by Michel Chossudovsky
September 9, 2010
This article summarizes earlier writings by the
author on 9/11 and the role of Al Qaeda in US foreign policy.
details see Michel Chossudovsky,
America's "War on Terrorism",
Global Research, 2005
"The United States spent millions of dollars
to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent
images and militant Islamic teachings....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..."
(Washington Post, 23 March 2002)
"Advertisements, paid for from CIA funds, were placed in newspapers and
newsletters around the world offering inducements and motivations to
join the [Islamic] Jihad."
(Pervez Hoodbhoy, Peace Research, 1 May
"Bin Laden recruited 4,000 volunteers from his own country and developed
close relations with the most radical mujahideen leaders. He also worked
closely with the CIA, ... Since September 11,  CIA officials have
been claiming they had no direct link to bin Laden."
(Phil Gasper, International Socialist
Review, November-December 2001)
Osama bin Laden, America's bogyman, was
recruited by the CIA in 1979 at the very outset of the US sponsored
jihad. He was 22 years old and was trained in a CIA sponsored
guerilla training camp.
The architects of the covert operation
in support of "Islamic fundamentalism" launched during the Reagan
presidency played a key role in launching the "Global War on
Terrorism" in the wake of 9/11.
President Ronald Reagan met the leaders
of the Islamic Jihad at the White House in 1985
Under the Reagan administration, US
foreign policy evolved towards the unconditional support and
endorsement of the Islamic "freedom fighters". In today's World, the
"freedom fighters" are labeled "Islamic terrorists".
In the Pashtun language, the word
"Taliban" means "Students", or graduates of the madrasahs (places of
learning or coranic schools) set up by the Wahhabi missions from
Saudi Arabia, with the support of the CIA.
Education in Afghanistan in the years
preceding the Soviet-Afghan war was largely secular. The US covert
education destroyed secular education. The number of CIA sponsored
religious schools (madrasahs) increased from 2,500 in 1980 to over
The Soviet-Afghan war was part of a CIA covert
agenda initiated during the Carter administration, which consisted in
actively supporting and financing the Islamic brigades, later known as Al
The Pakistani military regime played from the outset in the late 1970s, a
key role in the US sponsored military and intelligence operations in
Afghanistan. In the post-Cold war era, this central role of Pakistan in US
intelligence operations was extended to the broader Central Asia- Middle
From the outset of the Soviet Afghan war in
1979, Pakistan under military rule actively supported the Islamic brigades.
In close liaison with the CIA, Pakistan's military intelligence, the
Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), became a powerful organization, a
parallel government, wielding tremendous power and influence.
America's covert war in Afghanistan, using Pakistan as a launch pad, was
initiated during the Carter administration prior to the Soviet "invasion":
"According to the official version of
history, CIA aid to the Mujahideen began during 1980, that is to say,
after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality,
secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise Indeed, it was July
3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid
to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul.
And that very day, I wrote a note to the
president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was
going to induce a Soviet military intervention."
National Security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, Interview with Le Nouvel
Observateur, 15-21 January 1998)
In the published memoirs of Defense Secretary
Robert Gates, who held the position of deputy CIA Director at the height of
the Soviet Afghan war, US intelligence was directly involved from the
outset, prior to the Soviet invasion, in channeling aid to the Islamic
With CIA backing and the funneling of massive
amounts of U.S. military aid, the Pakistani ISI had developed into a,
"parallel structure wielding enormous power
over all aspects of government".
(Dipankar Banerjee, "Possible Connection
of ISI With Drug Industry", India Abroad, 2 December 1994).
The ISI had a staff composed of military and
intelligence officers, bureaucrats, undercover agents and informers,
estimated at 150,000. (Ibid)
Meanwhile, CIA operations had also reinforced the Pakistani military regime
led by General Zia Ul Haq:
"Relations between the CIA and the ISI had
grown increasingly warm following [General] Zia’s ouster of Bhutto and
the advent of the military regime… During most of the Afghan war,
Pakistan was more aggressively anti-Soviet than even the United States.
Soon after the Soviet military invaded Afghanistan in 1980, Zia [ul Haq]
sent his ISI chief to destabilize the Soviet Central Asian states. The
CIA only agreed to this plan in October 1984."
