Afghanistan: Legitimacy of the US occupation :: Part One ::

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Keeping the facts straight about US occupation of Afghanistan should be the top most priority of researchers and analysts. The reason is simple: For the first time in modern history, occupation of a sovereign state has been globally accepted as fully legitimate. In addition, the tyrants have been given a free hand to terrorize, kill, capture, and abuse all those in the name of the Taliban who stand against the occupation.

The global silence and assumed legitimacy of the US occupation of Afghanistan is tied and directly proportional to the Taliban’s presumed “illegitimacy.” Therefore, the focus of research and analysis should go behind the concocted stories and biased reports generated by the co-opted media and other vested interests during the Taliban era.

The US policies and media campaigns during this period has turned the world against living by Islam, pitted Muslims against each other and divided Pakhtoon on both sides of the defunct Durand Line to an extent that history has never seen.

This minds infected with years of media campaign now consider the US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan as a benevolent exercise towards a prosperous future. Whereas those who are aware of the ground realities, consider it far worse than the Soviet occupation, which was, at least, discussed and reviewed at the UN on weekly basis and there were people who really considered it illegitimate.

Therefore, the truth and facts must come to fore to help the world understand the reality and deconstruct the myths, including that of a legitimate occupation and legitimate terrorism to keep enemies of the occupation out. Ignoring the reality, or avoiding a discussion on it, could doom dreams of a better future for Afghans and others in the region forever to come.

American interests and interventions

The Taliban have been singled out as a primary as well as ultimate reason to justify the ongoing aggression, imposing a puppet regime in Kabul and consolidating another in Islamabad, across the now defunct Durand Line. However, there is little mention to what the US has made of Afghanistan due to its intervention that started long before the Soviet invasion and occupation and culminated with scapegoating the Taliban.

The illegitimacy of the occupation begins with the US interest in the region. The American motives become clearer when one doesn’t lose sight of the reality that it was the US that originally started training and arming some faction in Afghanistan – even “long before the USSR sent in troops.”[1]

Former National Security Adviser under the Carter Administration, Zbigniew Brzezenski, has admitted that an American operation to infiltrate Afghanistan was launched long before Russia sent in its troops on December, 27 1979.
Agence France Press reported that: “Despite formal denials, 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, according to a former top US official.”[2]

Brzezenski stated that “We actually did provide some support to the Mujahideen before the invasion-¦We did not push the Russians into invading, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.” [3]

He also bragged: “That secret operation was an excellent idea. The effect was to draw the Russians into the Afghan trap.”[4] In other words, the US fostered and manipulated unrest amongst various Afghan factions to destabilize Afghan government for bringing the country under US sphere of influence.

This included the recruitment of local leaders to form mercenary rebel groups, who would wage war of freedom against the Soviet-backed government, not Soviet installed like Karzai and Allawi’s regimes. The objective was to institute a new regime under American control.

As a natural reaction, in December 1979, Russia intervened to reinforce its hegemony over Afghanistan, since the Taraki’s party -” the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) -” was, according to Brzezenski’s testimony, being destabilized by a US operation to infiltrate Afghanistan that had commenced at a much earlier date.

The US had, therefore, evidently also wished to bring this strategic region under its own hegemony. Anticipating this attempt by the US to destabilize the pro-Soviet PDPA and install a new pro-American regime in Afghanistan, Soviet Union undertook a full-fledged invasion to keep the country under its own sphere of influence.

Keeping the facts straight is necessary for the simple reason that the evidence exists for the US motives behind its supporting the Taliban through Pakistan. Unlike Karzai and Allawi, who were the former paid servants of the CIA and MI16 respectively, the Taliban knew little about their manipulation by the US. They assumed that it was the same “Islamic” Republic of Pakistan, which had helped them against the Soviet Union that was assisting them in good faith to get rid of the power hungry war lords for bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan.

Even though the United States has denied any links with the Taliban, according to then US Assistant Secretary of State Robin Raphel Afghanistan was a crucible of strategic interest during the Cold War. She, nevertheless, kept denying any US influence or support of factions in Afghanistan until the last days of the Taliban in power. The following account will make clear the validity of such denials.

