A psychic laid a tarot deck on the table, fanned them out in front of me and told me to pick three.
I said, “What will they tell me?”
She said, “Past, present and future. You can ask a question on each topic and the cards will answer.”
I said, “Alright, fine.” I took three.
Now I don’t recall the cards I picked, can’t recall the pictures. But the first card picked was about the present.
The psychic said, “Go ahead, ask about the present.”
I said, “About myself?
I said, “I wanna know where Ayman al-Zawahiri is.”
Then her stare broke and she asked, “Who is Ayman al-Zawahiri?”
A rather bad psychic to not know this important player in world affairs but whatever. I told her a bit about the Egyptian doctor turned jihadist but as hard as she looked, she said the cards didn’t have that answer. And that was it, didn’t even bother asking about past or future. Session over.
(That is how you handle these frauds, by the way. Don’t play their game about when you’ll find love or money. Asking real questions shows their real cards. If you wanna play make believe and have a little entertainment, fine. But don’t be counseling these clowns for life advice. I digress).
September 11th approaches. I’ve spent a lot of time on it: books, magazine articles, documentaries, blogs. I studied the Terror Timeline and noted every minute and player in the event. I’ll even admit that damn Enya song got to me. Emotionally and intellectually, 9/11 consumed a lot of my time.
September 11, 2001 wasn’t the first time the United States had the Woo of Muslim wrath fall upon it. As early as 1784, American merchant ships were being seized in the Mediterranean through piracy, sanctioned by the Muslim states, the Barbary States, which were located in North-west Africa. In 1785, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams asked Tripoli’s Ambassador on what grounds this was permissible. Jefferson and Adams tell of his reply. They wrote, “The Ambassador answered us, that it was founded on the law of their great Profet: that it was written in the Koran, that all Nations who should not have acknowledged their Authority were sinners: that it was their right & duty to make war upon them whenever they could be found, & to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners; & that every Mussalman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.”
At the time, the United States had no strong navy to assist the merchant vessels; thus, the only alternative, was to pay tribute to the Barbary States for their safe passage.
In 1801, Thomas Jefferson found himself at the helm of the White House wheel and immediately ceased payment of the tribute. Meanwhile, over in the Mediterranean, Tripoli declared war on the United States thus launching the first Barbary War. Jefferson launched the now ready navy and tit for tat, beat them back and we haven’t had to hear from them since.
As is evidence from the events of September 11, 2001 and going onward, the United States continues to be under threat from Muslims who take the Koran at face value. And sadly, the U.S. Government has, on occasion, fanned the flames of Islam extremism.
Forward two-hundred-years into the future.
In 1978, the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) overthrew the government of Muhammed Daud, thus instituting a favorable neighbor to the Soviet Union. Friendly to the Soviet Union, the PDPA relied on its power and required its aid. Many of its members had received military training in the USSR. It should also be noted that this was a secular government with no sympathy for the mainly Muslim population.
The Muslim population stirred rebellion against the PDPA that was not squashed easily. By Christmas Eve, December 24, 1979, the Soviet Union was rolling tanks into Afghanistan to quell the uprising.
What is crucial to this study is that the United States was instigating the rebellion. According to Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor under the Carter Administration, “The United States launched a covert operation to bolster anti-communist guerrillas in Afghanistan at least six months before the 1979 Soviet invasion of the country (emphasis added)….We actually did provide some support to the mujahideen before the invasion.” Continuing on, he said, “We did not push the Russians into invading, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.” And this was done, according to Brzezinski, “…to draw the Russians into the Afghan trap.” It has also been called the Soviet Union’s Vietnam War.
During the nine years the Soviet Union raged war in Afghanistan, the United States, in conjunction with Saudi Arabia, funnelled money and weapons through Pakistan to fund the mujahideen. The effort was to advance fanatical Muslim fighters who felt they were doing the work of Allah to expel the atheist USSR. The U.S. went so far as to generate textbooks for school children filled with talk of Jihad and guns, bombs, tanks, etc. These same books were being used by the Taliban when they were in power in Afghanistan.
One of the leaders of the mujahideen was Osama Bin Laden. Although Osama denied getting any training, help or assistance from the American CIA (some have alleged he was an agent of said agency) he did indirectly benefit from U.S. involvement as noted above.
By 1988, the USSR had had enough, withdrew the last of their troops in 1989 and two years later, crumbled as a nation. Thus, ended the Soviet Union. I suppose one could say of United States, Saudi and Pakistani policy: Mission Accomplished.
After the Soviet military left Afghanistan, so did the United States covert operation. Or that’s what the official story is. But the CIA remained in contact with it’s creation, the mujahideen. It wanted to retain a stronghold on the territory as Afghanistan remains crucial to Asian geopolitics and natural resources. The mujahideen could be used to counter the influence of what was left of Russia, China or any other nation that threatened U.S. interests. And it appears this relationship was working out nicely until 1990.
