Historical Amnesia at the New York Times
In an anti-Saudi editorial, the New York Times makes the following assertion: “For years, Saudi Arabian oil money bankrolled the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and provided financial support to Pakistan’s government.”
True enough. But as usual, the New York Times only tells half the story. It was the CIA that hit the Saudis up for around a billion dollars to fund Salafi Muslims (otherwise known as Wahhabis) in Afghanistan. It was the CIA that trained Pakistan’s ISI (Inter-Services-Intelligence) and its Covert Action Division. “The Taliban are not just recruits from ‘madrassas’ (Muslim theological schools) but are on the payroll of the ISI,” Selig Harrison from the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars said at a conference in London in March, 2001, according to a report in the Times of India.
“CIA operations officers helped Pakistani trainers establish schools for the mujahideen in secure communications, guerrilla warfare, urban sabotage and heavy weapons,” writes Phil Gasper . “Between 1982 and 1992, some 35,000 Muslim radicals from 43 Islamic countries in the Middle East, North and East Africa, Central Asia and the Far East would pass their baptism under fire with the Afghan mujahideen. Tens of thousands more foreign Muslim radicals came to study in the hundreds of new madrassas [religious schools] that Zia’s military government began to fund in Pakistan and along the Afghan border. Eventually more than 100,000 Muslim radicals were to have direct contact with Pakistan and Afghanistan and be influenced by the jihad [against the USSR].”
On September 10, 2002, Congressman Jim McDermott , a Democrat from the state of Washington, told an incredulous Tucker Carlson of CNN that the United States “funded the Taliban through the Pakistanis, and all that money—we could have cut off that money and stopped what was going on. We knew what was going on there. All we wanted was a stable, quiet Afghanistan so we could put a pipeline down through there. That’s really what we were up to.”
“The Clinton administration was clearly sympathetic to the Taliban, as they were in line with Washington’s anti-Iran policy and were important for the success of any southern pipeline from Central Asia that would avoid Iran,” writes author Ahmed Rashid. “The US Congress had authorized a covert $20 million budget for the CIA to destabilize Iran, and Tehran had accused Washington of funneling some of these funds to the Taliban—a charge that was always denied by Washington.”
It was all about oil and defeating the United States’ arch nemesis, the Soviet Union. As Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie write in their book, Forbidden Truth: U.S.-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy, Saudi Arabia and the Failed Search for bin Laden, the United States was negotiating with the Taliban right into September of 2001. “What was at issue was an oil pipeline across Afghanistan, and the options we offered them were two: cooperate with us on the pipeline, or war. When negotiations broke down, Osama Bin Laden (a U.S. ally only a decade earlier in the anti-Soviet war, and a major force in Afghanistan) struck first. Once we were at war with the Taliban, they became unspeakably evil; but as long as it seemed that they might be willing to play ball, we had no problem with them,” notes a book review .
“The Taleban have not the least idea about Islam or about the people of Afghanistan and, unfortunately, they were imposed on the Afghan people by the U.S,” Mohammad Hasan Ja’fari , the leader of the Afghan Cultural Assembly of the Islamic Revolution of Afghanistan, told the Tehran Times on July 8, 2001. “If the U.S. stops support of the Taleban, the militia will not be able to survive, even for one day.”
Peter Symonds writes:
The US attitude to the threat of Islamic extremism was just as hypocritical. In the 1980s, the US not only gave support to the Mujaheddin generally, but also, in 1986, specifically approved a Pakistani plan to recruit fighters internationally to demonstrate that the whole Muslim world supported the anti-Soviet war. Under the plan, an estimated 35,000 Islamic militants from the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa and the Philippines were trained and armed to fight in Afghanistan. Prominent among the Arab Afghans, as they were dubbed, was Osama bin Laden, the son of a wealthy Yemeni construction magnate, who had been in Pakistan building roads and depots for the Mujaheddin since 1980. He worked with the CIA in 1986 to build the huge Khost tunnel complex as an arms dump and training facility, then went on to build his own training camp and, in 1989, established Al Qaeda (the Base) for Arab Afghans.
But the New York Times mentions none of this. Bush’s “war on terrorism” demands historical amnesia and the New York Times is all too willing to oblige. In essence, the CIA, the Carter, Reagan, Bush I, and Clinton administrations, with plenty of money from Saudi Arabia (and their importation of Wahhabi fanaticism) and Pakistan’s ISI (in collaboration with the CIA) created and sustained the Islamic Terror Network Bush has declared war against. Bush would have us believe Osama bin Laden and Islamic fanaticism came out of nowhere—or as the New York Times would have it, out of Saudi Arabia—but the facts indicate otherwise: the United States organized, funded, trained, and encouraged the terrorists who we are now told hate our way of life and want to convert us to Islam by the sword.
It is a near perfect replacement for an old enemy, the Soviet Union, one designed to keep going and going like the Energizer Bunny—necessitating a war, as we are told, that will last generations—making a whole lot of money for the likes of Lockheed Martin and other merchants of death and destruction and, as well, keeping alive the Likudite master plan to destroy Islam and the Arab Middle East in the name of Greater Israel.