The role of ISI

Most Afghans blame Pakistan’s ISI for supporting the Taliban. In fact, ISI is nothing but a puppet agency of the successive puppets regimes in the ever-subservient-to-the-US Islamabad. ISI cannot lift a finger without the government of Pakistan’s approval. Similarly, Pakistan cannot move a single millimeter from its position, both in its crucial internal as well as all external matters, without clear signals from Washington.

American and Afghan officials of the puppet regime now claim that ISI has been supporting the Taliban’s struggle against US occupation.[5]

These are simple distractions in the face of the reality that the ISI is not a state within a state as the Indian analysts suggest. ISI is subservient to every government in power and has to follow its decisions. It is beyond imagination that Musharraf’s client-regime would be following one policy and the ISI another.

Trying to dump everything on the ISI’s shoulders without a detailed exposé of the CIA’s link with it in all that it has done before and Washington’s influence over Islamabad is like trying to bust the Gambino crime family in the US without arresting anyone whose name ends with a vowel -” it is simply impossible for the ISI to be on its own.

What else could be clearer in this regard than the fact that in 1990, the CIA began supplying the Mujahideen directly, rather than using Pakistan’s ISI intelligence service as a conduit. According to then chief of ISI’s Afghanistan branch, Mohammad Youssaf, the CIA’s aim was to "play on differences between the various factions and their commanders," in an effort to "curb the power" of the factions and make way for an unknown "Transition Regime."[6]

So, the discussion boils down to the fact that the Taliban, ISI and all those who remained in power in Islamabad during this period, worked no more than mere puppets for Washington -” some knowingly and some unknowingly. The allegations about ISI’s continued support to the Taliban and its mention in the 9/11 Commission Report are clear signs that ISI is also gradually outliving its utility for its masters. It is for sure next on the chopping block along with Pakistan’s nuclear program and Pakistan itself.[7]

Similarly, the moment the US started losing interest in the Taliban with the conclusion that they cannot serve its interest as expected, their “crimes” begin to multiply. The moment the Taliban started exercising their independence and tried to break out of the invisible American yoke, in the American media, they lost their early sainthood and became “thugs.”

The Taliban knew little of the facts revealed later by organizations, such as Amnesty International. In one of its reports, AI confirms that “accounts of the madrasas (religious schools) which the Taliban attended in Pakistan indicate that these [American] links [to indirectly support the Taliban] may have been established at the very inception of the Taliban movement.[8]

In an interview broadcast by the BBC World Service on October 04, 1996, Pakistan’s then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto affirmed that the madrasas had been set up by Britain, the United States, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.[9]

Similarly, former Pakistani Interior Minister, Major General (Retd) Naseerullah Babar, stated that “[The] CIA itself introduced terrorism in the region and is only shedding crocodile’s tears to absolve itself of the responsibility.”[10] Actually what people like Mr. Baber doesn’t realize is that the US had no idea the Taliban leadership would prefer death over selling their conscience.

The indirect support to the Taliban was planned and done during the period when the addicted-to-dollars-and-power Mujahideen leaders turned to become war lords for their self-interest. They had been taught of Jihad as merely a war against enemy, not from the pure Islamic perspective of struggling at different levels with the ultimate objective of establishing the Deen (the way of life of Islam). From an American perspective, however, Jihad was merely a war to end the Soviet Union occupation. That is why the US morbid dread of Jihad intensifies with each new occupation of its own.

Brainwashed with the American interpretation of Jihad, at the end of the day, the Mujahideen had no idea or planning as to how to proceed towards the higher objective, which was not there in the first place. Seeing no prospects of the war lords coming to terms with each other and creating an environment that would give the US a firm hold in the region, Washington had to introduce another force: the Taliban.

The US could hardly imagine that the indirectly trained and supported Taliban would never bend to the US dictates and would never sell themselves to work for achieving American objectives. In the end, the world witnessed that the US could not bend them even under the threats of invasion and occupation.

Reports in the US media during the early victories of the Taliban are a clear evidence of a strong force behind the Taliban. The US News and World Report portrayed the Taliban initial victories in the form of a fairy tale as if the Taliban had just came out from no where and in a few days defeated all the seasoned and resourceful warlords together without any external support.

