The Naivety of Fighting for Peace in Afghanistan

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The Pre-planned Aggression

Most of us believe that the war on Afghanistan was not only a tremendous success, but also perfectly legitimate. Victory was achieved quickly. The Taliban government was overthrown and Al-Qaeda a non-entity before 9/11 was dispersed. “Radical Islamists” in neighboring Pakistan accepted it as a defeat and seemed demoralized. After the fact, some scoffed at the backwardness and weakness of the Taliban. Above all everyone has now accepted that the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan is the result of the 9/11 attacks in New York and the Taliban’s “harboring terrorists.”

The events of 9/11 generated worldwide sympathy for the United States Almost all heads of state sent condolences and pledged assistance in hunting down the alleged perpetrators. The Bush administration, sensing the excellent opportunity, seemed happy to feign consulting widely for extra support for the pre-planned war on Afghanistan. Without any real investigations and confirmation of the instant allegation, the U.N. Security Council unanimously passed a resolution requiring all member countries to pursue “terrorists” and the financial systems supporting them. NATO invoked Article 5 of its Charter, declaring 9/11 as an attack on all nineteen NATO states. The Organization of American States followed suit. Few if any states were to reject requests for assistance from the United States over the following months. We will assess the legal value of these developments in chapter 6 of this book. Suffice it to mention here that 9/11 generated enormous sympathy for the United States.

As a result, the Bush administration immediately identified Osama bin Laden and the least known organization by the name of Al-Qaeda as the culprits.[1] Interestingly, Three days before President Bush’s inauguration, Colin Powell at his confirmation hearing discussed for the first time his priorities as the nation’s new secretary of state. He spoke on 20 topics–”from China and the Balkans to U.N. sanctions and Iraq. He never mentioned the Al-Qaeda “terrorist group.”[2] Similarly, Tony Karon’s exclusive report in Time magazine, Bin Laden Rides Again: Myth vs. Reality, was published just two months before 9/11, but despite detailing the hype surrounding Osama bin Laden, the report made no mention of an Al-Qaeda “terrorist network.”[3]

In the heat of 9/11, the Taliban were also declared guilty by association. Bush said, he wanted Osama “dead or alive,”[4] and though many found this primitive, very few could understand the desire for vengeance. It is interesting that until 9/11, Bush was very much a lame duck president, the butt of jokes, and under attack for the way his election depended on fraud (later proven) in Florida. By starting a war, he united his country behind him. The events of 9/11 not only saved his presidency but also helped in his re-election.
On September 15, 2001, Bush gave the Taliban an ultimatum: hand over Osama and close his camps, or face the consequences. Afghanistan’s Grand Islamic Council did recommend that head of state Mullah Mohammad Omar persuade Osama to leave, and United States and British politicians, as well as the opposition Northern Alliance within Afghanistan, repeatedly said that there are signs of splits within the Taliban.[5]

On September 18, 2001, the Foreign Minister said it might extradite Osama if the United States provided “solid and convincing” evidence of his involvement in terrorism. Having no evidence, not even a shred of it, Bush told Congress, “There will be no negotiations or discussions. . . there’s no need to discuss innocence or guilt . . . we know he’s guilty.”[6]

The Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, and other leaders, kept repeating the request for evidence. Discussions were proceeding between Pakistani diplomats and clerics and the Taliban. Musharraf also declared that the “Taliban’s days are numbered.” The Taliban in the meanwhile agreed to handover Osama to an Islamic court in Peshawar, Pakistan. In late September and early October 2001, leaders of Pakistan’s two religious parties negotiated Osama’s extradition to Pakistan to stand trial for 9/11. However, a US official said, significantly, that “casting our objectives too narrowly” risked “a premature collapse of the international effort [to overthrow the Taliban] if by some lucky chance Mr Bin Laden was captured”.[7] The US chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, General Myers, went so far as to say that “the goal has never been to get Bin Laden.”[8] Pakistan’s General Musharraf also vetoed the deal under United States pressure.[9] The United States said its demands were “clear and non¬negotiable.”