The ISI operating virtually as an affiliate of
the CIA, played a central role in channeling support to Islamic paramilitary
groups in Afghanistan and subsequently in the Muslim republics of the former
Acting on behalf of the CIA, the ISI was also involved in the recruitment
and training of the Mujahideen. In the ten year period from 1982 to 1992,
some 35,000 Muslims from 43 Islamic countries were recruited to fight in the
Afghan jihad. The madrassas in Pakistan, financed by Saudi charities, were
also set up with US support with a view to "inculcating Islamic values".
"The camps became virtual universities for
future Islamic radicalism."
(Ahmed Rashid, The Taliban)
Guerilla training under CIA-ISI auspices
included targeted assassinations and car bomb attacks.
"Weapons' shipments "were sent by the
Pakistani army and the ISI to rebel camps in the North West Frontier
Province near the Afghanistan border. The governor of the province is
Lieutenant General Fazle Haq, who [according to Alfred McCoy] allowed
"hundreds of heroin refineries to set up in his province."
Beginning around 1982, Pakistani army trucks
carrying CIA weapons from Karachi often pick up heroin in Haq’s province
and return loaded with heroin. They are protected from police search by
US Turns Blind Eye to BCCI and Pakistani Government Involvement in
Heroin Trade See also McCoy, 2003, p. 477) .
Front row, from left: Major
Gen. Hamid Gul, director general of Pakistan's
Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), Director of Central
Intelligence Agency (CIA)
Willian Webster; Deputy Director for Operations Clair George; an ISI
colonel; and senior CIA official,
Milt Bearden at a mujahedeen training camp in North-West Frontier Province
of Pakistan in 1987.
Osama Bin Laden
Osama bin Laden, America's bogyman, was recruited by the CIA in 1979 at the
very outset of the US sponsored jihad. He was 22 years old and was trained
in a CIA sponsored guerilla training camp.
During the Reagan administration, Osama, who belonged to the wealthy Saudi
Bin Laden family was put in charge of raising money for the Islamic
brigades. Numerous charities and foundations were created.
The operation was coordinated by Saudi
intelligence, headed by Prince Turki al-Faisal, in close liaison with the
CIA. The money derived from the various charities were used to finance the
recruitment of Mujahieen volunteers. Al Qaeda, the base in Arabic was a data
bank of volunteers who had enlisted to fight in the Afghan jihad.
That data base was initially held by Osama bin
Administration supports "Islamic Fundamentalism"
Pakistan's ISI was used as a "go-between".
CIA covert support to the Mujahideen in
Afghanistan operated indirectly through the Pakistani ISI, - i.e. the CIA
did not channel its support directly to the Mujahideen. In other words, for
these covert operations to be "successful", Washington was careful not to
reveal the ultimate objective of the "jihad", which consisted in destroying
the Soviet Union.
In December 1984, the
Sharia Law (Islamic jurisprudence) was established in
Pakistan following a rigged referendum launched by President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq.
Barely a few months later, in March 1985,
President Ronald Reagan issued National Security Decision Directive 166 (NSDD
166), which authorized "stepped-up covert military aid to the Mujahideen" as
well a support to religious indoctrination.
The imposition of The Sharia in Pakistan and the promotion of "radical
Islam" was a deliberate US policy serving American geopolitical interests in
South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. Many present-day "Islamic
fundamentalist organizations" in the Middle East and Central Asia, were
directly or indirectly the product of US covert support and financing, often
channeled through foundations from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States.
Missions from the Wahhabi sect of conservative
Islam in Saudi Arabia were put in charge of running the CIA sponsored
madrassas in Northern Pakistan.
Under NSDD 166, a series of covert CIA-ISI operations was launched.
The US supplied weapons to the Islamic brigades through the ISI. CIA and ISI
officials would meet at ISI headquarters in Rawalpindi to coordinate US
support to the Mujahideen.
Under NSDD 166, the procurement of US weapons to
the Islamic insurgents increased from 10,000 tons of arms and ammunition in
1983 to 65,000 tons annually by 1987.
"In addition to arms, training, extensive
military equipment including military satellite maps and
state-of-the-art communications equipment"
(University Wire, 7 May 2002).