Those who were close enough to the reconciliation efforts among the war lords have confirmed that in early 1990s, they had come to a solid agreement among themselves in consultation with the UN’s representative Lakhdar Brahimi. It is also a well known fact that after the war lords’ agreement on a peace formula, Lakhdar Brahimi went back to New York with the agreement signed by all the war lords. He, however, returned empty hands after a few months. Unfortunately, exactly during this period, the US had changed its mind and placed all its bets on introduction of a new force: the Taliban.

Arshad Khan, an influential semi-political figure in NWFP, Pakistan, who was very close to the reconciliation process among the war lords has the original copies of the agreement with signatures of approval from former Mujahideen commanders towards the end of their bloody struggle for power.

Those who are cursing the ISI must also curse the sitting regime in Kabul and its supporters because the difference is simply in the direct and indirect sponsorship of the US government. At the time of bringing the Taliban to power, the CIA and the US government was indirectly involved and ISI had to be at the fore-front for its masters.

On the other hand, at the time of brining former CIA agents to power after the Taliban, the CIA and the whole US government had to get directly and openly involved not only in installing but continuously supporting and protecting the new stooges in Kabul.

The other difference is that the Taliban were neither opportunists, nor did they intentionally, knowingly or purposely served the US or for that matter ISI, or Pakistan. The destruction and carnage carried out by the Mujahideen leaders-turned-war-lords was before them and they were acting with good intentions to bring peace to Afghanistan, thinking that a friendly “Islamic” state of Pakistan is supporting them in good faith.

To the contrary, those who are in power today, fully know that the Taliban crimes were blown out of proportion for other hidden motives. It was their opportunism at its peak that led them into serving the CIA before, and it is their benighted opportunism now that leads them into consolidating an illegitimate occupation.[11]

The Taliban’s actual crimes

Taliban’s actual crimes were not the stories of their “oppression” and “repression” that we find in the Western media. That is a norm in Saudi Arabia and Israel, which no one dares invade for a change of government. More importantly, the US excels in the department of racism, human rights abuse, oppression and repression without any accountability to anyone.

The Taliban didn’t rule more oppressively than the Israeli government functioning through death squads in Tulkarm, Hebron and Ramallah. The Taliban, for example, didn’t cut water supply to 218 villages like the Israeli government’s lesser crimes.[12]

The stories of the Taliban’s human rights violations are insignificant, not because two wrongs made one right, but simply because that is not a reason which could justify the US invasion and occupation. More importantly, the Taliban crimes become more insignificant before the importance of Afghanistan in the American eyes, which remained as high as it was prior and during the Soviet occupation.

As far the issues of Osama, the US administration lied and used the same tactics that it used with Saddam Hussain. The Taliban authorities of Afghanistan offered to the United States to settle the Osama bin Laden issue through dialogue in February 2001 in a manner that does not compromise the national honor of both countries.

The Taliban Ambassador in Islamabad Maulvi Zaeef in an exclusive interview with "Pakistan Observer," said: "We want to solve this simmering issue in a way that takes into account the dignity and honor of both Afghanistan and the United States," Zaeef said.

He revealed that Taliban Foreign Minister Maulivi Wakil Ahmad Mutawakil has written a letter to the new U.S. administration regarding this issue. According to Zaeef, "We are still waiting for a response from the United States, which we hope will be positive.”[13]

According to a State Department message, even long before the UN sanctions and 9/11, in 1998, a day after former President Bill Clinton sent cruise missiles against Afghanistan, Mullah Omar telephoned the State Department and offered to talk.[14]

The US deliberate attempts at muddying the waters and looking for a perfect excuse to intervene can be judged from comparison of the CNN report by Henry Schuster, January 30, 2004, with other available information. Schuster’s report says that according to the declassified US reports the US has asked the Taliban at least a three occasions to expel Osama bin Laden.[15] However, when the Taliban and even Osama agreed to that proposal, the US refuse to accept it and insisted on the Taliban’s handing him over to the US.[16]

Mullah Omar’s September 19 speech is an evidence of the Taliban’s dedication to peacefully resolving the Osama issue and the US stubbornness not to listen to any proposal.[17] The reason was simple: the US interest in the region and its plans to occupy Afghanistan, come what may.

