After 21 years of CIA-funded support for Islamic Militant cells in Afghanistan, and ongoing relations with the official government of the country in the form of the Taliban, the air strikes that commenced on October 7th, 2001 came without warning. Severing airfields, disabling Kabul’s electricity grid and razing the cities of Kandahar & Jalalabad, the action was unexpected, considering the victims were chummy with the USA up until a month prior to the bombardment.
Incidentally, The first ground forces deployment of US forces were not military, but CIA-led combatants.
The Afghan Taliban government spokesperson, foreign minister Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil had previously made a public statement denouncing the September 11 attacks on New York, and the Afghan ambassador to Pakistan Abdul Salam Zaeef cryptically hinted that Osama Bin Laden, a former Saudi national, was exiled in Pakistan. Despite the lack of association between the Taliban government the New York attacks, US Military Commander-In-Chief George W. Bush insisted that the attacks were an ‘act of war’, and that retribution would be swift & relentless.
What the world was witnessing was a turn-around in relations between the United States of America & The Afghanistan Government, being the Islamic Militant Taliban, over a timeframe of less than a month. In the space of 26 days, the USA’s 21-Year support for Afghani extremists took a turn for the worse.
Lack of evidence often being ignored (ie; Iraq’s mythical and non-evidenced weapons of mass destruction), the United States required a scapegoat for 911, and they needed one fast, before the public and global perception crawled out of their state of shock and began questioning the weakness of a once mighty military nation and world superpower.
The biggest question here is why the USA commenced a war in Afghanistan at all.
Bearing in mind that:
1. The Taliban are not Al-Queda
2. Osama Bin Laden is not part of the Taliban
3. Osama Bin Laden is not an Afghani, but a Saudi Arabian national
4. 15 of the 911 hijackers were Saudi Arabian Nationals. Not a single one of them was an Afghani
The Taliban could not possibly be a threat to US Citizens, being a considerably poor Militant Government (at the time, they were the party holding power), having no organized military to speak of, and no ability to be trained in hijacking a large domestic aircraft. Furthermore, international relations between the USA and the Taliban were very strong. In 1997, Delegates were invited to Sugarland, Texas for a high level business meeting with energy company Unocal to negotiate resource transit tarrifs within Afghanistan.
image: Taliban delegates visiting Texas, USA in 1997 to discuss energy tariffs
The Taliban operated foreign offices in New York right up until the year of the World Trade Centre incident. Completely transparent, known to US Federal Agencies and the United Nations, the Taliban presence in the USA was NEVER questioned prior to 911. There is some suspicion surrounding their eviction only months prior to the WTC attacks, in that Government officials claimed it was a UN-forced eviction, however a spokesperson for the United Nations knew nothing about the request. We can only speculate on the motivations and the timing, of which falls into 911 conspiracy territory, a subject that I largely will avoid in this blog.
So here we have an aggressive invasion executed by a military superpower (the USA) against a poorly armed, tribal government (the Taliban) for not a single valid reason in relation to the WTC 911 attacks. Despite this, the war has been very long, very expensive (to the detriment of the US Economy) and utterly pointless.
The Taliban are actually growing in number as the war progresses. The death toll of Afghani civilians is closing in at the 20,000 count. POW’s have been treated to torture and human rights abuses, even homicide at the hands of US soldiers, and in violation of the Geneva Convention terms of War. We are beginning to hear stories of private mercenaries contracted by the United States that are murdering and terrorizing local Afghani citizens. A covert US Government agency known as the Joint Special Operations Command, or JSOC, have been accused of terrorizing locals. Several books have been released outlining the dirty tactics used by US interrogators at Abu Graib, Bagram & Guantanamo detention facilities.
image: Afghani suspect terrorized with sensory deprivation, physical torture and electrocution
The Taliban don’t possess any modern, technological warfare devices, and they are still using US-Supplied surface-to-air missiles from 30 years ago as their most powerful defense. Osama Bin Laden wasn’t in Afghanistan after all, but in Pakistan. Yet the 12 year War in Afghanistan continues, despite questionable beginnings as to the reasons, and with even more questionable motivations behind the continued occupation.
The most likely motivation will be discussed in next weeks blog, and it has nothing to do with global terrorism, but corporate greed.