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Issue Position: Afghanistan

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Afghanistan: An American Holocaust

"All murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets."
-- Voltaire

"No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible."
-- Voltaire

"To be truthful about it, there was no way we could have got the public consent to have suddenly launched a campaign against Afghanistan but for what happened on September 11."
-- Tony Blair, comments to Commons liason committee, July 17, 2002

BACKGROUND TO U.S. OCCUPATION OF AFGHANISTAN

CIA intervention in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1999 created the Taliban regime and the terrorist network that establishment politicians and corporate media now identify as "al-Qaeda." Al-Qaeda was originally the name of a database of the Islamic Conference the CIA used to recruit mercenary terrorists in Afghanistan.

The history of CIA intervention in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1999 is explained in the books "The Terrorism Trap: September 11 and Beyond" by political analyst Michael Parenti and "Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower" by investigative journalist William Blum.

Historically, Afghanistan was an agrarian feudalist monarchy in which a small elite controlled the vast majority of the wealth, while most of the people lived in dire poverty. In 1973, the monarchy was overthrown and replaced with an autocracy. In 1978, a massive anti-government demonstration was held in front of the presidential palace. The military intervened to support this popular uprising and overthrew the autocracy. Military officers invited the People's Democratic Party (PDP) to form a new government under the leadership of Noor Mohammed Taraki, a poet and novelist.

Taraki's reform government legalized labor unions, established a minimum wage, a progressive income tax, a literacy campaign, and programs to improve public access to health care, housing and public sanitation. The PDP opened up public education to girls and women in a society where women had been greatly oppressed. Taraki cancelled debts owed by farmers and instituted land reforms. The new government also began efforts to stop the cultivation of opium poppy. Before then, Afghanistan had produced more than 70% of the opium used to make heroin.

The PDP government had popular support, but feudal landowners opposed its agricultural reforms. Fundamentalist mullahs opposed its dedication to gender equality and the education of women and children. On July 3, 1979, President Carter (the future Nobel Peace Prize winner) issued an executive order instructing the CIA to provide military aid and training to Islamic fundamentalist terrorists in Afghanistan to overthrow Taraki's moderate socialist government. The CIA, together with the Saudi and Pakistani military, began large-scale intervention to overthrow the government with the assistance of feudal lords, fundamentalist mullahs, and drug traffickers.

The U.S. provided large amounts of military aid to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the head of the Islamic Party, whose "followers first gained attention by throwing acid in the faces of women who refused to wear the veil." According to the Washington Post at the time, "a favorite tactic" of these terrorists was "to torture victims by first cutting off their noses, ears, and genitals, then removing one slice of skin after another," producing "a slow, very painful death."

When President Carter issued his executive order authorizing intervention in Afghanistan, National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski offered his opinion that "this aid was going to induce a Soviet intervention."

Asked in 1998 if he regretted the Carter Administration's aid to the mujahideen in 1979, Brzezinski replied: "Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Soviet Union into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: "We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War." Brzezinski, who was proud of the key role that he played in instigating the Soviet-Afghan War, later became the top foreign policy advisor for Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Brzezinski wrote the book, "The Grand Chessboard," proposing a strategy for American domination of Eurasia, with a focus on seizing control of the world's major remaining oil and natural gas supplies. Members of the Project for A New American Century (including Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz) who later became top officials of George W. Bush's administration proposed using a "new Pearl Harbor" as a public justification for the plans they outlined in "Rebuilding America's Defenses" (September, 2000) to seize control of nations with oil and natural gas supplies, implement a massive military buildup, and develop new weapons technologies including genetically targeted biological weapons which they described as "a politically useful tool." The 9/11 false flag operation became the "new Pearl Harbor" event that they used to implement their agenda.

In September 1979, Hafizulla Amin, a CIA operative within the Taraki government, seized power in an armed coup backed by the CIA. Amin executed Taraki, ended the reforms, and killed, imprisoned or exiled thousands of Taraki's supporters as he began to create a fundamentalist Islamic theocracy. However, within two months, Amin was deposed by supporters of the PDP.

The re-established PDP government asked the Soviets to intervene to help them fight the mujahideen and foreign mercenaries who were being recruited by the CIA. On December 24, 1979, the Soviet Union intervened in Afghanistan at the request of the PDP government. The U.S. government called this an "invasion." The Carter Administration feigned "outrage" at this "invasion." President Carter used this as a pretext for increasing military aid to the CIA's mercenary terrorists in Afghanistan, imposing a grain embargo against the Soviet Union, withdrawing the U.S. Olympic Team from the 1980 Moscow Olympics, and reinstating registration for the draft in the United States.

The People's Democratic Party resumed the implementation of its reform programs. Meanwhile, the CIA-backed mujahideen carried out terrorist attacks on schools and teachers in rural areas. Nevertheless, Afghan women made significant progress in the 1980s. Fifty percent of college students were women and women held seven seats in parliament.

The US and Saudi Arabia spent about $40 billion to fund the war in Afghanistan. Using the "al-Qaeda" database, the CIA recruited, supplied, and trained nearly 100,000 radical Muslims from 40 countries to fight as mercenaries against the PDP government. Osama bin Laden and his cohorts were among these mercenaries.