On August 2nd, 1990, Iraq invaded its neighbor, Kuwait. Immediately, Saudia Arabia felt threatened that Saddam Hussein’s aggressions might spill over into their country. To the rescue came Osama Bin Laden who proclaimed to king Fahd that what he and his mujahideen fighters had done to the Soviet Union, they could do to Iraq. Instead, Saudi Arabia chose the support of the United States and allowed the U.S. military to station itself on Saudi soil. Osama Bin Laden felt his birth country was betraying Islam by allowing the military of the United States to defend the two holiest sites in Islamic culture: Mecca and Medina. And for speaking publicly about it and denouncing the Saudi Royalty, Bin Laden was banished from Saudi Arabia.
Throughout the 1990s, covert CIA, Saudi and Pakistani support for the mujahideen continued. The asset of stirred up Islamic Fundamentalist would be used again during the Kosovo conflict by offering training and support to the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which was also being trained and supplied by al-Qaeda. The same organizations can be found in the conflicts of the Balkans, Chechnya, Algeria, the Philippines and others. Western powers (not just the United States but England as well) with the aid of Saudi Arabia, instigating and urging on al-Qaeda supported Muslim groups to cause chaos and disorder to communist states or any other state interfering in western interests.
And while all this was going on, al-Qaeda was making plans to attack the United States. From the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center to the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania to the USS Cole in 1999, finally culminating on September 11, 2001 with taking down the World Trade Center, hitting the Pentagon and crashing a fourth airplane into a field in Pennsylvania.
So how is it that an asset of Islamic Fundamentalists that has been, sometimes, side by side with the United States ends up targeting the United States?
Note that during the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, the CIA was funnelling money and training to the mujahideen through Pakistan. It seems to have been more of an indirect support; thus, many/most/all of the mujahideen probably had no idea the CIA was urging them on to drag down the Soviet Union. Same could go for the conflicts in the Balkans, Chechnya, etc where al-Qaeda supported Muslim groups were also being stirred up by western powers. So when Osama Bin Laden said he had no support from the CIA, he was right as far as he knew. The best CIA asset is one that doesn’t know it’s an asset. The dark conclusion is that the use of the Mujahideen by western powers is encouraged and exploited to further western interests but at the risk and acceptance of blowback. (“Blowback” being a term used by the CIA to designate when an asset turns on the sponsor).
Like a police dog turning from running down escaping criminals to attacking the police themselves, this is what happened on 9/11.
What is most disturbing about this is despite 9/11, it appears to still be unofficial policy to work with these guys. As recent as the Libyan Revolution in 2009, western powers backed the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) in the overthrown of Muammar Gaddafi. Many members of the LIFG were veterans of the Afghan war and have links to al-Qaeda. Even though members deny this link, their position is to set up an Islamic State, no different than al-Qaeda.
What does this teach us? First and foremost, it teaches us that religious extremism needs to be eradicated and beaten down, not nurtured, massaged and used. The United States should have acted more like Jefferson against the Barbary Pirates and less like the last forty-years of “unofficial” policy, turning this fanaticism into an asset. We need to wack this with Teddy’s Big Stick and walk away, not look the other way when they bite us from time to time.
Let me state quickly before you think my objective is to launch multiple wars against Islamic or otherwise religious states. I say let the bee hives be. Stop poking sticks into them. If they keep to themselves, then we should too. But if a Barbary Pirate or 9/11 situation comes to our door, then we have every right to fight back. Say “hi” to Davy Jones for me, Osama.
The second conclusion of our study is that we need to stop getting ourselves into what George Washington warned us about in his Farewell Address: That the U.S. Government needs to stick with the Proclamation of Neutrality. He wrote, “The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible.”
Thomas Jefferson ran with this and, in his 1801 inaugural address stated, “…peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.”
Both Washington and Jefferson were in favor of free peoples to come and go and conduct business between other countries; however, the United States Government must remain within the confines of its borders. 9/11 is an awful climax to years worth of U.S. nurturing what eventually became its own enemy. This, in turn, lead to the War on Terror, war in Iraq and Afghanistan and who knows what else into the future. The fact is, until we stop “entangling alliances”, we’re going to get hit again.
This article was based on the numerous books, magazine articles, documentaries and blogs I mentioned near the beginning of this study. If you wish to know more about the subject, I can’t recommend strongly enough (but regret the title is rather awful) the book by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, “The War on Truth”. Secondly, for information regarding Stay Behind Armies that shows western powers have cultivated not only Muslim Fundamentalists but other anti-communist fighters to carry out terrorist actions in and around Europe, see the book by Daniele Ganser, “NATOs Secret Armies”.