Details of the Taliban’s attempt for a negotiated and peaceful settlement and the US rejecting every option and alternative resemble details of how the US government treated every effort on the part of Saddam Hussain to settle the issue without the US invasion and occupation.

This brings us back to the primary motive of the US interest in the region. Contrary to Robin Raphel statements, former Department of Defense official Elie Krakowski, who worked on the Afghan issue in the 1980s, pointed out that Afghanistan remained important even during the days of the Taliban in power because “it was the crossroads between what Halford MacKinder called the world’s Heartland-¦ It owes its importance to its location at the confluence of major routes.”[18]

In a nutshell, two main factors played a crucial role in the unprecedented campaign about the alleged crimes of the Taliban.

a). The First factor was the efforts of the most powerful corporate and oil lobby that wanted to have access and control of natural resources in this part of the world. These efforts remained flip-flop during the last half of the 1990s between courting the Taliban as well as looking for an alternative to the Taliban that could let them have full access and control to whatever this powerful group, and ultimately the US, wanted under its influence.

b). The second factor was the efforts put in by the Islamophobes who were shocked to the core with the Taliban’s declaration of Afghanistan as an Islamic Emirate and their expressing the desire to make it a model Islamic state. This strong lobby of Islamophobes teamed up with former communists, those who had lost power after the fall of Najibullah, atheists and the now self-proclaimed “moderates,” and magnified every “wrong” of the Taliban beyond all proportions to present them as the most horrible crimes human species had never witnessed. They lied and lied upon lies to demonize the Taliban in an attempt to demonize the concept of an Islamic model of governance. Most of these Muslim counterparts of Islamophobes are now sitting in Kabul either as officials of Karzai’s municipality or working on other positions to consolidate American occupation.

The Taliban’s actual crime was their inability to deal with the Zionist and dogmatic media, supporting the corporate terrorists, neo-cons and the “intellectual” Islamophobes. All they could do was producing visiting cards by writers from the New York Times and other influential dailies and tell other visitors how these reporters agreed to reporting the actual situation and real statements from the Taliban leadership, but on return produced reports that defied the ground realities.

For example, Pir Mohammed Roohani, who was the Vice Chancellor of Kabul University, had a file load of letters and appeals which he had sent to all the Western donors for helping them reconstruct girl’s schools. All these requests were turned down because the donors wanted written assurance that all education facilities would be co-education. Roohani would tell reporters that the Taliban are not against women education, but they don’t have funds and other resources to revive all girls’ schools and other education facilities. However, the reporters would go back and report that the Taliban have banned all girls and women from education.

So the biased dogmatic media and the “intellectual” Islamophobes despite working independently, complemented each other’s agenda to a great extent. The following analysis would further clarify this point.

The corporate groups in search of natural resources had adopted a carrot and stick approach for courting the Taliban and even recognizing their government if they budged from their refusal to cooperate unconditionally. But the Islamophobic group gained a considerable momentum of its own to the extent that the corporate group also had to rethink its strategies and conclude, why the Taliban when they could have a better option in the form of a perfect puppet regime under total control from Washington.

Now they have it. The head of the municipality in Kabul, Karzai, cannot even life a day without hundreds of US bodyguards protecting him. When he cannot breathe without the US protection, how can he refuse anything -” repeat anything -” proposed by Washington.

Thus, Raphel’s denial of US interests in the region during the Taliban era stands in contrast to Amnesty International, which reports, “many Afghanistan analysts believe that the United States has had close political links with the Taliban militia. They refer to visits by Taliban representatives to the United States in recent months and several visits by senior US State Department officials to Kandahur including one immediately before the Taliban took over Jalalabad.”[19] Such denials from the high ranking US officials kept the Taliban and the rest of the world in the dark about the real American motives that have now come to fruition.

The AI report refers to a comment by the Guardian: “Senior Taliban leaders attended a conference in Washington in mid-1996 and US diplomats regularly traveled to Taliban headquarters.” The Taliban’s simple-minded crowd could hardly figure out the hidden motives behind such carrots. The Guardian pointed out: “[though such] “visits can be explained [but] the timing raises doubts as does the generally approving line which US officials take towards the Taliban.”[20]

Reports and opinion pieces from the American corporate media from this crucial period are on the record, which show that these are as much devoid of talking about the US involvement at every stage towards ravaging and controlling Afghanistan as much these are filled with details to present the Taliban as the most barbaric creatures of human history.

