Al Qaeda and the "War on Terrorism" http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7718
by Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, January 20, 2008
The following text was first published in Italian in: Giuletto Chiesa (Editor), Zero, Perché la versione ufficiale sull' 11/9 è un Falso [Zero: Why the Official Version on 9/11 is a Falsehood], Piemme, Casale Monferrato, 2007.
A detailed analysis of the relevant issues covered in this article is also contained in the author's book America’s "War on Terrorism", Global Research, 2005
One of the main objectives of war propaganda is to "fabricate an enemy". The "outside enemy" personified by Osama bin Laden is "threatening America".
Pre-emptive war directed against "Islamic terrorists" is required to defend the Homeland. Realities are turned upside down. America is under attack.
In the wake of 9/11, the creation of this "outside enemy" has served to obfuscate the real economic and strategic objectives behind the war in the Middle East and Central Asia. Waged on the grounds of self-defense, the pre-emptive war is upheld as a "just war" with a humanitarian mandate.
As anti-war sentiment grows and the political legitimacy the Bush Administration falters, doubts regarding the existence of this illusive "outside enemy" must be dispelled.
Counter-terrorism and war propaganda are intertwined. The propaganda apparatus feeds disinformation into the news chain. The terror warnings must appear to be "genuine". The objective is to present the terror groups as "enemies of America."
Ironically, Al Qaeda --the "outside enemy of America" as well as the alleged architect of the 9/11 attacks-- is a creation of the CIA.
From the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war in the early 1980s, the US intelligence apparatus has supported the formation of the "Islamic brigades". Propaganda purports to erase the history of Al Qaeda, drown the truth and "kill the evidence" on how this "outside enemy" was fabricated and transformed into "Enemy Number One".
The US intelligence apparatus has created it own terrorist organizations. And at the same time, it creates its own terrorist warnings concerning the terrorist organizations which it has itself created. Meanwhile, a cohesive multibillion dollar counterterrorism program "to go after" these terrorist organizations has been put in place.
Portrayed in stylized fashion by the Western media, Osama bin Laden, supported by his various henchmen, constitutes America’s post-Cold war bogeyman, who "threatens Western democracy". The alleged threat of "Islamic terrorists", permeates the entire US national security doctrine. Its purpose is to justify wars of aggression in the Middle East, while establishing within America, the contours of the Homeland Security State.
What are the historical origins of Al Qaeda? Who is Osama bin Laden?
The alleged mastermind behind the 9/11 terrorists attacks, Saudi-born Osama bin Laden, was recruited during the Soviet-Afghan war, "ironically under the auspices of the CIA, to fight Soviet invaders".(Hugh Davies, "`Informers’ point the finger at bin Laden; Washington on alert for suicide bombers." The Daily Telegraph, London, 24 August 1998).
In 1979 the largest covert operation in the history of the CIA was launched in Afghanistan:
"With the active encouragement of the CIA and Pakistan’s ISI, who wanted to turn the Afghan Jihad into a global war waged by all Muslim states against the Soviet Union, some 35,000 Muslim radicals from 40 Islamic countries joined Afghanistan’s fight between 1982 and 1992. Tens of thousands more came to study in Pakistani madrasahs. Eventually, more than 100,000 foreign Muslim radicals were directly influenced by the Afghan jihad." (Ahmed Rashid, "The Taliban: Exporting Extremism", Foreign Affairs, November-December 1999).
This project of the US intelligence apparatus was conducted with the active support of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), which was entrusted in channelling covert military aid to the Islamic brigades and financing, in liason with the CIA, the madrassahs and Mujahideen training camps.
U.S. government support to the Mujahideen was presented to world public opinion as a "necessary response" to the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in support of the pro-Communist government of Babrak Kamal.
The CIA’s military-intelligence operation in Afghanistan, which consisted in creating the "Islamic brigades", was launched prior rather than in response to the entry of Soviet troops into Afghanistan. In fact, Washington’s intent was to deliberately trigger a civil war, which has lasted for more than 25 years.
The CIA’s role in laying the foundations of Al Qaeda is confirmed in an 1998 interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, who at the time was National Security Adviser to President Jimmy Carter:
Brzezinski: 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, [on] 24 December 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.
Question: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?
Brzezinski: It isn’t quite that. We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.
Question: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn’t believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don’t regret anything today?
Brzezinski: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.
Question: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?
Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War? ( "The CIA’s Intervention in Afghanistan, Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser", Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, 15-21 January 1998, published in English, Centre for Research on Globalisation, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/BRZ110A.html
, 5 October 2001, italics added.)
Consistent with Brzezinski’s account, a "Militant Islamic Network" was created by the CIA.
The "Islamic Jihad" (or holy war against the Soviets) became an integral part of the CIA’s intelligence ploy. It was supported by the United States and Saudi Arabia, with a significant part of the funding generated from the Golden Crescent drug trade:
"In March 1985, President Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive 166 … [which] authorize[d] stepped-up covert military aid to the Mujahideen, and it made clear that the secret Afghan war had a new goal: to defeat Soviet troops in Afghanistan through covert action and encourage a Soviet withdrawal. The new covert U.S. assistance began with a dramatic increase in arms supplies — a steady rise to 65,000 tons annually by 1987 … as well as a "ceaseless stream" of CIA and Pentagon specialists who travelled to the secret headquarters of Pakistan’s ISI on the main road near Rawalpindi, Pakistan. There, the CIA specialists met with Pakistani intelligence officers to help plan operations for the Afghan rebels."(Steve Coll, The Washington Post, July 19, 1992.)