On October 9, 2001, the New York Times reported that a faction of the Taliban leadership had met secretly with Pakistani officials the day before and said they would try to negotiate the handover of bin Laden if the US stopped bombing for two or three days. The Times reported, however, that Pakistani and US officials were doubtful the overture would resolve the crisis because Bush “has said repeatedly that he will not negotiate, or even discuss, terms for the handover of Mr. bin Laden.”

The whistle blowing FBI agent Robert Wright told ABC News that FBI headquarters wanted no arrests.[10] In November 2001, the US Air Force complained it had had Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders in its sights as many as 10 times over the previous six weeks, but had been unable to attack because they did not receive permission quickly enough.[11] This evidence comes from sources already in the public domain and clearly proves that it is incompatible with what the United States government has said from day one of the attacks. In fact, the war was already planned. The stage was set. Osama was the perfect ruse for invading Afghanistan.

This intransigence was the hallmark of the United States policy of not listening to or accepting any proposal that might become an alternative to the war of aggression. Logically, the primary concern of the United States should have been to find out the real culprits, not closing the doors on solutions other than going on a pre-determined killing spree for invasion and occupation. The United States should have also provided evidence, as it promised,[12] and done more negotiating.

Facing more parliamentary criticism in Britain, British Prime Minister Tony Blair produced a dossier of evidence on October 4, 2001, which contained more pretext than proof. The United States could have provided evidence only if the administration had it. Secretary of State Colin Powell favored providing evidence, arguing it would win more allies. CIA Director Tenet added that it might help to split the Taliban. But Defense Secretary Rumsfeld strenuously opposed producing a dossier, saying it would set a dangerous precedent for future military interventions when the evidence might not be so extensive. Rumsfeld knew that the evidence for invading Afghanistan was not extensive either. He also knew that cooking evidence would be a time consuming task, which might become a precedent that might hamper further such illegal actions. His argument won the day, especially after Pakistan became the first Muslim state to accept the official story of 9/11–”it got “aid” instead of evidence.[13]

Whether the Taliban would have accepted evidence is less important than whether the world–”especially the Muslim world–”would be swayed toward or away from the United States case. The statement, “There’s no need to discuss innocence or guilt. . . we know he’s guilty” has left no doubt about the standards of American justice, an impression furthered by United States announcements that “terrorists” would be tried before special military tribunals, not regular law courts. This has been confirmed from the way the United States is running several concentration camps all over the world, particularly Afghanistan, which it claimed to be liberating from the “tyranny” of the Taliban. The consequence was skepticism about American claims. Later events have confirmed that the claims were without basis.

Something does not add up. Negotiations might have continued. The next demand might have been to hand over al-Qaeda leaders to a neutral country. All these things came out in the Taliban proposals. One step might have been the setting up a U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for Terrorism. But, by then, the United States was rejecting every proposal of a peaceful resolution and all extensions of international criminal law. Alternatively, the United States might have appeared reasonable by making public the substantial evidence it claimed to have. Had the Taliban rejected all evidence and compromise, the United States would have won the moral high ground for military action.

Negotiations were not prejudicial to a military response, which despite prior arrangements took 25 days to refine and implement anyway. The United States would have won more general support for its coming war by even appearing to negotiate. Alternatively, if Osama was handed over to a third party (OIC or Pakistan as the Taliban suggested), that would have been good, since the United States had ostensibly no vital interest in the Taliban other than that they stop harboring terrorists. However, the United States spurned all negotiations, which shows the falsehood of the assumption that the United States had no vital interest in the removal of the Taliban. Actually, everything was staged to achieve that very objective, despite beliefs to the contrary.