Since the two phenomenon, resulting from the initiatives of two groups (Islamophobes and oil hungry corporate terrorists), confused many analysts, one has to note the resultant flawed judgments.

See how Vidgen is confusing the corporate driven administration’s propping the Taliban with the Islamophobes campaign of presenting them as terrorists and thugs. He writes: “The corporate media have… remained silent in regard to America’s involvement in the promotion of terrorism. On the issue of right-wing terrorism, little has been reported. On America’s intelligence connection to ‘Islamic’ guerrillas (and their manipulation of Islam), nothing has been said.

Yet, the truth is that amongst those who utilize religious faith to justify war, the majority are closer to Langley, Virginia, than they are to Tehran or Tripoli… In a move to recruit soldiers for the Afghanistan civil war, the CIA and Zia encouraged the region’s Islamic people to think of the conflict in terms of a jihad (holy war).”[21]
In the above passage one can easily note the truth clouded over by the misperceptions the Islamophobes had developed over a period of time.

Many could easily see the corporate terrorists and US administration’s propping and courting the Taliban, but they could hardly note the Islamophobes busy in the media demonizing the same simply because of their unintelligent efforts to establish living by Islam.

William O. Beeman, an anthropologist specializing in the Middle East at Brown University who has conducted extensive research into Central Asia, points out: “It is no secret, especially in the region, that the United States, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have been supporting the fundamentalist Taliban in their war for control of Afghanistan for some time. The US has never openly acknowledged this connection, but it has been confirmed by both intelligence sources and charitable institutions in Pakistan.”[22]

Professor Beeman was good enough to observe that the US-backed Taliban were condemned to death for their implementing Islam, but that is the case in Saudi Arabia as well. He notes that the Taliban had “nothing to do with religion or ethnicity – but only with the economics of oil. To the north of Afghanistan is one of the world’s wealthiest oil fields, on the Eastern Shore of the Caspian Sea in republics formed since the breakup of the Soviet Union.” Caspian oil needs to be transhipped out of the landlocked region through a warm water port, for the desired profits to be accumulated. The “simplest and cheapest” pipeline route is through Iran – but Iran is essentially an ‘enemy’ of the US, due to being overtly independent of the West.

As Beeman noted: “The US government has such antipathy to Iran that it is willing to do anything to prevent this.” The alternative route is one that passes through Afghanistan and Pakistan, which “would require securing the agreement of the powers-that-be in Afghanistan” – the Taliban.

Such an arrangement would also benefit Pakistani elites, “which is why they are willing to defy the Iranians.” Therefore, as far as the US is concerned, the solution is “for the anti-Iranian Taliban to win in Afghanistan and agree to the pipeline through their territory.”[23]

Apart from the oil stakes, Afghanistan remained a strategic region for the US in another related respect. The establishment of a strong client state (whether that be in the form of the then Taliban or the present Karzai municipality) in the country would strengthen US influence in this crucial region, partly by strengthening Pakistan under a strong dictatorship, which is the region’s main American base.

Of course, this also advanced the cause of establishing the required oil and gas pipelines to the Caspian Sea, while bypassing Russia and opening up the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) bordering Russia to the US dominated global market. The arrival of a self-perpetuating puppet regime and the rush to signing pipeline agreements after the fall of the Taliban are undeniable pieces of evidence in this regard.

In December 2002, an year after the occupation, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan signed a framework agreement for a US $ 3.2 billion 1460 km gas pipeline project passing through the three countries.[24]

The three countries had earlier signed a trilateral agreement to develop a natural gas and oil pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan into Pakistan in May the same year, during the first trilateral summit in Islamabad. Look at the speedy progress. Occupation of Afghanistan toward the end of 2001 and pipeline agreements less than half way through the next year: 2002.

To further understand the urgency regarding access to natural resources one has to note that less than a month after 9/11 operation “enduring Freedom” (bombing campaign) started in Afghanistan on October 7.