The Central Intelligence Agency using Pakistan’s ISI as a go-between played a key role in training the Mujahideen. In turn, the CIA-sponsored guerrilla training was integrated with the teachings of Islam. The madrasahs were set up by Wahabi fundamentalists financed out of Saudi Arabia: "[I ]t was the government of the United States who supported Pakistani dictator General Zia-ul Haq in creating thousands of religious schools, from which the germs of the Taliban emerged."(Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), "RAWA Statement on the Terrorist Attacks in the U.S.", Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG), http://globalresearch.ca/articles/RAW109A.html
, 16 September 2001)
Predominant themes were that Islam was a complete socio-political ideology, that holy Islam was being violated by the atheistic Soviet troops, and that the Islamic people of Afghanistan should reassert their independence by overthrowing the leftist Afghan regime propped up by Moscow. (Dilip Hiro, Fallout from the Afghan Jihad, Inter Press Services, 21 November 1995.)
Pakistan’s ISI Used as a "Go-Between"
CIA covert support to the "Islamic Jihad" operated indirectly through the Pakistani ISI — i.e. the CIA did not channel its support directly to the Mujahideen. For these covert operations to be "successful", Washington was careful not to reveal the ultimate objective of the "Jihad", which consisted not only in destabilising the secular (pro-Soviet) government in Afghanistan, but also destroying the Soviet Union.
In the words of the CIA’s Milton Beardman, "We didn’t train Arabs." Yet, according to Abdel Monam Saidali, of the Al-aram Centre for Strategic Studies in Cairo, bin Laden and the "Afghan Arabs" had been imparted "with very sophisticated types of training that was allowed to them by the CIA". (National Public Radio, Weekend Sunday (NPR) with Eric Weiner and Ted Clark, 16 August 1998).
The CIA’s Beardman confirmed, in this regard, that Osama bin Laden was not aware of the role he was playing on behalf of Washington. According to bin Laden (as quoted by Beardman): "Neither I, nor my brothers, saw evidence of American help." (National Public Radio, Weekend Sunday (NPR) with Eric Weiner and Ted Clark, transcript, 16 August 1998).
Motivated by nationalism and religious fervour, 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 the war theatre had no contacts with Washington or the CIA.
With CIA backing and the funnelling 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 CIA was more cautious than the Pakistanis. Both Pakistan and the United States took the line of deception on Afghanistan with a public posture of negotiating a settlement, while privately agreeing that military escalation was the best course." (Diego Cordovez and Selig Harrison, Out of Afghanistan: The Inside Story of the Soviet Withdrawal, Oxford University Press, New York, 1995. See also the review of Cordovez and Harrison in International Press Services, 22 August 1995).
The CIA sponsored Narcotics Trade
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).
Researcher 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, supplying 60 per cent of U.S. demand." (Ibid)
"CIA assets again controlled this heroin trade. As the Mujahideen guerrillas seized territory inside Afghanistan, they ordered peasants to plant opium as a revolutionary tax. Across the border in Pakistan, Afghan leaders and local syndicates under the protection of Pakistan Intelligence operated hundreds of heroin laboratories. During this decade of wide-open drug-dealing, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in Islamabad failed to instigate major seizures or arrests. … (Ibid)
Afghanistan is a strategic hub in Central Asia, bordering on China’s Western frontier and on the former Soviet Union. While it constitutes a land bridge for the oil and gas pipeline corridors linking the Caspian sea basin to the Arabian sea, it is also strategic for its opium production, which today, according to UN sources, supplies more than 90 % of the World’s heroin market, representing multi-billion dollar revenues for business syndicates, financial institutions, intelligence agencies and organized crime. (See Michel Chossudovsky, America’s "War on Terrorism, Global Research, 2005, Chapter XVI)
Protected by the CIA, a new surge in opium production unfolded in the post cold War era. Since the October 2001 US invasion of Afghanistan, opium production has increased 33 fold since the US led invasion. The annual proceeds of the Golden Crescent drug trade are estimated between 120 and 194 billion dollars (2006), representing more than one third of the worldwide annual turnover of the narcotics trade. (Michel Chossudovsky, Heroin is good for Your Health, Occupation Forces Support Afghan Drug Trade, Global Research, April 2007. see also Douglas Keh, Drug Money in a Changing World, Technical document No. 4, 1998),
From the Soviet-Afghan War to the "War on Terrorism"
Despite the demise of the Soviet Union, Pakistan’s extensive military-intelligence apparatus (the ISI) was not dismantled. In the wake of the Cold War, the CIA continued to support the Islamic brigades out of Pakistan. New undercover initiatives were set in motion in the Middle East, Central Asia, the Balkans and south East Asia. In the immediate wke of the Cold War, Pakistan’s ISI "served as a catalyst for the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the emergence of six new Muslim republics in Central Asia". (International Press Services, 22 August 1995).
Meanwhile, Islamic missionaries of the Wahabi sect from Saudi Arabia had established themselves in the Muslim republics, as well as within the Russian federation, encroaching upon the institutions of the secular State. Despite its anti-American ideology, Islamic fundamentalism was largely serving Washington’s strategic interests in the former Soviet Union, the Balkans and the Middle East.
Following the withdrawal of Soviet troops in 1989, the civil war in Afghanistan continued unabated. The Taliban were being supported by the Pakistani Deobandis and their political party, the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI). In 1993, the JUI entered Pakistan’s government coalition of Prime Minister Benazzir Bhutto. Ties between the JUI, the Army and the ISI were established. In 1996, with the downfall of the Hezb-I-Islami Hektmatyar government in Kabul, the Taliban not only instated a hardline Islamic government, they also "handed control of training camps in Afghanistan over to JUI factions …". (Ahmed Rashid, "The Taliban: Exporting Extremism", Foreign Affairs, November - December, 1999, p. 22.)