Gallup polls in 37 countries in late September asked the question: “In your opinion, once the identity of the terrorists is known, should the American government launch a military attack on the country or countries where the terrorists are based, or should the American government seek to extradite the terrorists to stand trial?” Only in the United States, Israel and India (these two countries were already warring on “terrorists”) majorities favored the military option. Around 80 percent of Europeans and 90 percent of South Americans favored extradition and trial, as did 80 percent of Bosnians and 69 percent of Pakistanis–”the only Muslim countries surveyed. This shows the reasonable, rational and logical response as opposed to a response of a predetermined war.

The United States started with such enormous deception for gaining maximum sympathy, that its rejecting to negotiate solution with the Taliban did not seem damaging. Most allies pledged support, as did rivals like Russia and India with their own terrorist agendas to pursue. China and regional powers as varied as the Central Asian states, Saudi Arabia and Turkey all gave assistance without question, usually permitting bases and flying rights in their countries. Some were bribed. Others, such as Pakistan, were threatened with total war.
Numerous lies regarding the Taliban had already poisoned the public mind. There was much ado about a few isolated incidents. However, those who lived under the Taliban, specifically for observing if the Taliban were really committing the alleged crimes, testified that many of the “well attested” claims against the Taliban had no basis in fact. Once the war started, and the extradition and trial alternative was dropped from polls, far more Westerners who supported the war–”and most people everywhere–”deplored its civilian casualties. However, the countries, which sent troops to assist the United States, were almost all Western, and only the Anglo-Saxons–”Americans, British, Canadians and Australians–”did any serious fighting.

The Muslim world was quite aware and concerned about the issues, which Osama was raising. Osama had declared that the United States sided with repressive Muslim regimes, killed Iraqis, stationed U.S. troops on holy Muslim soil, and supported Israel against the Palestinians. All these facts were widely believed, because they were true and based on solid evidence. Even Blair, in a lame attempt to blunt Osama’s message, made Pro-Palestinian statements in preparation of the assault on the Taliban, stating that the “peace talks” in the Middle East must be resumed immediately and establishment of a Palestinian state “is essential for peace.”[14] Blair met with Yasir Arafat on October 15, 2001 and declared, “A viable Palestinian state as part of a negotiated and agreed settlement… The end we desire is a just peace in which the Israelis and Palestinians live side by side, each in their own state, secure and able to prosper and develop.”[15] These proved to be the same lies with which the United States and its allies tried to deceived Palestinians and the rest of Muslims in 1991 with Madrid Conference.

Some Muslims believed the official story of 9/11. However, those, who knew the potential of Osama and his followers and the level of sophistication such attacks required, instantly rejected these allegations. Brimming with confidence after the successful day of 9/11, Bush referred to his pre-planned war as a “crusade,” hardly the way to endear himself to Muslims. The American media also tended to answer the question, “Why do they hate us?” by referring to the nature of Islam and 1.2 billion Muslims, rather than discussing the real issues. The so-called main-stream newspapers, such as the New York Times, started developing a mindset for religious war with one article after another with such titles as “This is a Religious War: September 11 was Only the Beginning,”[16] “Yes, this is About Islam,”[17] “The Core of Islamic Rage,”[18] “Jihad 101,”[19] “The Deep Intellectual Roots of Islamic Terror,”[20] “Faith and the Secular State,”[21] “Kipling Knew What the United States May Learn Now,”[22] “Al-Jazeera: What the Muslim World is Watching,”[23] “The Real Cultural Wars,” “The Revolt of Islam,”[24] “The One True Faith,”[25] “Holy Warriors Escalate an Old War on a New Front,”[26] and “Feverish Protests Against the West Trace to Grievances Ancient and Modern.”[27]

There is compelling evidence, to be presented below, that the 9/11 terrorist attacks could never happen the way the official story is presented to the world. These attacks were extremely sophisticated operations, planned at a very high level for using as an excuse to start an already planned invasion of Afghanistan. The primary objective as discussed in Chapter 3 of this book was to stop the evolution of the Taliban’s success into a global Islamic movement for liberation of the Muslim world from the colonial yoke, which Muslim countries have to bear in many forms.

