The Hidden Face of Terrorism in Pakistan & Afghanistan
Re-education and the Creation of the Taliban
Having encouraged the Soviets to invade Afghanistan, Brzezinski now had a pretext for radicalising and arming a population that would be used at a future date as a “direct external threat” to the United States. Part of the radicalisation process included the brainwashing of children under the guise of education. The Washington Post’s Joe Stephens and David B. Ottaway report (pp. 1-2): In the twilight of the Cold War, the United States spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings, part of covert attempts to spur resistance to the Soviet occupation.
The “Primers”, which were filled with talk of jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, have served since then as the Afghan school system’s core curriculum. Even the Taliban used the American-produced books, though the radical movement scratched out human faces in keeping with its strict fundamentalist code. Stephens and Ottaway identify the governmental and educational organisations involved in development of the textbooks (p. 4): Published in the dominant Afghan languages of Dari and Pashtu, the textbooks were developed in the early 1980s under an AID [Agency for International Development] grant to the University of Nebraska-Omaha and its Center for Afghanistan Studies.
The agency spent $51 million on the university’s education programs in Afghanistan from 1984 to 1994. Under this project, the images and talk of violence were craftily intermingled with legitimate education (p. 4): Children were taught to count with illustrations showing tanks, missiles and land mines, agency officials said. They acknowledged that at the time it also suited US interests to stoke hatred of foreign invaders. An examination of a textbook produced shocking results (p. 5): An aid-worker in the region reviewed an unrevised 100-page book and counted 43 pages containing violent images or passages. The writers of the Washington Post story go on to provide a specific example of the material that is nothing less than appalling (pp. 5-6): One page from the texts of that period shows a resistance fighter with a bandolier and a Kalashnikov slung from his shoulder. The soldier’s head is missing. Above the soldier is a verse from the Koran. Below is a Pashtu tribute to the mujaheddin [sic], who are described as obedient to Allah.
Such men will sacrifice their wealth and life itself to impose Islamic law on the government, the text says. This social engineering project successfully transformed Muslim children into conscienceless killing machines. Many would go on to join al-Qa’ida, the terrorist network headed up by Osama bin Laden.
An heir to a Saudi construction fortune, bin Laden went to Afghanistan in 1979 to fight the Soviets. Bin Laden eventually came to head the Maktab al-Khidamar, also known as the MAK. It was through this front organisation that money, arms and fighters were supplied to the Afghan war. However, according to MSNBC’s Michael Moran, there is more to the story (p. 2): What the CIA bio conveniently fails to specify (in its unclassified form, at least) is that the MAK was nurtured by Pakistan’s state security services, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI, the CIA’s primary conduit for conducting the covert war against Moscow’s occupation. Even after the war, bin Laden was on good terms with the CIA (p. 3): Though he has come to represent all that went wrong with the CIA’s reckless strategy there.
By the end of the Afghan war in 1989, bin Laden was still viewed by the agency as something of a dilettante–a rich Saudi boy gone to war and welcomed home by the Saudi monarchy he so hated as something of a hero. Bin Laden would later receive three necessary provisions from factions of government. These essentials would allow him and al- Qa’ida to conduct one of the worst terrorist attacks ever conceived. These constituents were:
(1) protection courtesy of highly influential, well-placed shepherds in government;
(2) government funding; and
(3) government training.
Without a beat, individuals in positions of authority delivered. Both Democrat and Republican administrations protected bin Laden. Undaunted by Osama’s attack on the USS Cole and bombings of the embassies, this non-partisan aegis consistently insulated the terrorist and his network. President William Jefferson Clinton, a Democrat, shielded bin Laden and company from the hand of justice in Sudan.
Mansoor Ijaz revealed this fact in the December 5, 2001, Los Angeles Times (Ijaz, p. 1): President Clinton and his national security team ignored several opportunities to capture Osama bin Laden and his terrorist associates, including one as late as last year … From 1996 to 1998, I opened unofficial channels between Sudan and the Clinton Administration. I met with officials in both countries, including Clinton, US National Security Advisor Samuel R. “Sandy” Berger and Sudan’s President and intelligence chief. President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir, who wanted terrorism sanctions against Sudan lifted, offered the arrest and extradition of bin Laden and detailed intelligence data about the global networks constructed by Egypt’s Islamic Jihad, Iran’s Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas.
Among those in the networks were the two hijackers who piloted commercial airliners into the World Trade Center. The silence of the Clinton Administration in responding to these offers was deafening. Sudan offered Bill Clinton the ideal opportunity to apprehend bin Laden and prevent future terrorist attacks. Instead, the US pressured Sudan to make bin Laden leave, “despite their [the Sudanese] feeling that he could be monitored better in Sudan than elsewhere” (pp. 1-2). It was off to Afghanistan for bin Laden and his merry, marauding band of cut-throats and murderers (p. 2): Bin Laden left for Afghanistan, taking with him: Ayman Zawahiri, considered by the US to be the chief planner of the September 11 attacks; Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, who traveled frequently to Germany to obtain electronic equipment for al-Qaeda; Wadih El-Hage, bin Laden’s personal secretary and roving emissary, now serving a life sentence in the US for his role in the 1998 US Embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya; and Fazul Abdullah Mohammed and Saif Adel, also accused of carrying out the embassy attacks.
Some of these men are now among the FBI’s 22 most-wanted terrorists. In Afghanistan, the Taliban protected bin Laden and his al- Qa’ida network. There is an odd symmetry revealed through this relationship. Both bin Laden and the Taliban were little more than a creation of the CIA. Selig Harrison, a South Asian expert from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, made this known at a conference in London. The Times of India records Harrison’s revelations (p. 1):
LONDON — The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) worked in tandem with Pakistan to create the “monster” that is today Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban, a leading US expert on South Asia said here. “I warned them that we were creating a monster,” Selig Harrison from the Woodrow Wilson International Centre [sic] for Scholars said at the conference here last week on “Terrorism and Regional Security: Managing the Challenges in Asia”.
To the average American, the Taliban might have been a rogues gallery of maniacs that comprised a fanatical outlaw government and nothing more. However, Harrison makes it clear that the Taliban was a well-coordinated intelligence project (p. 2): The Taliban are not just recruits from “madrassas” (Muslim theological schools) but are on the payroll of the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence, the intelligence wing of the Pakistani government).