over the Middle East, became the “reliable” partners of the CIA in its war against Moscow.
To this day, those involved in the decision to give the Afghan rebels access to a fortune in covert funding and top-level combat weaponry continue to defend that move in the context of the Cold War. Sen. Orrin Hatch, a senior Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee making those decisions, told my colleague Robert Windrem that he would make the same call again today even knowing what bin Laden would do subsequently. “It was worth it,” he said.
“Those were very important, pivotal matters that played an important role in the downfall of the Soviet Union,” he said.
Indeed, the U.S. started backing Al Qaeda’s forefathers even before the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. As Brzezinski told Le Nouvel Observateur in a 1998 interview:
Question: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs ["From the Shadows"], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?
Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.
Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?
B: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?
The Washington Post reported in 2002:
The United States spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings ….
The primers, which were filled with talk of jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, have served since then as the Afghan school system’s core curriculum. Even the Taliban used the American-produced books ….
As Afghan schools reopen today, the United States is back in the business of providing schoolbooks. But now it is wrestling with the unintended consequences of its successful strategy of stirring Islamic fervor to fight communism. What seemed like a good idea in the context of the Cold War is being criticized by humanitarian workers as a crude tool that steeped a generation in violence.
FYI: Organizations accepting funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development must certify that tax dollars will not be used to advance religion. The certification states that AID "will finance only programs that have a secular purpose. . . . AID-financed activities cannot result in religious indoctrination of the ultimate beneficiaries."
Published in the dominant Afghan languages of Dari and Pashtu, the textbooks were developed in the early 1980s under an AID grant to the University of Nebraska-Omaha and its Center for Afghanistan Studies. The agency spent $51 million on the university's education programs in Afghanistan from 1984 to 1994.
During that time of Soviet occupation, regional military leaders in Afghanistan helped the U.S. smuggle books into the country. They demanded that the primers contain anti-Soviet passages. Children were taught to count with illustrations showing tanks, missiles and land mines, agency officials said. They acknowledged that at the time it also suited U.S. interests to stoke hatred of foreign invaders.
"I think we were perfectly happy to see these books trashing the Soviet Union," said Chris Brown, head of book revision for AID's Central Asia Task Force.
AID dropped funding of Afghan programs in 1994. But the textbooks continued to circulate in various versions, even after the Taliban seized power in 1996.
One page from the texts of that period shows a resistance fighter with a bandolier and a Kalashnikov slung from his shoulder. The soldier's head is missing.
Above the soldier is a verse from the Koran. Below is a Pashtu tribute to the mujaheddin, who are described as obedient to Allah. Such men will sacrifice their wealth and life itself to impose Islamic law on the government, the text says.
Robert Gates acknowledged under congressional questioning in 1992, had decided to keep that evidence from President Reagan and his top advisors and instead continued to grossly exaggerate Soviet military and technological capabilities in its annual “Soviet Military Power” report right up to 1990.
In the decades before 9/11, hard-core activists and organizations among Muslim fundamentalists on the far right were often viewed as allies for two reasons, because they were seen a fierce anti-communists and because the opposed secular nationalists such as Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser, Iran’s Mohammed Mossadegh.
By the end of the 1950s, rather than allying itself with the secular forces of progress in the Middle East and the Arab world, the United States found itself in league with Saudi Arabia’s Islamist legions. Choosing Saudi Arabia over Nasser’s Egypt was probably the single biggest mistake the United States has ever made in the Middle East.
A second big mistake … occurred in the 1970s, when, at the height of the Cold War and the struggle for control of the Middle East, the United States either supported or acquiesced in the rapid growth of Islamic right in countries from Egypt to Afghanistan. In Egypt, Anwar Sadat brought the Muslim Brotherhood back to Egypt. In Syria, the United States, Israel, and Jordan supported the Muslim Brotherhood in a civil war against Syria. And … Israel quietly backed Ahmed Yassin and the Muslim Brotherhood in the West Bank and Gaza, leading to the establishment of Hamas.
Still another major mistake was the fantasy that Islam would penetrate the USSR and unravel the Soviet Union in Asia. It led to America’s support for the jihadists in Afghanistan. But … America’s alliance with the Afghan Islamists long predated the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and had its roots in CIA activity in Afghanistan in the 1960s and in the early and mid-1970s. The Afghan jihad spawned civil war in Afghanistan in the late 1980s, gave rise to the Taliban, and got Osama bin Laden started on building Al Qaeda.
On this page:
CIA's Intervention in Afghanistan
Related: (click link)
Turkey, a NATO member country is organizing and supporting very actively armed rebels on the territory of a neighboring state. "Experts" are discussing supply roads, strategic positions, Turkish sphere or influence in sovereign Syria, Turkish artillery reaching into Syria.
Is this an open declaration that NATO is subverting the governments of its neighbors? This war has claimed 250,000 lives paid for with American tax dollars.
After the Cold War in Europe ended in 1991, the Central and East Europeans signed to NATO believing it was a good and moral thing to do. Since then, the Central Europeans watched as NATO destroyed Libya, Iraq and got imbedded in Afghanistan. Now the Central and East Europeans are watching as NATO troops (the Turks) are killing defenseless women and children (the Kurds) and Brussels and Washington says nothing.