It took the United States only 25 days to begin the war on Afghanistan, compared to the four and a half months of preparations before it could come to Kuwait’s aid in 1990. Other military adventures also show that it is totally impossible to organize a military operation within the space of only twenty-five days. Yet, this feat was achieved against Afghanistan. The United States attacked that country on October 7, 2001, a mere twenty-five days after 9/11.

There were 25 days of apparent inaction as the Bush administration presented the façade of trying to reach a diplomatic solution to the ostensible problem. Much of the “restraint” was simply to find time to move the remaining troops and materiel into place and to browbeat reluctant countries such as Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan into providing staging areas and over flight rights. In addition, there was real concern about destabilizing many allied governments in the Muslim world. No diplomatic solution was tried; the administration’s line was consistently “no negotiations.”

No sovereign country could accept what the United States demanded from the Afghanistan government after 9/11 particularly when the United States reneged on its public promise to provide any evidence about Osama’s involvement in the 9/11 attacks.[28] In spite of all this, the Taliban were willing to negotiate about handing Osama over to a neutral third party. In fact, a deal had been worked out to have Osama tried in Pakistan by a tribunal that would then decide whether to turn him over to the United States. The United States government did not even want that. Its “diplomacy” was deliberately designed to lead to the war and removal of the Taliban.

On the face of it, this was a war against terrorism. The Northern Alliance, with which the United States allied to oust the Taliban, is a bunch of terrorists, known for torture, killing civilians, and raping women.[29]

The most preposterous suggestion that came to the fore in preparation for the pre-planned invasion of Afghanistan was the United States identification of the culprit behind the 9/11 attacks within hours of the event. While it is reasonable that a list of suspects would immediately come to mind in such circumstance. It is another matter to be so certain of a single individual’s guilt to the extent that a state is prepared to attack another sovereign state and remove its government. Within minutes after the attack, a parade of politicians and “terrorism experts” appeared on every TV channel, all claiming that the attacks were the work of Osama Bin Laden. Within hours FBI agents were raiding homes of one of the alleged hijackers in Florida (see Chapter 5). Within a few days, all “19 hijackers” were “identified” and the news channels plastered these faces over television screens. This is preposterous. If there had been so much advance knowledge, why the United States could not prevent the attacks in the first place? How could the U.S. authorities have been so certain that they were immediately ready to attack another country?

Even General Musharraf claimed that the evidence the US authorities shared with him was good enough to convict someone in a court of law.[30] The truth is that even more than four years down the road, the world has not seen a single shred of the evidence he claimed to have seen.

Within a few days, the United States officials were proclaiming Osama’s guilt as 100 percent certain, using the expression, “his fingerprints are everywhere,”[31] and the United States was already threatening to attack Afghanistan.

The extent of absurdity of the United States claims is evident from the timeline of its establishing the guilt. It is not even enough time to set up a committee to discuss the personnel and logistics of an investigation into such a complex case.

It is evident that United States authorities were not only happy but also fully prepared to use the 9/11 events to start a war against Afghanistan. There is credible information, summarized below, that alleges the United States authorities were already making plans to attack Afghanistan long before 9/11.

According to Jane’s Intelligence Review, India joined USA led plans against Afghanistan in March 2001.[32] Rahul Bedi’s report, India joins anti-Taliban coalition, clearly states: “India is believed to have joined Russia, the USA and Iran in a concerted front against Afghanistan’s Taliban regime.”

