Afghanistan: Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, Democracy, Protection of Civilians, and Opium…Pretexts for War

Bruce G. Richardson
Dawat Independent Media Center (DIMC)

Tora Bora: For some time, rumors continue to circulate that Osama bin Laden has passed-away due to organ failure during December of 2010. Witnesses have since come forth to report and attest to the fact that they had attended his funeral. Though difficult to corroborate, Osama bin Laden’s medical history suggests a very strong possibility that he has indeed passed on, an event which would render U.S. justification for war, null and void.

Thanks to an obsessive and biased media, who function as the title of a new book suggests, as The Piano Player in the Brothel, and combined with a majority of ill-informed, anti-Islamic Members of Congress; bin Laden has heretofore been cast as a religious zealot and threat to the continued existence of a Christian, democratic world. As the alleged mastermind and architect of the September 11, 2001 attack on America, Osama bin Laden has surfaced as America’s primary justification for war on Afghanistan.

The world has long been aware of bin Laden’s critical, life-threatening kidney disease, disease that requires ongoing, daily organ-dialysis therapy to sustain life. The problems inherent in dialysis are legion: Infection as a result of an unsustainable, bacteria-free treatment environment, are just two of a multitude of problems that may be encountered by attending physicians. The United States Government contends that Osama bin Laden is in hiding in the rugged, mountainous regions of Paktia Province. Yet on examination, the logistical problems inherent in providing such a high degree of medical sophistication and technology required for this treatment in a hostile and mountainous locale, render such statements as self-serving and suspect. If this rendition were indeed factual, where and how would attending medical personnel, transport heavy, fragile equipment into the mountains, create a bacteria-free environment, safe from an armada consisting of an American ground and air posse in hot pursuit, and then have the capability to generate an uninterrupted electrical power source critically necessary for the dialysis equipment to perform properly? The improbability if not impossibility of such a logistical nightmare is mind numbing. When faced with the facts, the U.S. Government’s rendition of events that justifies and led to a war against a people that posed no threat to the country and played absolutely no role in 9/11, defies credibility and logic.

America contends that with a drawdown of American forces al-Qaeda will return in force to Afghanistan to establish a base from which to terrorize the world. Recent intelligence reports indicate that there may be as few as 50 members of al-Qaeda currently in Afghanistan. Combine this with the fact that relations between the Taliban and al-Qaeda have been described as “chilly” at best. Indeed, in his book My Life With the Taliban, Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef who served in a number of government positions to include an appointment as Taliban Ambassador to Pakistan, contends that relations were far from cordial between the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and Osama bin Laden, and that Mullah Omar himself disapproved of the 9/11 attack pledging to not allow any attack on any country to originate from the soil of Afghanistan. Moreover, it is now well known and documented that the Taliban had made numerous concessions and overtures to the Bush Administration regarding handing over bin Laden to American authorities. All were unceremoniously rebuffed.

February 2001: When a Taliban emissary arrived in Washington with gifts for the new Chief Executive, the ensuing talks were less then cordial. At one contentious moment during the conversations a U.S. representative (Christina Rocca) told Taliban emissary Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, “either you accept our carpet of gold or we will bury you under a carpet of bombs.” This threat was precipitated by the fact that the Taliban had decided to favor Bridas of Argentina over an American consortium consisting of UNOCAL, ENRON and Haliburton with the contract to construct the Trans-Afghan-Pipeline (TAP) from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to the Pakistan Port at Gwadar on the Arabian Sea. Dick Cheney, V.P. in the Bush Administration was formerly CEO of Haliburton. (See: Afghanistan, a Search for Truth by Bruce G. Richardson, p.187, 2009).

Longtime master of war and National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski spoke at a RAND Corporation forum on Afghanistan in a Senate caucus room in October 2009.His first statement in response to a question taken from a journalist was that “withdrawal from Afghanistan in the near future in a no-no.” Brzezinski also said: ‘one of the main goals for the war on Afghanistan was to build a north-south gas pipeline to the Indian Ocean.’ (See: War Is A Lie by David Swanson, 2010).

June 2001: Yet, perhaps the most damning piece of information to surface that challenges America’s stated-justification to attack Afghanistan, is that during the summer (June) of 2001, months prior to the 9/11 attack, an internationally-sponsored conference was convened in Berlin to discuss Afghanistan. From those deliberations we have learned that American officials told Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary, Niaz Naik, that “America would attack Afghanistan before the snow flies in October.” This was reported by BBC correspondent George Arney on September 18. (See: The US planned war in Afghanistan long before September 11, by Patrick Martin, WSWS News & Analysis November 20, 2001, Forbidden Truth by Jean-Charles Brissard and Guillaume Dasquie, 2002, Afghanistan, A Search for Truth by Bruce G. Richardson, 2009).

Since America arrayed and unleashed its powerful military against the Taliban, the stated-justification for attack has been predicated on the residency of Osama bin Laden; Afghanistan serving as an operating- base for al-Qaeda; eradicating the opium trade and the transformation of the country from autocratic-medievalism to an (pro-American)all-inclusive, yet Washington appointed democracy.