Ronald Reagan meets Afghan
at the White House in 1985
With William Casey as director of the CIA, NSDD
166 was described as the largest covert operation in US history:
The U.S. supplied support package had three
essential components-organization and logistics, military technology,
and ideological support for sustaining and encouraging the Afghan
U.S. counterinsurgency experts worked closely with the Pakistan's
Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in organizing Mujahideen groups and in
planning operations inside Afghanistan.
...But the most important contribution of the U.S. was to... bring in
men and material from around the Arab world and beyond. The most
hardened and ideologically dedicated men were sought on the logic that
they would be the best fighters.
Advertisements, paid for from CIA
funds, were placed in newspapers and newsletters around the world
offering inducements and motivations to join the Jihad.
(Pervez Hoodbhoy, Afghanistan and the
Genesis of the Global Jihad, Peace Research, 1 May 2005)
Under NSDD 166, US assistance to the Islamic brigades channeled through
Pakistan was not limited to bona fide military aid.
Washington also supported and financed by the
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the process of religious
indoctrination, largely to secure the demise of secular institutions:
... 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
The White House defends the religious content, saying that Islamic
principles permeate Afghan culture and that the books "are fully in
compliance with U.S. law and policy." Legal experts, however, question
whether the books violate a constitutional ban on using tax dollars to
...AID officials said in interviews that they left the Islamic
materials intact because they feared Afghan educators would reject books
lacking a strong dose of Muslim thought.
The agency removed its logo and
any mention of the U.S. government from the religious texts, AID
spokeswoman Kathryn Stratos said.
"It's not AID's policy to support
religious instruction," Stratos said. "But we went ahead with this
project because the primary purpose... is to educate children,
which is predominantly a secular activity."
... Published in the dominant Afghan
languages of Dari and Pashtun, the textbooks were developed in the early
1980s under an AID 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."
(Washington Post, 23 March 2002)
The Role of the
There is continuity. The architects of the covert operation in support of
"Islamic fundamentalism" launched during the Reagan presidency played a key
role in launching the "Global War on Terrorism" in the wake of 9/11.
Several of the NeoCons of the Bush Junior Administration were high ranking
officials during the Reagan presidency.
Richard Armitage, was Deputy Secretary of State during George W. Bush's
first term (2001-2004). He played a central key role in post 9/11
negotiations with Pakistan leading up to the October 2001 invasion of
Afghanistan. During the Reagan era, he held the position of Assistant
Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy.
In this capacity, he
played a key role in the implementation of NSDD 163 while also ensuring
liaison with the Pakistani military and intelligence apparatus.
Richard L. Armitage
Meanwhile, Paul Wolfowitz was at the State
Department in charge of a foreign policy team composed, among others, of
Lewis Libby, Francis Fukuyama and Zalmay Khalilzad.
Wolfowitz's group was also involved in laying the conceptual groundwork of
US covert support to Islamic parties and organizations in Pakistan and
Secretary of Defence Robert Gates, who now
Obama administration, was also involved in setting the groundwork
for CIA covert operations.
He was appointed Deputy Director for
Intelligence by Ronald Reagan in 1982, and Deputy Director of the CIA in
1986, a position which he held until 1989. Gates played a key role in the
formulation of NSDD 163, which established a consistent framework for
promoting Islamic fundamentalism and channeling covert support to the
He was also involved in the
Iran Contra scandal.
The Iran Contra
...among others, were also
involved in the Iran-Contra operation.
Armitage was in close liaison with Colonel Oliver North. His deputy and
chief anti-terrorist official Noel Koch was part of the team set up by
Of significance, the Iran-Contra operation was also tied into the process of
channeling covert support to the Islamic brigades in Afghanistan.
Contra scheme served several related foreign policy:
Procurement of weapons to Iran thereby
feeding the Iraq-Iran war
Support to the Nicaraguan Contras
Support to the Islamic brigades in
Afghanistan, channeled via Pakistan's ISI
Following the delivery of the TOW anti-tank
missiles to Iran, the proceeds of these sales were deposited in numbered
bank accounts and the money was used to finance the Nicaraguan Contras and
"The Washington Post reported that profits
from the Iran arms sales were deposited in one CIA-managed account into
which the U.S. and Saudi Arabia had placed $250 million apiece. That
money was disbursed not only to the contras in Central America but to
the rebels fighting Soviet troops in Afghanistan."