Just two days later, on October 08, 2001, U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Wendy Chamberlain met with Pakistani oil minister to discuss reviving trans-Afghan pipeline. On December 24, former Unocal consultant/ex-Taliban Hamid Karzai was appointed interim Afghan president. Six days later, former Unocal consultant/National Security Council member Zalmay Khalilzad was named U.S. Special Envoy to Afghanistan and likely future U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan.

Less than forty days into his job, (February 8, 2002) Khalilzad signed intent letter with Turkmenistan President Sapamurat Niyazov for Turkmen-Afghan section of pipeline in Ashkhabat, Turkmenistan. Less than a month after this exchange, Karzai signed intent letter with Pakistan leader General Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad on March 07, 2002.

Within three months, Karzai, Musharraf and Niyazov sign memorandum of understanding on May 31 in Islamabad seeking corporate investment in trans-Afghan pipeline. On June 10, Loya jirga, bypassed King Zahir Shah, who was touted all along during the Taliban period and instead named Karzai as transitional Afghan president for two years.

The events that followed show the motives and focus of the occupation: July 19: Japanese Senior Vice Minister announced Japanese government interest in financing trans-Afghan pipeline. August 9: Russian energy company Gazprom announces one-month agreement to analyze Afghan oil and natural gas reserves. August 12: Asian Development Bank commits $1.5 million for feasibility study, September 20: ADB meets in Manila to discuss trans-Afghan pipeline funding.

This brief timeline of one year after the Taliban shows the main objective of one group that was hell bent on initially courting and then destroying the Taliban when it could not stand the pressure from Islamophobes in media, neo-cons in the policy making circles, and war lords, like Huntington, on academia and other fronts.

Lost in the fact and fiction

The Western world remained lost between the fact and fiction about the Taliban. Strategic interests clearly seem to have motivated what the Guardian referred to as “the generally approving line that US officials take towards the Taliban.” CNN reported that the “United States wants good ties [with the Taliban] but can’t openly seek them while women are being repressed” – hence they can be sought covertly.[25]

This dilemma of wanting to control the Taliban and not being able to proceed is consistent with the already mentioned phenomenon under which Islamophobes hijacked the corporate world’s obsession with controlling natural resources around the world.

The Taliban demonization campaign by Islamophobes was so strong that few could stand neutral or objective. Most observers were lost between the fact and fiction. It is easy to see from the reports of the Taliban period as to which report lies on which side and which one is affected with this serious dilemma of presenting facts but also surrendering to the Islamophobes propaganda.

Reports from the otherwise balanced sources are also clearly oscillating between the world of reality and the world of distorted reality. According to the Intra Press Service (IPS) reports from the Taliban’s period, underscoring “the geopolitical stakes, Afghanistan has appeared prominently in US government and corporate planning about routes for pipelines and roads opening the ex-Soviet republics on Russia’s southern border to world markets.”

This much was the world of reality. Now the reporter fails to avoid jumping on the Islamophobes’ bandwagon and missing fiction with reality. The report concludes that, amid the fighting, “some Western businesses are warming up to the Taliban despite the movement’s institutionalization of terror, massacres, abductions, and impoverishment.” Leili Helms, a spokeswoman for the Taliban in New York, told IPS in 1997 that one US company, Union Oil of California (Unocal), “helped to arrange the visit of the movement’s acting information, industry and mines ministers. The three officials met lower-level State Department officials before departing for France, Helms said. Several US and French firms are interested in developing gas lines through central and southern Afghanistan, where the 23 Taliban-controlled states” just happen to be located, as Helms added, to the “chance” convenience of American and other Western companies.[26]

In contrast, an impartial article appearing in the prestigious German daily Frankfurter Rundschau, in early October 1996, reported that UNOCAL “has been given the go-ahead from the new holders of power in Kabul to build a pipeline from

Turkmenstein via Afghanistan to Pakistan. It would lead from Krasnovodsk on the Caspian Sea to Karachi on the Indian Ocean coast.” The same article noted that UN diplomats in Geneva believe that the war in Afghanistan is the result of a struggle between Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and the United States, “to secure access to the rich oil and natural gas of the Caspian Sea.”[27] Other than UNOCAL, companies that are jubilantly interested in exploiting Caspian oil, apparently at any human expense, include AMOCO, BP, Chevron, EXXON, and Mobile.[28]