The JUI, with the support of the Saudi Wahabi movement, played a key role in recruiting volunteers to fight in the Balkans and the former Soviet Union. (Ibid)
Jane Defence Weekly confirms, that "half of Taliban manpower and equipment originate[d] in Pakistan under the ISI". In fact, it would appear that following the Soviet withdrawal, both sides in the Afghan civil war continued to receive US covert support through Pakistan’s ISI. (Tim McGirk, "Kabul Learns to Live with its Bearded Conquerors", The Independent, London, 6 November 1996.)
Backed by Pakistan’s military intelligence, which in turn was controlled by the CIA, the Taliban Islamic State largely served US geopolitical interests. No doubt this explains why Washington had closed its eyes on the reign of terror imposed by the Taliban in 1996, including the blatant derogation of women’s rights, the closing down of schools for girls, the dismissal of women employees from government offices and the enforcement of "the Sharia laws of punishment". (K. Subrahmanyam, "Pakistan is Pursuing Asian Goals", India Abroad, 3 November 1995.)
The Golden Crescent drug trade was also being used to finance and equip the Bosnian Muslim Army (starting in the early 1990s) and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). In fact, at the time of the September 11 attacks, CIA-sponsored Mujahideen mercenaries were fighting within the ranks of KLA-NLA terrorists in their assaults into Macedonia.
The War in Chechnya
In Chechnya, the renegade autonomous region of the Russian Federation, the main rebel leaders, Shamil Basayev and Al Khattab, were trained and indoctrinated in CIA-sponsored camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to Yossef Bodansky, director of the U.S. Congress’ Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, the war in Chechnya had been planned during a secret summit of HizbAllah International held in 1996 in Mogadishu, Somalia. (Levon Sevunts, "Who’s Calling The Shots? Chechen conflict finds Islamic roots in Afghanistan and Pakistan", The Gazette, Montreal, 26 October 1999.)
The summit was attended by none other than Osama bin Laden, as well as high-ranking Iranian and Pakistani intelligence officers. It’s obvious that the involvement of Pakistan’s ISI in Chechnya "goes far beyond supplying the Chechens with weapons and expertise: The ISI and its radical Islamic proxies are actually calling the shots in this war."(Ibid)
Russia’s main pipeline route transits through Chechnya and Dagestan. Despite Washington’s condemnation of "Islamic terrorism", the indirect beneficiaries of the wars in Chechnya are the Anglo-American oil conglomerates which are vying for complete control over oil resources and pipeline corridors out of the Caspian Sea basin.
The two main Chechen rebel armies (which at the time were led by the (late) Commander Shamil Basayev and Emir Khattab), estimated at 35,000 strong, were supported by Pakistan’s ISI, which also played a key role in organizing and training the rebel army:
"[In 1994] the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence arranged for Basayev and his trusted lieutenants to undergo intensive Islamic indoctrination and training in guerrilla warfare in the Khost province of Afghanistan at Amir Muawia camp, set up in the early 1980s by the CIA and ISI and run by famous Afghani warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. In July 1994, upon graduating from Amir Muawia, Basayev was transferred to Markaz-i-Dawar camp in Pakistan to undergo training in advanced guerrilla tactics. In Pakistan, Basayev met the highest ranking Pakistani military and intelligence officers: Minister of Defence General Aftab Shahban Mirani, Minister of Interior General Naserullah Babar, and the head of the ISI branch in charge of supporting Islamic causes, General Javed Ashraf (all now retired). High-level connections soon proved very useful to Basayev." (Ibid)
Following his training and indoctrination stint, Basayev was assigned to lead the assault against Russian federal troops in the first Chechen war in 1995. His organization had also developed extensive links to criminal syndicates in Moscow as well as ties to Albanian organized crime and the KLA. In 1997-1998, according to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) "Chechen warlords started buying up real estate in Kosovo … through several real estate firms registered as a cover in Yugoslavia." (Vitaly Romanov and Viktor Yadukha, "Chechen Front Moves To Kosovo", Segodnia, Moscow, 23 Feb 2000)
Dismantling Secular Institutions in the former Soviet Union
The enforcement of Islamic law in the largely secular Muslim societies of the former Soviet Union has served America’s strategic interests in the region. Previously, a strong secular tradition based on a rejection of Islamic law prevailed throughout the Central Asian republics and the Caucasus, including Chechnya and Dagestan (which are part of the Russian Federation).
The 1994-1996 Chechen war, instigated by the main rebel movements against Moscow, has served to undermine secular state institutions. A parallel system of local government, controlled by the Islamic militia, was implanted in many localities in Chechnya. In some of the small towns and villages, Islamic Sharia courts were established under a reign of political terror.
Financial aid from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States to the rebel armies was conditional upon the installation of the Sharia courts, despite strong opposition of the civilian population. The Principal Judge and Ameer of the Sharia courts in Chechnya was Sheikh Abu Umar, who "came to Chechnya in 1995 and joined the ranks of the Mujahideen there under the leadership of Ibn-ul-Khattab. … He set about teaching Islam with the correct Aqeedah to the Chechen Mujahideen, many of whom held incorrect and distorted beliefs about Islam." (Global Muslim News, http://www.islam.org.au/articles/21/news.htm
, December 1997).
Meanwhile, state institutions of the Russian Federation in Chechnya were crumbling under the brunt of the IMF-sponsored austerity measures imposed under the Presidency of Boris Yeltsin. In contrast, the Sharia courts, financed and equipped out of Saudi Arabia, were gradually displacing existing State institutions of the Russian Federation and the Chechnya autonomous region.