(US News & World Report, 15 December
Although Lieutenant General Colin Powell, was
not directly involved in the arms' transfer negotiations, which had been
entrusted to Oliver North, he was among,
"at least five men within the Pentagon who
knew arms were being transferred to the CIA."
(The Record, 29 December 1986).
In this regard, Powell was directly instrumental
in giving the "green light" to lower-level officials in blatant violation of
According to the New York Times, Colin Powell
took the decision (at the level of military procurement), to allow the
delivery of weapons to Iran:
"Hurriedly, one of the men closest to
Secretary of Defense Weinberger, Maj. Gen. Colin Powell, bypassed the
written ''focal point system'' procedures and ordered the Defense
Logistics Agency [responsible for procurement] to turn over the first of
2,008 TOW missiles to the CIA., which acted as cutout for delivery to
(New York Times, 16 February 1987)
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was also
implicated in the Iran-Contra Affair.
The Golden Crescent
The history of the drug trade in Central Asia is intimately related to the
CIA's covert operations. Prior to the Soviet-Afghan war, opium production in
Afghanistan and Pakistan was directed to small regional markets. There was
no local production of heroin. (Alfred McCoy, Drug Fallout: the CIA's Forty
Year Complicity in the Narcotics Trade. The Progressive, 1 August 1997).
Alfred McCoy's study confirms that within two years of the onslaught of the
CIA operation in Afghanistan, "the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderlands became
the world's top heroin producer." (Ibid) Various Islamic paramilitary groups
and organizations were created.
The proceeds of the Afghan drug trade, which was
protected by the CIA, were used to finance the various insurgencies:
"Under CIA and Pakistani protection,
Pakistan military and Afghan resistance opened heroin labs on the Afghan
and Pakistani border. According to The Washington Post of May 1990,
among the leading heroin manufacturers were Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an
Afghan leader who received about half of the covert arms that the U.S.
shipped to Pakistan.
Although there were complaints about
Hekmatyar's brutality and drug trafficking within the ranks of the
Afghan resistance of the day, the CIA maintained an uncritical alliance
and supported him without reservation or restraint.
Once the heroin left these labs in Pakistan's northwest frontier, the
Sicilian Mafia imported the drugs into the U.S., where they soon
captured sixty percent of the U.S. heroin market. That is to say, sixty
percent of the U.S. heroin supply came indirectly from a CIA operation.
During the decade of this operation, the
1980s, the substantial DEA contingent in Islamabad made no arrests and
participated in no seizures, allowing the syndicates a de facto free
hand to export heroin. By contrast, a lone Norwegian detective,
following a heroin deal from Oslo to Karachi, mounted an investigation
that put a powerful Pakistani banker known as President Zia's surrogate
son behind bars. The DEA in Islamabad got nobody, did nothing, stayed
Former CIA operatives have admitted that this operation led to an
expansion of the Pakistan-Afghanistan heroin trade.
In 1995 the former
CIA Director of this Afghan operation, Mr. Charles Cogan,
admitted sacrificing the drug war to fight the Cold War.
"Our main mission was to do as much
damage to the Soviets. We didn't really have the resources or the
time to devote to an investigation of the drug trade," he told
Australian television. "I don't think that we need to apologize for
this. Every situation has its fallout. There was fallout in terms of
drugs, yes, but the main objective was accomplished. The Soviets
(Alfred McCoy, Testimony before the
Special Seminar focusing on allegations linking CIA secret operations
and drug trafficking-convened February 13, 1997, by Rep. John Conyers,
Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus)
Trade in the Post Cold War Era
The drug trade has continued unabated during the post Cold war years.
Afghanistan became the major supplier of heroin
to Western markets, in fact almost the sole supplier: more than 90 percent
of the heroin sold Worldwide originates in Afghanistan. This lucrative
contraband is tied into Pakistani politics and the militarization of the
It also has a direct bearing on the structure of the
Pakistani economy and its banking and financial institutions, which from the
outset of the Golden Crescent drug trade have been involved in extensive
money laundering operations, which are protected by the Pakistani military
and intelligence apparatus:
According to the US State Department International Narcotics Control
Strategy Report (2006),
“Pakistani criminal networks play a central
role in the transshipment of narcotics and smuggled goods from
Afghanistan to international markets. Pakistan is a major drug-transit
country. The proceeds of narcotics trafficking and funding for terrorist
activities are often laundered by means of the alternative system called
“Repeatedly, a network of private unregulated charities has also emerged
as a significant source of illicit funds for international terrorist
networks,” the report pointed out... "
(quoted in Daily Times, 2 March 2006)
The hawala system and the charities are but the
tip of the iceberg.