It therefore comes as no surprise to see the Wall Street Journal -” the promoter of corporate interests -” reporting that the main interests of American and other Western elites lie in making Afghanistan “a prime transhipment route for the export of Central Asia’s vast oil, gas and other natural resources”. “Like them or not,” the Journal continued without any fear of the Islamophobes’ hot anti-Taliban propaganda, “the Taliban are the players most capable of achieving peace in Afghanistan at this moment in history.”[29]

Joining the chorus of corporate terrorists, the New York Times voiced views of the administration backed by the same corporations: “The Clinton Administration has taken the view that a Taliban victory… would act as a counterweight to Iran… and would offer the possibility of new trade routes that could weaken Russian and Iranian influence in the region.”[30]

Franz Schurmann, Professor Emeritus of History & Sociology at the University of California, commented on the alliance of the administration and corporate front and on the “Washington’s discreet backing of the Taliban.” He highlighted the announcement in May 1996 “by UNOCAL that it was preparing to build a pipeline to transport natural gas from Turkmenistan to Pakistan through Western Afghanistan… UNOCAL’s announcement was premised on an imminent Taliban victory.”[31]

In a similar vein, the International Herald Tribune reported that in the summer of 1998, “the Clinton administration was talking with the Taliban about potential pipeline routes to carry oil and natural gas out of Turkmenistan to the Indian Ocean by crossing Afghanistan and Pakistan”,[32] clarifying why the US would be interested in ensuring that the region is destabilized enough to prevent the population from being able to mobilize domestic resources, or utilize the region’s strategic position, for their own benefit. The former Mujahideen commanders and anti-Taliban Northern Alliance could hardly realize what they are sacrificing for the cash they were receiving from their respective sponsors.

The Taliban’s crime remained their inability to serve American interests the way Saudi or Kuwaiti oppressive Kings and Sheikhs are serving. Otherwise the Taliban government was more broad based than the Kuwaiti regime for which the US spent billions of dollars to restore after Iraqi invasion. The corporate terrorists’ eyes remained fixed on the strategic position of Afghanistan during all this time.

At the same time the outside world remained lost between the world of fact (in which the US government was trying its best to buy off the Taliban and have good control of Afghanistan), and the world of fiction which the Islamophobes created with exaggerated Taliban “crimes.”

Occupation is not for humanitarian reasons

As we discussed the primary motives behind the US intervention in Afghanistan long before the Soviet occupation, here we see how many analysts have confirmed that humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan has not been the reason for the US over-throwing the Taliban and occupation of Afghanistan.

Unlike the stated objective of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the Taliban’s way of governance was not the real objective behind American invasion, nor was capturing Osama a top priority as have been revealed by the CIA officials.[33] After occupying Afghanistan on the pretext of capturing Osama, the logic in favor of not capturing him has turned to arguing: “”You can make the argument that we’re better off with him (at large),” AB Krongard, the Central Intelligence Agency’s recently departed executive director, said. “Because if something happens to Bin Laden, you might find a lot of people vying for his position and demonstrating how macho they are by unleashing a stream of terror.”[34]

Since the objective of controlling Afghanistan has been achieved, several US officials have privately admitted that it may be better to keep Bin Laden pinned down on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan rather than make him a martyr or put him on trial. But Krongard is the most senior figure to acknowledge the official view public that his capture might prove counter-productive.

Before rejecting all Taliban offers for resolving the Osama issues; before starting indiscriminate bombing of Afghanistan and before invading and imposing a puppet regime, the US officials and analysts didn’t think in these terms. Michael Swetnam, a counterterrorism specialist at the Washington-based Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, expressed his views long before Krongard in a similar way: "It’s a tremendous debate. If you kill him you create a martyr, but if you capture him you have to go through a tribunal or a trial."[35]

All this goes hand in hand with the reports that Osama is dead and that Al-Qaeda does not exist at all. It was a “blown out of proportions” front to pay the way for occupation of Afghanistan.[36]

Many analysts strongly believe that Al-Qaeda is not an organization and nobody knew it with this name. Al-Qaeda is a “fictitious organization,” like the fictitious Al-Zarqawee, and other “weapons of mass hysteria” to create an illusion and justification for occupation of Afghanistan and more crimes against humanity.[37]