The Wahabi movement from Saudi Arabia was not only attempting to overrun civilian State institutions in Dagestan and Chechnya, it was also seeking to displace the traditional Sufi Muslim leaders. In fact, the resistance to the Islamic rebels in Dagestan was based on the alliance of the (secular) local governments with the Sufi sheiks:
"These [Wahabi] groups consist of a very tiny but well-financed and well-armed minority. They propose with these attacks the creation of terror in the hearts of the masses. … By creating anarchy and lawlessness, these groups can enforce their own harsh, intolerant brand of Islam. … Such groups do not represent the common view of Islam, held by the vast majority of Muslims and Islamic scholars, for whom Islam exemplifies the paragon of civilization and perfected morality. They represent what is nothing less than a movement to anarchy under an Islamic label. … Their intention is not so much to create an Islamic state, but to create a state of confusion in which they are able to thrive.34 Mateen Siddiqui, "Differentiating Islam from Militant ‘Islamists’" San Francisco Chronicle, 21 September 1999
Promoting Secessionist Movements in India
In parallel with its covert operations in the Balkans and the former Soviet Union, Pakistan’s ISI has provided, since the 1980s, support to several secessionist Islamic insurgencies in India’s Kashmir.
Although officially condemned by Washington, these covert ISI operations were undertaken with the tacit approval of the U.S. government. Coinciding with the 1989 Geneva Peace Agreement and the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, the ISI was instrumental in the creation of the militant Jammu and Kashmir Hizbul Mujahideen (JKHM). (See K. Subrahmanyam, "Pakistan is Pursuing Asian Goals", India Abroad, 3 November 19950.
Im the immediate wake of 9/11, the December 2001 terrorist attacks on the Indian Parliament — which contributed to pushing India and Pakistan to the brink of war — were conducted by two Pakistan-based rebel groups, Lashkar-e-Taiba, (Army of the Pure) and Jaish-e-Muhammad (Army of Mohammed), both of which are covertly supported by Pakistan’s ISI. (Council on Foreign Relations, "Terrorism: Questions and Answers, Harakat ul-Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad", http://www.terrorismanswers.com/groups/harakat2.html
, Washington 2002.Note: This report is no longer available on the CFR website.)
The timely attack on the Indian Parliament, followed by the ethnic riots in Gujarat in early 2002, were the culmination of a process initiated in the 1980s, financed by drug money and abetted by Pakistan’s military intelligence.
Needless to say, these ISI-supported terrorist attacks serve the geopolitical interests of the U.S. The powerful Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), which plays a behind-the-scenes role in the formulation of U.S. foreign policy, confirms that the Lashkar and Jaish rebel groups are supported by the ISI:
Through its Inter-Service Intelligence Agency (ISI), Pakistan has provided funding, arms, training facilities, and aid in crossing borders to Lashkar and Jaish. This assistance — an attempt to replicate in Kashmir the international Islamist brigade’s "holy war" against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan — helped introduce radical Islam into the long-standing conflict over the fate of Kashmir. …
Have these groups received funding from sources other than the Pakistani government?
Yes. Members of the Pakistani and Kashmiri communities in England send millions of dollars a year, and Wahabi sympathizers in the Persian Gulf also provide support.
Do Islamist terrorists in Kashmir have ties to Al-Qaeda?
Yes. In 1998, the leader of Harakat, Farooq Kashmiri Khalil, signed Osama bin Laden’s declaration calling for attacks on Americans, including civilians, and their allies. Bin Laden is also suspected of funding Jaish, according to U.S. and Indian officials. And Maulana Massoud Azhar, who founded Jaish, travelled to Afghanistan several times to meet bin Laden.
Where were these Islamist militants trained?
Many were given ideological training in the same madrasahs, or Muslim seminaries, that taught the Taliban and foreign fighters in Afghanistan. They received military training at camps in Afghanistan or in villages in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. Extremist groups have recently opened several new madrasas in Azad Kashmir.
(Council on Foreign Relations, "Terrorism: Questions and Answers, Harakat ul-Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad", http://www.terrorismanswers.com/groups/harakat2.html
Washington 2002. This text was removed from the CFR website in 2006)
What the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) fails to acknowledge are the links between the ISI and the CIA and the fact that the "international Islamic brigades" were a creation of the CIA.
U.S.-Sponsored Insurgencies in China
Also of significance in understanding America’s "War on Terrorism" is the existence of ISI-supported Islamic insurgencies on China’s Western border with Afghanistan and Pakistan. In fact, several of the Islamic movements in the Muslim republics of the former Soviet Union are integrated with the Turkestan and Uigur movements in China’s Xinjiang-Uigur autonomous region.
These separatist groups — which include the East Turkestan Terrorist Force, the Islamic Reformist Party, the East Turkestan National Unity Alliance, the Uigur Liberation Organization and the Central Asian Uigur Jihad Party — have all received support and training from Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda. (According to official Chinese sources quoted in UPI, 20 November 2001.). The declared objective of these Chinese-based Islamic insurgencies is the "establishment of an Islamic caliphate in the region". (Defence and Security, May 30, 2001).
The caliphate would integrate Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan (West Turkestan) and the Uigur autonomous region of China (East Turkestan) into a single political entity.
The "caliphate project" encroaches upon Chinese territorial sovereignty. Supported by various Wahabi "foundations" from the Gulf States, secessionism on China’s Western frontier is, once again, consistent with U.S. strategic interests in Central Asia. Meanwhile, a powerful U.S.-based lobby is channelling support to separatist forces in Tibet.
By tacitly promoting the secession of the Xinjiang-Uigur region (using Pakistan’s ISI as a "go-between"), Washington is attempting to trigger a broader process of political destabilization and fracturing of the People’s Republic of China. In addition to these various covert operations, the U.S. has established military bases in Afghanistan and in several of the former Soviet republics, directly on China’s Western border.