According to the State Department report,
"the State Bank of Pakistan has frozen more
twenty years, a meager $10.5 million belonging to 12 entities and
individuals linked to Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda or the Taliban".
What the report fails to mention is that the
bulk of the proceeds of the Afghan drug trade are laundered in bona fide
Western banking institutions.
The Taliban Repress
the Drug Trade
A major and unexpected turnaround in the CIA sponsored drug trade occurred
The Taliban government which came to power in 1996 with Washington's
support, implemented in 2000-2001 a far-reaching opium eradication program
with the support of the United Nations which served to undermine a
multibillion dollar trade. (For further details see, Michel Chossudovsky,
America's War on Terrorism, Global Research, 2005).
In 2001 prior to the US-led invasion, opium production under the Taliban
eradication program declined by more than 90 percent.
In the immediate wake of the US led invasion, the Bush administration
ordered that the opium harvest not be destroyed on the fabricated pretext
that this would undermine the military government of Pervez Musharraf.
"Several sources inside Capitol Hill noted
that the CIA opposes the destruction of the Afghan opium supply because
to do so might destabilize the Pakistani government of Gen. Pervez
Musharraf. According to these sources, Pakistani intelligence had
threatened to overthrow President Musharraf if the crops were destroyed...
'If they [the CIA] are in fact opposing the destruction of the Afghan
opium trade, it'll only serve to perpetuate the belief that the CIA is
an agency devoid of morals; off on their own program rather than that of
our constitutionally elected government'".
(NewsMax.com, 28 March 2002)
Since the US led invasion, opium production has
increased 33 fold from 185 tons in 2001 under the Taliban to 6100 tons in
2006. Cultivated areas have increased 21 fold since the 2001 US-led
invasion. (Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 6 January 2006)
In 2007, Afghanistan supplied approximately 93% of the global supply of
heroin. The proceeds (in terms of retail value) of the Afghanistan drug
trade are estimated (2006) to be in excess of 190 billion dollars a year,
representing a significant fraction of the global trade in narcotics. (Ibid)
The proceeds of this lucrative multibillion dollar contraband are deposited
in Western banks. Almost the totality of the revenues accrue to corporate
interests and criminal syndicates outside Afghanistan.
The laundering of drug money constitutes a multibillion dollar activity,
which continues to be protected by the CIA and the ISI. In the wake of the
2001 US invasion of Afghanistan.
In retrospect, one of the major objectives of the 2001 invasion of
Afghanistan was to restore the drug trade.
The militarization of Pakistan serves powerful political, financial and
criminal interests underlying the drug trade. US foreign policy tends to
support these powerful interests. The CIA continues to protect the Golden
Crescent narcotics trade.
Despite his commitment to eradicating the drug
trade, opium production under the regime of Afghan President Hamid Karzai
The Assassination of
General Zia Ul-Haq
In August 1988, President Zia was killed in an air crash together with US
Ambassador to Pakistan Arnold Raphel and several of Pakistan's top generals.
The circumstances of the air crash remain shrouded in mystery.
Following Zia's death, parliamentary elections were held and Benazir
Bhutto was sworn in as Prime Minister in December 1988. She was
subsequently removed from office by Zia's successor, President Ghulam Ishaq
Khan on the grounds of alleged corruption. In 1993, she was re-elected and
was again removed from office in 1996 on the orders of President Farooq
Continuity has been maintained throughout.
Under the short-lived post-Zia
elected governments of Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto, the central role of
the military-intelligence establishment and its links to Washington were
Both Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif served US foreign policy interests.
While in power, both democratically elected leaders, nonetheless supported
the continuity of military rule.
As prime minister from 1993 to 1996, Benazir Bhutto,
"advocated a conciliatory policy toward Islamists, especially
the Taliban in Afghanistan" which were being supported by Pakistan's ISI.