Rober Sheer of the Los Angeles Times writes: “Is it conceivable that Al Qaeda, as defined by President Bush as the center of a vast and well-organized international terrorist conspiracy, does not exist? To even raise the question amid all the officially inspired hysteria is heretical, especially in the context of the U.S. media’s supine acceptance of administration claims relating to national security.”[38]

Al-Qaeda is now considered as one of the biggest lies of the 21st century.[39] There is no real organization called ‘Al-Qaeda’ other than the “fake videos” about it.[40] There is no evidence Osama used this word. Al-Qaeda does not exist and never has.[41] In many cases, CIA and Mossad have been caught posing as Al-Qaeda. [42] Even BBC reported that Israel in particular has been “faking Al-Qaeda presence.”[43] In short, impartial analysts with no sympathies with the Taliban or Osama have concluded that Al-Qaeda “is a manufactured intelligence front.”[44]

Amid the ever mounting evidence that proves that 9/11 was an inside or Mossad job, it has become clear that Al-Qaeda was just a ruse to invade and occupy Afghanistan. As far the Taliban crimes, they are still touted just the way the continued occupation of Iraq is presented as an operation for freedom and democracy. Although the basic justification was the threat posed by WMD, but everything has now boiled down to the establishment of democracy. Similarly in Afghanistan, all the tall claims of “smoking out” Osama, capturing him “dead or alive” and war on terrorism have reduced only to dislodging the “Taliban thugs.”

All these fig leave together can not cover the real American motives for occupation of Afghanistan. The more the US covers the actual motives, the more illegitimacy of its occupation exposes to the world.

P. Stobdan reported back in 1999: “Afghanistan figures importantly in the context of American energy security politics. Unocal’s project to build oil and gas pipelines from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan for the export of oil and gas to the Indian subcontinent, viewed as the most audacious gambit of the 1990s Central Asian oil rush had generated great euphoria. The US government fully backed the route as a useful option to free the Central Asian states from Russian clutches and prevent them getting close to Iran. The project was also perceived as the quickest and cheapest way to bring out Turkmen gas to the fast growing energy market in South Asia. To help it canvass for the project, Unocol hired the prominent former diplomat and secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, and a former US ambassador to Pakistan, Robert Oakley, as well as an expert on the Caucasus, John Maresca.”[45]

Irrespective of the Islamophobes extensive anti-Taliban propaganda, the president of Unocol speculated to the extent that the cost of the construction would be reduced by half with the success of the Taliban movement and formation of a single government. Worse still, this corporate endeavor backed wholeheartedly by the US involved direct military support of the Taliban: “It was reported by the media that the US oil company had even provided covert material support to help push the militia northward against Rabbani’s forces.” However, as Stobdan also notes, the presence and statements of Osama Bin Laden caused a rift in the blossoming US-Taliban relationship, leading the American corporation UNOCAL to indefinitely suspend work on the pipeline in August 1999. [46]

On the suspension of pinning hopes on the Taliban and hiding behind the façade of humanitarianism, one needs to keep two things in mind:

a). Russia’s strategic interest in not letting the indirectly US backed Taliban government take roots in Afghanistan. Although the Taliban emerged as totally independent of the US influence but Russia’s support to Northern Alliance continued because it was not only aware of the US real motives but also in the later stages, it was convinced of the Taliban’s relation to the Chechen movement for independence.[47]

b). The fear of attacks on the US interests and not humanism that played a significant role in shaping US policy towards the Taliban after mid 1999.

As far the Russia’s interest is concerned, it is the same as the US. Russia was also supported by India for the same reason of natural resources. A writer for the Voices of Indian Revolution writes: “When the govt. is unwilling to grant even a few paisa to the drought affected in India, it is willing to grant a huge amount for Afghanistan’s "rehabilitation". Why? The answer is simple: the entire efforts are to serve Indian Big Business, and particularly Reliance, who will gain the maximum from a friendly govt. in Afghanistan; due to a pipeline that could bring Central Asian Oil & Gas to Reliance’s giant petro-chemical complex on the Gujarat coast at Jamnagar!!!”[48]

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