The militarization of the South China Sea and of the Taiwan Straits is also an integral part of this strategy.
Throughout the 1990s, the Pakistan Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) was used by the CIA as a go-between -- to channel weapons and Mujahideen mercenaries to the Bosnian Muslim Army in the civil war in Yugoslavia. According to a report of the London based International Media Corporation:
"Reliable sources report that the United States is now  actively participating in the arming and training of the Muslim forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina in direct contravention of the United Nations accords. US agencies have been providing weapons made in ... China (PRC), North Korea (DPRK) and Iran. The sources indicated that ... Iran, with the knowledge and agreement of the US Government, supplied the Bosnian forces with a large number of multiple rocket launchers and a large quantity of ammunition. These included 107mm and 122mm rockets from the PRC, and VBR-230 multiple rocket launchers ... made in Iran. ... It was [also] reported that 400 members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (Pasdaran) arrived in Bosnia with a large supply of arms and ammunition. It was alleged that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had full knowledge of the operation and that the CIA believed that some of the 400 had been detached for future terrorist operations in Western Europe.
The US Administration has not restricted its involvement to the clandestine contravention of the UN arms embargo on the region ... It [also] committed three high-ranking delegations over the past two years [prior to 1994] in failed attempts to bring the Yugoslav Government into line with US policy. Yugoslavia is the only state in the region to have failed to acquiesce to US pressure." (International Media Corporation, Defence and Strategy Policy, U.S. Commits Forces, Weapons to Bosnia, London, 31 October 1994)
"From the Horse's Mouth"
Ironically, the US Administration's undercover military-intelligence operations in Bosnia, which consisted in promoting the formation of "Islamic brigades", have been fully documented by the Republican Party. A lengthy Congressional report by the Senate Republican Party Committee (RPC) published in 1997, largely confirms the International Media Corporation report quoted above. The RPC Congressional report accuses the Clinton administration of having "helped turn Bosnia into a militant Islamic base" leading to the recruitment through the so-called "Militant Islamic Network," of thousands of Mujahideen from the Muslim world:
"Perhaps most threatening to the SFOR mission - and more importantly, to the safety of the American personnel serving in Bosnia - is the unwillingness of the Clinton Administration to come clean with the Congress and with the American people about its complicity in the delivery of weapons from Iran to the Muslim government in Sarajevo. That policy, personally approved by Bill Clinton in April 1994 at the urging of CIA Director-designate (and then-NSC chief) Anthony Lake and the U.S. ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith, has, according to the Los Angeles Times (citing classified intelligence community sources), "played a central role in the dramatic increase in Iranian influence in Bosnia.
Along with the weapons, Iranian Revolutionary Guards and VEVAK intelligence operatives entered Bosnia in large numbers, along with thousands of mujahedin ("holy warriors") from across the Muslim world. Also engaged in the effort were several other Muslim countries (including Brunei, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Turkey) and a number of radical Muslim organizations. For example, the role of one Sudan-based "humanitarian organization," called the Third World Relief Agency, has been well documented. The Clinton Administration's "hands-on" involvement with the Islamic network's arms pipeline included inspections of missiles from Iran by U.S. government officials... the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA), a Sudan-based, phoney humanitarian organization ... has been a major link in the arms pipeline to Bosnia. ... TWRA is believed to be connected with such fixtures of the Islamic terror network as Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman (the convicted mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) and Osama Bin Laden, a wealthy Saudi émigré believed to bankroll numerous militant groups. [Washington Post, 9/22/96]
(Congressional Press Release, Republican Party Committee (RPC), U.S. Congress, Clinton-Approved Iranian Arms Transfers Help Turn Bosnia into Militant Islamic Base, Washington DC, 16 January 1997, available on the website of the Centre of Research on Globalisation (CRG) at http://globalresearch.ca/articles/DCH109A.html
. The original document is on the website of the U.S. Senate Republican Party Committee (Senator Larry Craig), at http://www.senate.gov/~rpc/releases/1997/iran.htm;
see also Washington Post, 22 September 1999, Emphasis added)
Complicity of the Clinton Administration
In other words, the Republican Party Committee report confirms unequivocally the complicity of the Clinton Administration with several Islamic fundamentalist organisations including Al Qaeda.
The Republicans wanted at the time to undermine the Clinton Administration. However, at a time when the entire country had its eyes riveted on the Monica Lewinsky scandal, the Republicans no doubt chose not to trigger an untimely "Iran-Bosniagate" affair, which might have unduly diverted public attention away from the Lewinsky scandal. The Republicans wanted to impeach Bill Clinton "for having lied to the American People" regarding his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. On the more substantive "foreign policy lies" regarding drug running and covert operations in the Balkans, Democrats and Republicans agreed in unison, no doubt pressured by the Pentagon and the CIA not to "spill the beans".
From Bosnia to Kosovo
The "Bosnian pattern" described in the 1997 Congressional RPC report was replicated in Kosovo. With the complicity of NATO and the US State Department, Mujahideen mercenaries from the Middle East and Central Asia were recruited to fight in the ranks of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in 1998-99, largely supporting NATO's war effort.
Confirmed by British military sources, the task of arming and training of the KLA had been entrusted in 1998 to the US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Britain's Secret Intelligence Services MI6, together with "former and serving members of 22 SAS [Britain's 22nd Special Air Services Regiment], as well as three British and American private security companies". (The Scotsman, Edinburgh, 29 August 1999).
