Tag Archives: Osama Bin Laden

Second Invasion of Afghanistan

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

talibantexasThe 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 tortureGeneva 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.

The Taliban are USA’s Creation

As with most US-led invasions of Sovereign land, there are many questions that surround the purpose of such operations. In the case of the Operation Cyclone proxy-war against the Soviet Union on foreign soil, very little was achieved for the host nation of Afghanistan. Some considerations may be:

  • The pro-Soviet PDPA Party of Afghanistan remained in power for a further three years following the withdrawal of US forces. Therefore the ‘fight against Communism’ failed, as it had done previously in Vietnam & Cuba.
  • The USA’s funding strengthened Islamic Militant guerrillas in the region, arming the Mujahadeen with tens of thousands of munitions & artillery. The argument for ‘freedom of a nation’ would prove to be irrelevant.
  • The post-war foreign aid into Afghanistan was funneled into the pockets of tribal warlords, creating factions within the Islamic Militant agenda, which would lead to the dissolution of the Mujahadeen and the formation of the Taliban as the majority influence over Afghanistan & it’s citizens.
  • The dark years of fundamentalist oppression that would soon follow is a direct result of the USA’s financial & military support for a militia that was fighting for strict Islamic Sharia Law.

talibFollowing the USSR’s retreat, a sense of unrest was dictating the public psych, and created internalized civil struggles between the remaining supporters of the PDPA, the new heroes of the militant Mujahadeen, and an increasingly wary following of emergent militant groups who believed the Mujahadeen’s rise was a dangerous, oppressive path.

It is around this time that the seeds of the Taliban were germinated. The cloud of homelessness, poverty & death lingered over the nation, and the misappropriation of continued foreign funding allowed new leaders with fresh agendas to charm potential followers.

Unlike western political party allegiances (such as those who say “I’m a Democrat/Republican/Libertarian forever”), the culture of Afghanistan is for a more practical outcome. Basically, your typical Afghan citizen will follow the next leader with the most to offer – be it money, personal safety, religious conservatism or an agenda for a bright future. Defection is so common, that it simply isn’t spoken about, and it is this cycle of support that creates new civil majority groups in the nation.

To Western observers, this is where our understanding typically ends, and the confusion commences, quite simply because such political defection is unheard of in our culture, and difficult to fathom. However, it follows as such:

The PDPA had overwhelming support from it’s citizens, until the cashed up & well armed Mujahadeen strengthened. Previous PDPA supporters became Mujahadeen guerrillas. Fearing the new ‘hard line’ Islamic code of conduct, new factions formed against the Mujahadeen, made up of many former proxy-war soldiers, and banded together as what we refer to as The Taliban.

Or, to keep it simple, the PDPA is the Mujahadeen, and the Mujahadeen is the Taliban. Only the leaders of the movement remain unchanged, while the followers are fluid.

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The Taliban’s rise to power in the early 1990’s was supported by Pakistan’s InterServices Intelligence Agency (the ISI), who only several years prior were intrinsically tied into the CIA’s arms shipments to Islamic militants. Such was Pakistan’s open support for the rise of the Taliban that Pakistan, along with the Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were the only nations to give the Taliban diplomatic recognition.

Following on from the Mujahadeen’s theological agenda, the Taliban also adopted strict Sharia Law policy. With an almost limitless supply of land-based-conflict artillery & armaments (thanks to the CIA’s Operation Cyclone & post-war US foreign aid), it became easy to convince Afghanistan’s citizens that the future lay with them. The Taliban were the nation’s new heros.

poppyFurthermore, their initial policy on the eradication of opium poppy farms (the pre-cursor to heroin, and the source of over 70% of the world’s supply chain) was applauded by the USA – in fact the eradication was used as a PR exercise by American politicians to show the world how effective their prior support for Islamic Militants had been. As recently as May, 2001, only four months prior to 911, US Secretary of State Colin Powell announced a $40million aid package to the Taliban with the intention to subsidize farmers whose livelihoods had been destroyed by poppy eradication and drought conditions. The funding of course never reached the farmers, but was used to further strengthen the Islamic Militia+

Now holding the official seat of government (from 1994-2001), the relationship between the Taliban and the USA was never called into question prior to 911, and the arrangement was so cosy that, despite not being recognized internationally, US political and industry senior staffers hosted Taliban delegates in an all-expenses-paid meeting in Texas (the Bush family’s state of abode) to discuss a major engineering project+

The Taliban were entirely accepted by the United States that they occupied offices in Queens, New York between 1996 & 2001. Mysteriously, in the months leading up to the 911 attacks, the Taliban were requested to close their New York premises, with State Department Spokesperson Richard Boucher citing ‘United Nations sanctions’. It was quite odd that the UN envoy, when approached by the New York Times, had no such knowledge of the eviction.

These shifting agendas of the US Government are nonsensical. Some closing considerations:

  1. The USA have in effect created an Islamic Militia in Afghanistan since 1980, which was supported for 21 years by American taxpayer dollars.
  2. The USA have allowed Islamic Militants to operate a premises for the five years in New York leading up to 911.
  3. The USA have negotiated with Islamic Militants to fight the War on Drugs
  4. The USA have negotiated with Islamic Militants for significant engineering projects in the region.

Ultimately, the Taliban are a creation of the United States of America.

Note: The themes of both the war on drugs in relation to Afghanistan and the engineering project will be discussed in further detail over the coming weeks