The War for Energy: For many observers, however U.S. policies assume the posture of mercantilism and contiguous or strategic encirclement of Russia, China and Iran as opposed to oft-stated anti-terror and altruistic motives. It is no secret that the aforementioned countries represent a global challenge to the U.S. in terms of dominating the energy fields. Russia holds the world’s largest quantities of natural gas and vast reserves of oil needed by China. The two powers have converged via a new organization created in 2001 known as the (SCO) Shanghai Cooperation Council which incorporates the largest of the Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The SCO was forged in the wake of newly-emerging American threats, threats that counter Russian and Chinese hegemony. (See: American Raj, Liberation or Domination, Resolving the Conflict between the West and the Muslim World by Eric S. Margolis, 2008).

An auxiliary purpose for the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan is to place its military strike force at the center of the geographical area of the emerging SCO. Afghanistan is regarded by Pentagon planners as a highly strategic platform from which U.S. military power could directly threaten Russia and China, as well as Iran and other oil-rich Middle East fields. Nothing, it seems, has changed geo-politically over more than a century of wars. Afghanistan has historically been the heartland for the British and Russian “Great Game”, the struggle for control of Central Asia during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, the “Game” is the same in name only, a new and powerful competitor has emerged…The United States of America.

Partition: In yet another example of diplomatic, super power-slight-of-hand and international-gerrymandering during the 1988 Peace Accords negotiations, it has been learned that Pakistan and the United States with malice aforethought and working in tandem, attempted to insert language into the text of the Accords that would result in the Durand Line as drawn by British India in 1883, following signing and ratification, thereafter and forever more become a legal, fixed and recognized boundary. This underhanded diplomacy, according to the dictates of Imperial Great Britain, was to delineate respective spheres of influence, those of Afghanistan and those of Great Britain, but actually served to divide the Pashtun tribes on both sides of the frontier with British India and disenfranchised a portion of Baluchistan as well. Reminiscent, of Britain’s dishonest representation, was the Soviet’s secret plan known as “Operation Kaskad”, a plan drafted by Soviet Premier Brezhnev during December of 1981 to dismember the country incorporating nine northern provinces, to include: Kunduz, Samangan, Badakhshan, Baghlan, Takhar, Balkh, Badghis, and Faryab, and thus create a ‘Greater Tajikistan’, to be created as a fiefdom for their loyal asset, Ahmad Shah Massoud, (See: Afghanistan, Ending the Reign of Soviet Terror by Bruce G. Richardson, 1996).

The Soviets would later publish a map designating the seized, incorporated provinces as the “Sixteenth Soviet Republic.” (See: Afghan Mirror, S.K. Hashemeyan Editor). Drawing on the experiences of Britain and the Soviet Union, certain members of the Obama Administration have called for the partition of Afghanistan as a counter-strategy to both the emergence of Pashtun majority rule and continued Taliban Resistance. (See: Afghanistan, Political Frailty and External Interference by Nabi Misdaq, 2006, Afghanistan, a Search for Truth by Bruce G. Richardson, 2009).

In Mirage of the Good War, the Case for Withdrawal from Afghanistan, 2010, p.60, Pakistan Historian Tariq Ali writes:

As ever, geopolitics prevails over Afghan interests in the calculus of the big powers. The basing agreement signed by the U.S. with its appointee in Kabul in May 2005 gives the Pentagon the right to maintain a massive military presence in Afghanistan in perpetuity, potentially including nuclear missiles. That Washington is not seeking permanent bases in this fraught and inhospitable terrain simple for the sake of ‘democratization and good governance’ was made clear by NATO’s Secretary-General Jaap Hoop Scheffer at the Brookings Institute in February 2009: a permanent NATO presence in a country that borders the ex-Soviet republics, China, Iran, and Pakistan was too good to miss.

The War on Drugs: Author, Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and professor emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley, has made a strong case amply supported by documentation that the CIA global drug connection and the resultant wind-fall of profits is yet another of a number of unstated, covert- elements of this illegal war. In American War Machine, Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to Afghanistan, 2010, page 228, author Peter Dale Scott names several of the largest banks in the U.S. that are engaged in laundering billions of dollars in profits from their connection to Afghanistan’s burgeoning drug trade.

Since the start of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Libya, the modus operandi has been shown to be strategic positioning and rabid mercantilism. The U.S. military is posed at the gates of resource-rich Central and South Asia and the Middle East. Wealthy investors are racking-up record profits from a spike in costs associated with daily staples, commodities such as wheat, maize and oil, and the endless refurbishing of the war machine. And as we attack Libya, ostensibly to protect civilians from autocratic force and rule, we in turn, have caused the deaths of millions while in support of dictators around the globe or as a result of our obsession with endless militarism. Both the Bush and Obama Administrations have ignored international treaties, conventions and covenants to which the U.S. is signatory. Constitutional Law has been abrogated as well as war requires congressional approval.

The cost in human terms of America’s drive to re-draw the planet; i.e. wars of aggression, massive and indiscriminate loss of civilian life, torture, atrocity, endless incarceration without benefit of trial, organizing and abetting coup de tat, support for internal enemies of a sovereign state, civil rights violations, property rights violations, externally-appointed/puppet governments, artificial commodities price inflation and manipulation inducing starvation, resource exploitation, occupation usurping independence, are unconscionable, inhumane, immoral, extra-legal, and therefore not negotiable.

The days of bringing cases for adjudication before the International Court and or the United Nations, sadly and unfortunately for the people in numerous countries, seem to be lost. NATO and the United Nations as currently oriented and structured, not only exceed their mandate, but function as a public-relations foil and arbiter for the U.S. as well.




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