The US DIA approached MI6 to arrange a training programme for the KLA, said a senior British military source. `MI6 then sub-contracted the operation to two British security companies, who in turn approached a number of former members of the (22 SAS) regiment. Lists were then drawn up of weapons and equipment needed by the KLA.' While these covert operations were continuing, serving members of 22 SAS Regiment, mostly from the unit's D Squadron, were first deployed in Kosovo before the beginning of the bombing campaign in March. (Truth in Media, "Kosovo in Crisis", Phoenix, Arizona, http://www.truthinmedia.org/
, 2 April 1999).
While British SAS Special Forces in bases in Northern Albania were training the KLA, military instructors from Turkey and Afghanistan financed by the "Islamic jihad" were collaborating in training the KLA in guerilla and diversion tactics.:(The Sunday Times, London, 29 November 1998).
"Bin Laden had visited Albania himself. He was one of several fundamentalist groups that had sent units to fight in Kosovo, ... Bin Laden is believed to have established an operation in Albania in 1994 ... Albanian sources say Sali Berisha, who was then president, had links with some groups that later proved to be extreme fundamentalists." (Ibid)
Congressional Testimonies on KLA-Al Qaeda links
In the mid-1990s, the CIA and Germany's Secret Service, the BND, joined hands in providing covert support to the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). In turn, the latter was receiving support from Al Qaeda.
According to Frank Ciluffo of the Globalized Organised Crime Program, in a December 2000 testimony to the House of Representatives Judicial Committee:
"What was largely hidden from public view was the fact that the KLA raise part of their funds from the sale of narcotics. Albania and Kosovo lie at the heart of the "Balkan Route" that links the "Golden Crescent" of Afghanistan and Pakistan to the drug markets of Europe. This route is worth an estimated $400 billion a year and handles 80 percent of heroin destined for Europe." (U.S. Congress, Testimony of Frank J. Cilluffo, Deputy Director of the Global Organized Crime Program, to the House Judiciary Committee, Washington DC, 13 December 2000).
According to Ralf Mutschke of Interpol's Criminal Intelligence division also in a testimony to the House Judicial Committee:
"The U.S. State Department listed the KLA as a terrorist organization, indicating that it was financing its operations with money from the international heroin trade and loans from Islamic countries and individuals, among them allegedly Usama bin Laden" . Another link to bin Laden is the fact that the brother of a leader in an Egyptian Jihad organization and also a military commander of Usama bin Laden, was leading an elite KLA unit during the Kosovo conflict."(U.S. Congress, Testimony of Ralf Mutschke of Interpol’s Criminal Intelligence Division, to the House Judicial Committee, Washington DC, 13 December 2000.)
Madeleine Albright Covets the KLA
These KLA links to international terrorism and organised crime documented by the US Congress were totally ignored by the Clinton Administration. In fact, in the months preceding the bombing of Yugoslavia, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was busy building a "political legitimacy" for the KLA. The paramilitary army had --from one day to the next-- been elevated to the status of a bona fide "democratic" force in Kosovo. In turn, Madeleine Albright has forced the pace of international diplomacy: the KLA had been spearheaded into playing a central role in the failed "peace negotiations" at Rambouiillet in early 1999.
The Senate and the House tacitly endorse State Terrorism
While the various Congressional reports confirmed that the US government had been working hand in glove with Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda, this did not prevent the Clinton and later the Bush Administration from arming and equipping the KLA. The Congressional documents also confirm that members of the Senate and the House knew the relationship of the Administration to international terrorism. To quote the statement of Rep. John Kasich of the House Armed Services Committee: "We connected ourselves [in 1998-99] with the KLA, which was the staging point for bin Laden..." (U.S. Congress, Transcripts of the House Armed Services Committee, Washington, DC, 5 October 1999,)
In the wake of the tragic events of September 11, Republicans and Democrats in unison have given their full support to the President to "wage war on Osama".
In 1999, Senator Jo Lieberman had stated authoritatively that "Fighting for the KLA is fighting for human rights and American values." In the hours following the October 7 missile attacks on Afghanistan, the same Jo Lieberman called for punitive air strikes against Iraq: "We're in a war against terrorism... We can't stop with bin Laden and the Taliban." Yet Senator Jo Lieberman, as member of the Armed Services Committee of the Senate had access to all the Congressional documents pertaining to "KLA-Osama" links. In making this statement, he was fully aware that that agencies of the US government as well as NATO were supporting international terrorism.
"The Islamic Militant Network" and NATO join hands in Macedonia
In the wake of the 1999 war in Yugoslavia, the terrorist activities of the KLA were extended into Southern Serbia and Macedonia. Meanwhile, the KLA --renamed the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC)-- was elevated to United Nations status, implying the granting of "legitimate" sources of funding through United Nations as well as through bilateral channels, including direct US military aid.
And barely two months after the official inauguration of the KPC under UN auspices (September 1999), KPC-KLA commanders - using UN resources and equipment - were already preparing the assaults into Macedonia, as a logical follow-up to their terrorist activities in Kosovo. According to the Skopje daily Dnevnik, the KPC had established a "sixth operation zone" in Southern Serbia and Macedonia:
"Sources, who insist on anonymity, claim that the headquarters of the Kosovo protection brigades [i.e. linked to the UN sponsored KPC] have [March 2000] already been formed in Tetovo, Gostivar and Skopje. They are being prepared in Debar and Struga [on the border with Albania] as well, and their members have defined codes." (Macedonian Information Centre Newsletter, Skopje, 21 March 2000, published by BBC Summary of World Broadcast, 24 March 2000.)
According to the BBC, "Western special forces were still training the guerrillas" meaning that they were assisting the KLA in opening up "a sixth operation zone" in Southern Serbia and Macedonia. (BBC, 29 January 2001.)