Shireen M. Mazari, Director General of the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad, wrote on August 23, 2001 in daily The News:

…the U.S. is gradually building up towards some military action against the Taliban government. Its first such effort, which was primarily a “Get Osama” one, failed miserably–”and the trauma of that cannot be ignored. After all, the only super power of the day could not get Osama from a “ragtag” bunch of Afghans calling themselves the Taliban! Now the U.S. has decided to couch their “Get Osama” policy within a wider garb of a “Get the Taliban” policy. It all began with the imposition of sanctions against the Taliban while the Northern Alliance was heavily armed by France, Russia and India. Alongside the sanctions, the U.S. chose to provide aid to Afghans directly so as to undermine the Taliban government from within. Unfortunately for the U.S., all this has not led to the removal of the Taliban from Kabul![33]

The signs of U.S. plans against the Taliban were evident since a long time. Earlier, on February 7, 2001, the CIA Director George Tenet told Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that Afghanistan is “growing in potential for state fragmentation and failure that we have observed this past year.” Contrary to the realities on the ground, where Northern Alliance was helpless against the Taliban despite assistance from many countries abroad, Tenet told the committee: “The Afghan civil war will continue into the foreseeable future, leaving the country fragmented and unstable. The Taliban remain determined to impose its radical form of Islam on all of Afghanistan, even in the face of resistance from other ethnic groups and the Shia minority…The chaos here is providing an incubator for narcotics traffickers and militant Islamic groups operating in such places as Kashmir, Chechnya, and Central Asia.”[34] There are more quotes about George Tenet’s wish to start a war against the Taliban than one think.

Tenet has had at least two different plans how to support a war against the Taliban for years. One plan was in the form of a National Security Presidential Directive, the other part of an 80-country attack plan, called “worldwide attack matrix.” This is even no big secret. In January 2002, the Washington Post wrote about this plan. It includes “propaganda operations, support for internal police and foreign intelligence services, and lethal covert action against terrorist groups or individuals.”[35]

Through June and July 2001, as the Washington Post described, CIA Director George J. Tenet worked himself “nearly frantic” with concern. “At Langley, Tenet was nearly ready. His proposed assistance to the Northern Alliance rebels ranged from $125 million to $200 million and included money, battlefield intelligence, non-lethal equipment such as body armor and winter clothing.”[36]

Bob Woodward reported in the Washington Post on September 18, 2001 that the CIA’s paramilitary units had been working in Afghanistan for the “past 18 months.” These units worked “with tribes and warlords in southern Afghanistan,” to help “create a significant new network in the region of the Taliban’s greatest strength.”[37] This factor alone is enough to show the length and pre-determination of the United States government to wage a war of aggression on Afghanistan.

It was later revealed by Uzbekistan that Uzbekistan and the United States had been conducting joint covert operations against Afghanistan’s Taliban government “for two to three years”[38] and U.S. troops were told of a major exercise to take place mid-September 2001.[39] Reliable western military sources also say that a U.S. contingency plan to attack was complete by end of summer 2001.[40]

In 1999, the CIA found an abandoned airstrip in Afghanistan, and made plans to use it for taking agents in and out, and similar purposes. It is speculated that this is the same airstrip occupied and used as a base of operations early in the later Afghan war.[41] The same year, a joint project run by the CIA and NSA slipped into Afghanistan and placed listening devices within range of al-Qaeda’s communication system.[42] If air strips were selected for taking captured Osama out of Afghanistan and all of al-Qaeda’s communications were being monitored, getting Osama should have been a piece of cake. The question is: why was Osama never captured or killed and apparently no hints of the 9/11 plot revealed? Interestingly all this happened when CIA’s paramilitary units were fully involved in Afghanistan 18 months before 9/11. The answer is simple: the objective was not capturing Osama. The target was removing the Taliban from power.

CIA Director Tenet later claimed in later 1999 that the CIA established a network of agents throughout Afghanistan and other countries aimed at capturing Osama bin Laden and his deputies.[43] Tenet states that by 9/11, “a map would show that these collection programs and human networks were in place in such numbers to nearly cover Afghanistan. This array meant that, when the military campaign to topple the Taliban and destroy al-Qaeda began [in October 2001], we were able to support it with an enormous body of information and a large stable of assets.”[44] Anyone with an average intelligence can tell that these elaborate plans were never intended to capture Osama, whose whereabouts are still unknown, whereas the real objective of eliminating the Taliban government has been achieved.