If Turkey had not been playing two off the middle with its tacit support for Syrian pro-democracy opposition and its clandestine support for ISIS, Russia would not be in Syria trying to keep Assad in power.
What exactly has Iran, the Kurds or Syria ever done to America? Nothing! Look, what America has done to them. But ask any American and you'll get hatred for Iran and Syria, while labeling the resistance group of Kurds terrorist, all with a straight face.
They won't ever admit that Turkey and the Saudis are the real terrorist. I guess then that would mean America would too have to look in the mirror.
America is the number one terrorist. Number one sponsor of torture and genocide. America is the number one polluter on the planet. America jails more citizens than Russia and China combined! America is the most corrupt, morally bankrupt Empire to exist.
America’s “global war on terrorism” is a hegemonic project, carried out under a fake counter-terrorism mandate which consists in going after an illusive “Jihadist” Enemy which “threatens Western civilization”.
The Global War on Terrorism is a Lie. The alleged enemy of the West is fabricated. Counter-terrorism is invoked as a pretext to wage an all out war of conquest.
The U.S. airstrikes initiated in August 2014 directed against Iraq and Syria under the pretext of going after the Islamic State (ISIS) are part of a scenario of military conquest and escalation extending from North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean to Central and South Asia.
US and allied bombings are not targeting the ISIL, they are bombing the economic infrastructure of Iraq and Syria including factories and oil refineries.
The IS caliphate project is part of a longstanding US foreign policy agenda to carve up Iraq and Syria into separate territories: A Sunni Islamist Caliphate, an Arab Shia Republic, a Republic of Kurdistan.
Al Qaeda and The Islamic State
U.S. sponsored Al Qaeda terror brigades (covertly supported by Western intelligence since the 1980s) have been deployed in Mali, Niger, Nigeria, the Central African Republic, Somalia and Yemen. Al Qaeda affiliated organizations have also been deployed in several Asian countries including China and Indonesia.
“The Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT) builds upon the history of CIA supported terrorism since the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war. What has unfolded is a vast network of Al Qaeda affiliated entities supported covertly by US intelligence, extending from Central Asia the Middle East into South East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
US military intervention in Afghanistan in the 1980s was supported by the Wahhabi missionaries out of Saudi Arabia, who trained the Taliban (‘graduates”) in the CIA sponsored madrassas (schools) in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Wahhabi doctrine would not have spread in the way it did without the support of US intelligence.
Saudi Arabia worked closely with Washington in recruiting the Mujahideen (holy warriors) to fight against the Soviet Union. The Saudi monarchy enlisted the support of the religious authorities. Confirmed by the Afghan Project (http://nsarchive.chadwyck.com/afintro.htm), which has collected hundreds of CIA and State Department documents, cables and memoranda, the CIA developed from the late 1970s, ties with a number of Islamic organizations. The objective was to use “Islamic fundamentalist” doctrine to unseat secular governments and install an Islamic proxy State.
We will recall that the alleged “pro-democracy” rebels in Libya (2011) were led by Al Qaeda paramilitary brigades integrated by NATO Special forces. The “Liberation” of Tripoli was carried out by “former” members of the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). The jihadists and NATO worked hand in glove. These “former” Al Qaeda affiliated brigades were the backbone of the “pro-democracy” rebellion against Moahamar Gaddafi.
The commander of the assault on Tripoli was Abdel Hakim Belhadj, (also known as Abu Abdullah al-Sadeq, Hakim al-Hasidi), who was recruited by the CIA in Afghanistan in the 1980s. He had been entrusted, with NATO’s approval, (according to CNN) of:
“one of the most powerful rebel brigades in Tripoli [which] took charge of successful rebel efforts … to storm Gadhafi’s Bab al-Azziziyah compound, further bolstering his prominent position in rebel ranks. …
“[Belhadj] was a well-known figure in the jihadist movement. He fought the Soviet-backed government in Afghanistan and helped found [with the support of the CIA, M.Ch.] the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group there.” (CNN, August 11, 2011)
With regard to The Islamic State (ISIS) which is now in the limelight, it is categorized as enemy Number One of America, it was originally an Al Qaeda affiliated entity created by US intelligence with the support of Britain’s MI6, Israel’s Mossad, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Saudi Arabia’s General Intelligence Presidency (GIP), Ri’āsat Al-Istikhbārāt Al-’Āmah ( رئاسة الاستخبارات العامة).
In relation to the Syrian insurgency, the Islamic State fighters together with the Al Qaeda affiliated jihadist forces of the Al Nusrah Front are the foot soldiers of the Western military alliance. They are covertly supported by US-NATO-Israel. Their mandate is to wage a terrorist insurgency against the government of Bashar al-Assad. The atrocities committed by Islamic State fighters in Iraq are similar to those committed in Syria. Their unspoken mandate is to wreck havoc and destruction in Syria and Iraq, acting on behalf of their US sponsors.
The Obama administration has openly confirmed its support for the Syrian rebels with most of this aid channeled to Al Nusrah.
US Senator John McCain met up with jihadist terrorist leaders in Syria. (see photo)
The Role of Israel: State Sponsor of Al Nusrah and the Islamic State (ISIS)
While theoretically committed to the US-led war on terrorism, the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu quite openly supports al Qaeda. The Al Nusrah and ISIS terror brigades operate out of the occupied Golan Heights.