Among the foreign mercenaries fighting in Macedonia in 2001 in the ranks of self-proclaimed National Liberation Army (NLA) were Mujahideen from the Middle East and the Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union. Also within the KLA's proxy force in Macedonia were senior US military advisers from a private mercenary outfit on contract to the Pentagon as well as "soldiers of fortune" from Britain, Holland and Germany. Some of these Western mercenaries had previously fought with the KLA and the Bosnian Muslim Army. (Scotland on Sunday, 15 June 2001. See also UPI, 9 July 2001. For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, America’s "War on Terrorism", Global Research, 2005, Chapter III ).
Extensively documented by the Macedonian press and statements of the Macedonian authorities, the US government and the "Islamic Militant Network" were working hand in glove in supporting and financing the self-proclaimed National Liberation Army (NLA), involved in the terrorist attacks in Macedonia. The NLA is a proxy of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). In turn the KLA and the UN sponsored Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) are identical institutions with the same commanders and military personnel. KPC Commanders on UN salaries are fighting in the NLA together with the Mujahideen.
In a bitter twist, while supported and financed by Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda, the KLA-NLA was also being supported by NATO and the United Nations mission to Kosovo (UNMIK). In fact, the "Islamic Militant Network" still constitutes an integral part of Washington's covert military-intelligence operations in Macedonia and Southern Serbia.
The KLA-NLA terrorists were funded from US military aid, the United Nations peace-keeping budget as well as by several Islamic organisations including Al Qaeda. Drug money was also used to finance the terrorists with the complicity of the US government. The recruitment of Mujahideen to fight in the ranks of the NLA in Macedonia was implemented through various Islamic groups.
US military advisers mingle with Mujahideen within the same paramilitary force, Western mercenaries from NATO countries fight alongside Mujahideen recruited in the Middle East and Central Asia. And the US media calls this a "blowback" where so-called "intelligence assets" have gone against their sponsors!
But this did not happen during the Cold war! It happened in Macedonia in 2000-2001. Confirmed by numerous press reports, eyewitness accounts, photographic evidence as well as official statements by the Macedonian Prime Minister, who accused the Western military alliance of abetting the terrorists, the US had been supporting the Islamic brigades barely a few months prior to the 9/11 attacks.
Washington’s Hidden Agenda
U.S. foreign policy is not geared towards curbing the tide of Islamic fundamentalism. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The significant development of "radical Islam", in the wake of the Cold War in the former Soviet Union and the Middle East is consistent with Washington’s hidden agenda. The latter consists in sustaining rather than combating international terrorism, with a view to destabilizing national societies and preventing the articulation of genuine secular social movements directed against the American Empire.
Washington continues to support — through CIA covert operations — the development of Islamic fundamentalism, throughout the Middle East, in the former Soviet Union as well in China and India.
Throughout the developing world, the growth of sectarian, fundamentalist and other such organizations tends to serve U.S. interests. These various organizations and armed insurgents have been developed, particularly in countries where state institutions have collapsed under the brunt of the IMF-sponsored economic reforms.
These fundamentalist organizations contribute by destroying and displacing secular institutions.
Islamic fundamentalism creates social and ethnic divisions. It undermines the capacity of people to organize against the American Empire. These organizations or movements, such as the Taliban, often foment "opposition to Uncle Sam" in a way which does not constitute any real threat to America’s broader geopolitical and economic interests.
Erasing the History of Al Qaeda
Since September 2001, this history of Al Qaeda has largely been erased. The links of successive US administrations to the "Islamic terror network" is rarely mentioned.
A major war in the Middle East and Central Asia, supposedly "against international terrorism" was launched in October 2001 by a government which had been harboring international terrorism as part of its foreign policy agenda. In other words, the main justification for waging war on Afghanistan and Iraq has been totally fabricated. The American people have been deliberately and consciously misled by their government.
This decision to mislead the American people was taken on September 11, 2001 barely a few hours after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre. Without supporting evidence, Osama had already been tagged as the "prime suspect". Two days later on Thursday the 13th of September — while the FBI investigation had barely commenced — President Bush pledged to "lead the world to victory".
While the CIA tacitly acknowledges that Al Qaeda was an "intelligence asset" during the Cold War, the relationship is said to "go way back" to a bygone era.
Most post-September 11 news reports tend to consider that these Al Qaeda -CIA links belong to the "bygone era" of the Soviet-Afghan war. They are invariably viewed as irrelevant to an understanding of 9/11 and the "Global War on Terrorism". Yet barely a few months before 9/11, there was evidence of active collaboration between members of the US military and Al Qaeda operatives in the civil war in Macedonia.
Lost in the barrage of recent history, the role of the CIA, in supporting and developing international terrorist organizations during the Cold War and its aftermath, is casually ignored or downplayed by the Western media.
A blatant example of post-9/11 media distortion is the "blowback" thesis: "Intelligence assets" are said to "have gone against their sponsors; what we’ve created blows back in our face".1 In a display of twisted logic, the U.S. administration and the CIA are portrayed as the ill-fated victims:
The sophisticated methods taught to the Mujahideen, and the thousands of tons of arms supplied to them by the U.S. — and Britain — are now tormenting the West in the phenomenon known as "blowback", whereby a policy strategy rebounds on its own devisers.(The Guardian, London, 15 September 2001)
The U.S. media, nonetheless, concedes that "the Taliban’s coming to power [in 1996] is partly the outcome of the U.S. support of the Mujahideen — the radical Islamic group — in the 1980s in the war against the Soviet Union". 3 But it also readily dismisses its own factual statements and concludes, in chorus, that the CIA had been tricked by a deceitful Osama. It’s like "a son going against his father".
The Post 9/11 "War on Terrorism"
The "blowback" thesis is a fabrication.
The CIA never severed its ties to the "Islamic Militant Network". There is ample evidence that Al Qaeda remains a US sponsored intelligence asset.