By the beginning of 2000, the US had already begun “to quietly build influence” in Central Asia. The US had established significant military-to-military relationships with Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan. Soldiers from those countries had been trained by Americans. The militaries of all three countries had an ongoing relationship with the National Guard of a US state–”Kazakhstan with Arizona, Kyrgyzstan with Montana, Uzbekistan with Louisiana. These countries also participated in NATO’s Partnership for Peace program.[45]

In April 2000, the United States gave permission to greatly expand a military base in the Persian Gulf nation of Qatar, and construction began shortly thereafter. The justification for expanding, Al Adid, a billion-dollar base, was preparedness for renewed action against Iraq.[46] This new headquarters was built of several modular buildings that allow General Franks to basically do anything in Qatar that he does in Tampa.[47] Dozens of other US military bases had sprung up in the region in the 1990s.[48] Such facilities in Qatar later form the regional headquarters for the US attack on Afghanistan. Bush himself acknowledged importance of Qatar facility in these words: “In Afghanistan, forces directed from here from Qatar, and headquartered in Tampa, you delivered decisive blows against the Taliban and against al Qaeda.”[49]

The Washington Post reported on December 19, 2000 that the United States had “quietly begun to align itself with those in the Russian government calling for military action against Afghanistan… Until it backed off under local pressure, it went so far as to explore whether a Central Asian country would permit the use of its territory for such a purpose.” According to the Washington Post:

Second, Assistant Secretary of State Karl Inderfurth met recently with Russia’s friends in the government of India to discuss what kind of government should replace the Taliban. Thus, while claiming to oppose a military solution to the Afghan problem, the United States is now talking about the overthrow of a regime that controls nearly the entire country, in the hope it can be replaced with a hypothetical government that does not exist even on paper.[50]

Jane’s Intelligence Review reported on March 15, 2001 that the United States was working with India, Iran and Russia “in a concerted front against Afghanistan’s Taliban regime.” India was supplying the Northern Alliance with military equipment, advisers and helicopter technicians and both India and Russia were using bases in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan for their operations.[51]

Agence France-Presse reported that General William Kernan, commander in chief of the Joint Forces Command, mentioned “the details of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan which fought the Taliban and al-Qaeda after the September 11 attacks.” The scenario of dislodging the Taliban was “examined by Central Command in May 2001.”[52]

US General Tommy Franks, later to head the US occupation of Afghanistan, was visiting the capital of Tajikistan by May 16, 2001. He said the Bush administration considered Tajikistan “a strategically significant country” and offered military aid. This followed a visit by a Department of Defense official earlier in 2001 and a September 2000 regional visit by Franks. The Guardian later asserted that by this time, “US Rangers were also training special troops in Kyrgyzstan.[53]

News Insight magazine from India reported on June 28, 2001 that the Indian Government supported the planned United States military incursion into Afghanistan. The article, titled ” India in anti-Taliban military plan: India and Iran will “facilitate” the planned U.S.-Russia hostilities against the Taliban,” reported that India and Iran will “facilitate” American and Russian plans for “limited military action” against the Taliban if the contemplated tough new economic sanctions don’t bend Afghanistan’s fundamentalist regime.[54] The report also included a graphic presentation of the expected military movements during the planned operation. Earlier in the month, Russian President Putin told a meeting of the Confederation of Independent States that military action against the Taliban may happen, possibly with Russian involvement using bases and forces from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan as well.[55]

Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani diplomat, said that senior U.S. officials told him in mid-July 2001, that they planned to attack Afghanistan by mid-October at the latest, before the winter snow set in.[56] On July 21, 2001, three American officials, Tom Simons (former US Ambassador to Pakistan), Karl Inderfurth (former Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs) and Lee Coldren (former State Department expert on South Asia) met with Pakistani and Russian intelligence officers in a Berlin hotel.[57] It was the third of a series of back-channel conferences called “brainstorming on Afghanistan.” Taliban representatives sat in on previous meetings, but boycotted the third meeting due to worsening tensions. However, the Pakistani ISI relays information from the meeting to the Taliban.[58] At the meeting, former US State Department official Lee Coldren passes on a message from Bush officials. He later says, “I think there was some discussion of the fact that the United States was so disgusted with the Taliban that they might be considering some military action.”[59]

Naik also says “it was doubtful that Washington would drop its plan even if bin Laden were to be surrendered immediately by the Taliban.”[60] One specific ultimatum conveyed through this meeting to the Taliban was to choose between “carpets of bombs” or “carpets of gold.”[61] Niaz Naik says Tom Simons made the “carpets” statement. Simons claims: “It’s possible that a mischievous American participant, after several drinks, may have thought it smart to evoke gold carpets and carpet bombs. Even Americans can’t resist the temptation to be mischievous.” Naik and the American participants deny that the pipeline was an issue at the meeting.[62] This also negates the theory that the United States dislodged the Taliban only to have facilitate gas pipelines and have access to petroleum resources.

During the summer of 2001, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld’s office “sponsored a study of ancient empires–”Macedonia, Rome, the Mongols–”to figure out how they maintained dominance.”[63] By September 9, 2001, a former National Security Presidential Directive describing a “game plan to remove al-Qaeda from the face of the Earth” was placed on Bush’s desk for his signature. The plan dealt with all aspects of a war against al-Qaeda, ranging from diplomatic initiatives to military operations in Afghanistan. According to NBC News reporter Jim Miklaszewski, the “directive outlines essentially the same war plan … put into action after the Sept. 11 attacks. The administration most likely was able to respond so quickly to the attacks because it simply had to pull the plans ‘off the shelf.'”[64]

So the plan to wage a war of aggression was ready before 9/11. However, it was not possible to carry it out. Sandy Berger, Clinton’s National Security Advisor, stated, “You show me one reporter, one commentator, one member of Congress who thought we should invade Afghanistan before September 11 and I’ll buy you dinner in the best restaurant in New York City.”[65] In July 2002, British Prime Minister Tony Blair will state: “To be truthful about it, there was no way we could have got the public consent to have suddenly launched a campaign on Afghanistan but for what happened on September 11.”[66] This confirms the need for a repeat Pearl Harbor to get public support for the administrations plan to invade and conquer Afghanistan.

These revelations are no less than the Downing Street memos regarding Iraq. While the American media kept the people distracted with “All Condit All the Time” during the summer of 2001, the United States Government was informing other governments that it would be at war in Afghanistan, no later than October! How lucky for the United States government that just when it was planning to invade another country, for the express purpose of removing that government, a convenient “terrorist” attack occurred to anger Americans into support for the invasion.

Muslims are not alone in assuming that the United States agencies commit terrorist acts for achieving pre-determined objectives. Many Western, particularly American, analysts conclude that it is the CIA behind global terrorism and even so-called “insurgency” in the occupied countries and incidents such as Anthrax mailing in the United States.[67] Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski predicted long ago that for the US to maintain its global primacy, it must prevent any possible adversary from controlling Eurasia. He notes that, “The attitude of the American public toward the external projection of American power has been much more ambivalent. The public supported America’s engagement in World War II largely because of the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.” Furthermore, because of popular resistance to US military expansionism, his ambitious Central Asian strategy could not be implemented “except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat.”[68]

Following the trauma of 9/11, the U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld predicted that there would be more terrorist attacks against the American people and civilization at large. How could Rumsfeld have been so sure of that, unless his orders instigated 9/11 attacks, or he was fully aware of the “terrorist’s” future plans? According to Los Angeles Times military analyst William Arkin, on October 27, 2002, Rumsfeld set out to create a secret army, “a super-Intelligence Support Activity” network that would “bring together CIA and military covert action, information warfare, intelligence, and cover and deception,” to stir the pot of spiraling global violence.[69]

It cannot be merely a coincidence that the United States was fully prepared to attack Afghanistan and at the same time, some wild terrorists had the audacity and full support to carry out such a complicated operation to invoke American wrath.