The Soviets left Afghanistan in February 1989 after a long, bloody war. The PDP government continued fighting against American mercenaries until it fell in 1992. When the mujahideen took over, they fought among themselves. They ravaged Afghanistan, conducted mass executions, closed schools, and raped thousands of women and girls. Amnesty International reported that they used rape as "a method of intimidating vanquished populations and rewarding soldiers." The CIA-backed mujahideen ordered farmers to grow opium poppy. Arundhati Roy reported in The Guardian that "within two years of the CIA's arrival, the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderland had become the biggest producer of heroin in the world, and the single biggest source of the heroin on American streets."

Many of the CIA-trained mujahideen extremists graduated to terrorist careers in Algeria, Chechnya, Kosovo, and Kashmir. Most of the terrorists involved in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center were mujahideen. Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman, the leader of a group of terrorists convicted of a plot to bomb the United Nations in 1995, was a former mujahideen operative who obtained his U.S. visa from a CIA agent.

In 1994, the CIA decided to finance an extremist faction in Afghanistan that wanted to impose strict Islamic fundamentalist law. Within a year, this Taliban faction seized control over most of the country. The atrocities committed by the totalitarian Taliban theocracy have been well publicized by the American media as part of the effort to stir up war fever. What has not been so well publicized is the fact that the US government paid the salary of all Taliban government officials until 1999, and continued to provide economic aid to them until 2001. Occupants of the White House never expressed concern about the plight of women in Afghanistan until October 2001, when it became part of the public justification for the American bombing which killed more than 5,000 Afghan civilians directly and unknown numbers through the indirect impacts of military attacks.

CIA intervention in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1999 destroyed a government dedicated to modernizing one of the world's most backward countries. The war killed more than a million Afghans, with another three million disabled and five million refugees, in total about half of the population. The CIA's intervention trained thousands of Islamic terrorists and produced brutal repression of women by the Taliban. John Ryan, the author of "Afghanistan: A Forgotten Chapter," concluded that if the US had left the Taraki government alone in 1979, "there would have been no army of mujahideen, no Soviet intervention, no war that devastated Afghanistan, no Osama bin Laden, and no Sept. 11 tragedy." The problem with Ryan's conclusion here was that he accepted the official lie that Osama bin Laden and his cohorts were responsible for the 9/11 attacks. The 9/11 attacks were in fact a false flag operation carried out by elements within the U.S. military intelligence establishment with the support of top government officials including Bush and Cheney to create a false pretext for the U.S. invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

The Guardian reported: "In 1998, Dick Cheney, now US vice-president but then chief executive of a major oil services company, remarked: 'I cannot think of a time when we have had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian. But the oil and gas there is worthless until it is moved. The only route which makes both political and economic sense is through Afghanistan.'"

There was a fierce competition between the U.S. supported UNOCAL and Bridas of Argentina to secure an agreement with the Taliban to construct an oil and natural gas pipeline from the rich oil fields in Turmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan, through Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the Indian Ocean. When George W. Bush was installed in the White House, he immediately reopened negotiations with the Taliban to secure a favorable contract for UNOCAL and ensure U.S. control over Central Asian fossil fuels.

Bush Administration and Taliban officials met several times in Washington, Berlin and Islamabad. Each time, the Taliban refused to accept Bush's conditions for a pipeline agreement. The last meeting took place in August, 2001. Central Asian affairs representative Chritina Rocca and other State Department officials expressed disgust and threatened the Taliban ambassador: "Accept our offer of gold or we will bury you under a carpet of bombs."

In June 2001, the government of India publicly announced its support for the United States' planned invasion of Afghanistan. Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, was informed by senior American officials in July that U.S. military action against Afghanistan would begin by the middle of October. President Bush was given detailed plans for a U.S. invasion of Afghanistan on September 9, 2001, two days before 9/11. The Bush Administration started bombing Afghanistan on October 7. The 9/11 false flag operation provided a pretext for this "carpet of bombs." More than 5,000 Afghans were murdered in the U.S. bombing and invasion of their country.

Conveniently, Ahmed Shah Massoud, the Commander of the United Front guerilla movement and leader of the Afghan opposition to the Taliban regime was assassinated on September 9, 2001, two days before 9/11. As Afghanistan's national hero, he would have been the presumed head of state under a post-Taliban government. Two Arab men posing as journalists carried out the assassination. One was killed by his own bomb in the attack; the other was shot to death while trying to escape.

With Massoud out of the way, the U.S. installed Hamid Karzai, a former UNOCAL executive, as the new Afghan head of state, with former UNOCAL aide Zalmay Khlailzad as President Bush's special envoy to the new puppet government. Khalilzad had participated in UNOCAL's talks with the Taliban in 1997 and he had been a special advisor to the State Department during the Reagan Administration, where he was instrumental in arming the mujahideen. On December 27, 2002, Karzai signed a deal for a natural gas pipeline. U.S. military bases were established along the proposed pipeline route.


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