(See F. William Engdahl, Global Research, January 2008)
Benazir Bhutto's successor as Prime Minister, Mia Muhammad Nawaz Sharif of
the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) was deposed in 1999 in a US supported coup
d'Etat led by General Pervez Musharraf.
The 1999 coup was instigated by General Pervez Musharaf, with the support of
the Chief of General Staff, Lieutenant General Mahmoud Ahmad, who was
subsequently appointed to the key position of head of military intelligence
From the outset of
Bush administration in
2001, General Ahmad developed close ties not only with his US counterpart
CIA director George Tenet, but also with key members of the US government
including Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, not to mention Porter Goss, who at the time was Chairman of the
House Committee on Intelligence.
Ironically, Mahmoud Ahmad is also known,
according to a September 2001 FBI report, for his suspected role in
supporting and financing the alleged 9/11 terrorists as well as his links to
Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
These various "terrorist" organizations were created as a result of CIA
support. They are not the product of religion. The project to establish "a
pan-Islamic Caliphate" is part of a carefully devised intelligence
CIA support to Al Qaeda was not in any way curtailed at the end of the Cold
War. In fact quite the opposite. The earlier pattern of covert support took
on a global thrust and became increasingly sophisticated.
War on Terrorism" is a complex and intricate intelligence
The covert support provided to "Islamic
extremist groups" is part of an imperial agenda. It purports to weaken and
eventually destroy secular and civilian governmental institutions, while
also contributing to vilifying Islam. It is an instrument of colonization
which seeks to undermine sovereign nation-states and transform countries
For the intelligence operation to be successful, however, the various
Islamic organizations created and trained by the CIA must remain unaware of
the role they are performing on the geopolitical chessboard, on behalf of
Over the years, these organizations have indeed acquired a certain degree of
autonomy and independence, in relation to their US-Pakistani sponsors. That
appearance of "independence", however, is crucial; it is an integral part of
the covert intelligence operation.
According to former CIA agent Milton Beardman
the Mujahideen were invariably unaware of the role they were performing on
behalf of Washington.
In the words of bin Laden (quoted by Beardman):
"neither I, nor my brothers saw evidence of
(Weekend Sunday (NPR); Eric Weiner, Ted
Clark; 16 August 1998)
"Motivated by nationalism and religious
fervor, the Islamic warriors were unaware that they were fighting the
Soviet Army on behalf of Uncle Sam. While there were contacts at the
upper levels of the intelligence hierarchy, Islamic rebel leaders in
theatre had no contacts with Washington or the CIA."
America's War on
Terrorism, Chapter 2).
The fabrication of "terrorism" - including
covert support to terrorists - is required to provide legitimacy to the "war
The various fundamentalist and paramilitary groups involved in US sponsored
"terrorist" activities are "intelligence assets". In the wake of 9/11, their
designated function as "intelligence assets" is to perform their role as
credible "enemies of America".
Under the Bush administration, the CIA continued to support (via Pakistan's
ISI) several Pakistani based Islamic groups.
The ISI is known to support,
The Islamic groups created by the CIA are also intended to rally public
support in Muslim countries.
The underlying objective is to create divisions
within national societies throughout the Middle East and Central Asia, while
also triggering sectarian strife within Islam, ultimately with a view to
curbing the development of a broad based secular mass resistance, which
would challenge US imperial ambitions.
This function of an outside enemy is also an essential part of war
propaganda required to galvanize Western public opinion.
Without an enemy, a war cannot be fought. US
foreign policy needs to fabricate an enemy, to justify its various military
interventions in the Middle East and Central Asia. An enemy is required to
justify a military agenda, which consists in "going after Al Qaeda".
The fabrication and vilification of the enemy
are required to justify military action.
The existence of an outside enemy sustains the illusion that the "war on
terrorism" is real. It justifies and presents military intervention as a
humanitarian operation based on the right to self-defense. It upholds the
illusion of a "conflict of civilizations". The underlying purpose ultimately
is to conceal the real economic and strategic objectives behind the broader
Middle East Central Asian war.
Historically, Pakistan has played a central role in "war on terrorism".
Pakistan constitutes from Washington's standpoint a geopolitical hub. It
borders onto Afghanistan and Iran.
It has played a crucial role in the conduct of
US and allied military operations in Afghanistan as well as in the context
of the Pentagon's war plans in relation to Iran.