Apparently, revenge was the motive for the war, but the planning and real motives were far deeper. Although many Americans felt an emotional desire for revenge, the following three principal reasons for war cannot be described in these terms.

The first reason was decimating the Taliban for their dream of establishing what they called a pure Islamic Emirate. A later part of this book describes this aspect in detail.

The second reason was that of imperial credibility. The United States is an empire of a different kind from the Roman or the British, but still one that holds sway over much of the world through a combination of economic and military domination. In order to remain in power, an empire must show no weakness; it must crush any threat to its control. Osama was not a threat. He could not invade and occupy the United States or seriously challenge the American Empire. The threat was the ideology of Islam, which the Taliban were locally promoting. Osama became one of the ruses used for dislodging the Taliban. The last half of the Vietnam War, after the United States government realized there would be no political victory, was fought for credibility to show other countries the price of defiance. Here the case was different after the demise of the Soviet Union. The Taliban had removed the warlords and brought peace and stability to the country. An increasing number of Muslims looked at the Taliban as the pioneers of an emerging model of a truly Islamic society and way of governance. Nothing on their part was perfect by any standard. Nevertheless, the corporate terrorists joined the fry because they were interested in, the interests of many in the United States. American media in particular exaggerated the need to eliminate the Taliban after implicating them for such a devastating staged attack in the center of imperial power.

The third reason was actually the expected bonus or booty of the crusade. It is the leverage over the oil and natural gas of Central Asia. Afghanistan is the one country that the United States could control where a pipeline can run from those reserves to the Indian Ocean, for the rapidly growing Asian market. The war would provide an opportunity for that, as well as a chance to set up military bases in the former Soviet republics of the region to ward off the emergence of an Islamic alternative to the status quo.

Several American leaders have stated that the United States Government had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack and was genuinely surprised by it.[70] Bush said, “Americans have known surprise attacks–”but never before on thousands of civilians. All of this was brought upon us in a single day–”and night fell on a different world, a world where freedom itself is under attack.”[71] However, they considered this to be an opportunity to get rid of the Taliban rather than brining the individual culprits to justice. Those who are a little skeptical believe that the United States Government did not have anything to do with organizing the attacks but knew in advance that they were coming and deliberately allowed them to happen, for propaganda reasons.

Those who deeply analyze the facts believe that the Bush administration was actively involved in 9/11 as part of an integrated plan, which involved the coming war in Afghanistan. If we accept that the Bush administration pre-planned the attack on Afghanistan, then this is the only plausible explanation. We will come back to analyze 9/11 in chapter 5. Here it is necessary to begin the first chapter with examining the motivational forces behind those who planned a war on Afghanistan before 9/11 to understand that 9/11 was part of the whole setup, not an isolated incident.

Leading authors and researchers in the United States, who have clearly established that 9/11 was an inside job, need to move ahead and put the rest of the pieces of the puzzle together. They need to find the architects of the war on Afghanistan (chapter 2) and the real challenge that they have undertaken (chapter 3). They also need to find out how the United States sponsored "Jihad" in Afghanistan has turned into the final crusade in Afghanistan (chapter 5).

The last three chapters of the book look into the legitimacy of the United States war and occupation of Afghanistan and confirmation of the real motives behind the war on that country.

Note:

For the references in this write up, please refer to the author’s latest book: Afghanistan: The Genesis of the Final Crusade .

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