Al Qaeda is presented as the architect of 9/11 without ever mentioning its historical links to the CIA and Pakistan’s ISI.
While Al Qaeda remains firmly under the control of the US intelligence apparatus, the US administration has repeatedly intimated that this "outside enemy" will strike again, that a "second 9/11’ will occur somewhere in America or in the western World:
[there are] "indications that [the] near-term attacks ... will either rival or exceed the [9/11] attacks…
And it's pretty clear that the nation's capital and New York city would be on any list..." (Tom Ridge, Christmas 2003)
"You ask, 'Is it serious?' Yes, you bet your life. People don't do that unless it's a serious situation." (Donald Rumsfeld, Christmas 2003)
"Credible reporting indicates that Al Qaeda is moving forward with its plans to carry out a large-scale attack in the United States in an effort to disrupt our democratic process... This is sobering information about those who wish to do us harm... But every day we strengthen the security of our nation." (George W. Bush, July 2004)
"The enemy that struck on 9/11 is fractured and weakened, yet still lethal, still determined to hit us again" (Dick Cheney, July 2006)
"Another [9/11] attack could create both a justification and an opportunity to retaliate against some known targets" (Pentagon official, quoted in the Washington Post, 23 April 2006)
A terrorist attack on American soil of the size and nature of September 11, would lead --according to former US Central Command (USCENTCOM) Commander, General Tommy Franks, who led the invasion of Iraq in 2003 -- to the demise of Constitutional government. In a December 2003 interview, which was barely mentioned in the US media, General Franks had actually outlined a scenario which would result in the suspension of the Constitution and the installation of military rule in America:
"[A] terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event [will occur] somewhere in the Western world – it may be in the United States of America – that causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass, casualty-producing event. (Cigar Aficionado, December 2003)
Franks was alluding to a so-called "Pearl Harbor type event" which would be used to galvanize US public opinion in support of a military government and police state.
The "terrorist massive casualty-producing event" was presented by General Franks as a crucial political turning point. The resulting crisis, social turmoil and public indignation would facilitate a major shift in US political, social and institutional structures.
It is important to understand that General Franks was not giving a personal opinion on this issue. His statement is consistent with the dominant viewpoint both in the Pentagon and the Homeland Security department as to how events might unfold in the case of a national emergency.
"Massive Casualty Producing Events"
The "massive casualty producing event" is a integral part of military doctrine. The destruction and loss of life resulting from a terrorist attack serve to create a wave of public indignation. They create conditions of collective fear and intimidation, which facilitate the derogation of civil liberties and the introduction of police state measures.
The September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were used to galvanize public support for the invasion of Afghanistan, which took place barely four weeks later. Without supporting evidence, Al Qaeda, which was allegedly supported by the Taliban government, was held responsible for the 911 attacks.
The planning of a major theater war had been ongoing well before 9/11. Whereas the US military was already in an "advanced state of readiness", well at in advance of the 9/11 attacks, the decision to go to war with Afghanistan was taken on the evening of September 11 and was formally announced the following morning. Meanwhile, NATO invoked Article 5 of the Washington Treaty and declared war on Afghanistan on behalf of all signatory member states of the Atlantic Alliance. NATO’s declaration of war based on the principle of "self-defense" was taken within 24 hours of the September 11 attacks.
Article 5 of the Washington Treaty was first invoked on September 12, 2001. America’s European Allies plus Canada offered their support in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. NATO embraced the US sponsored "Global War on Terrorism". Fourteen NATO member states sent troops to Afghanistan. (See NATO Review, Summer 2006, http://www.nato.int/docu/review/2006/issue2/english/summaries.html
The 9/11 "massive casualty producing event" played a crucial role in the process of military planning. It provided, in the eyes of public opinion, a pretext to go to war.
The triggering of "war pretext incidents" is part of the Pentagon’s assumptions. In fact it is an integral part of US military history.
In 1962, the Joint Chiefs of Staff had envisaged a secret plan entitled "Operation Northwoods, to deliberately trigger civilian casualties to justify the invasion of Cuba:
"We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," "We could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington" "casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation." (See the declassified Top Secret 1962 document titled "Justification for U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba", See Operation Northwoods at http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/NOR111A.html
Terror Warnings and Terror Events
To be "effective" the fear and disinformation campaign cannot solely rely on unsubstantiated "warnings" of future attacks, it also requires "real" terrorist occurrences or "incidents", which provide credibility to the Administration’s war plans. Propaganda endorses the need to implement "emergency measures" as well as carry out retaliatory military actions.
Both the terror warnings and the terror events have served as a pretext to justify far-reaching military decisions.
Following the July 2005 London bombings, Vice President Dick Cheney was reported to have instructed USSTRATCOM to draw up a contingency plan "to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States". Implied in the contingency plan is the certainty that Iran would be behind a Second 9/11.
This "contingency plan" used the pretext of a "Second 9/11", which had not yet happened, to prepare for a major military operation against Iran, while pressure was also exerted on Tehran in relation to its (non-existent) nuclear weapons program.
What is diabolical in this decision of the US Vice President is that the justification presented by Cheney to wage war on Iran rested on Iran's alleged involvement in a hypothetical terrorist attack on America, which had not yet occurred:
The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are more than 450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program development sites. Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option. As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States. Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing—that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack—but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing any objections. (Philip Giraldi, Attack on Iran: Pre-emptive Nuclear War , The American Conservative, 2 August 2005)
Are we to understand that US, British and Israeli military planners are waiting in limbo for a Second 9/11, to launch a military operation directed against Syria and Iran?
Cheney's proposed "contingency plan" did not in the least focus on preventing a Second 9/11. The Cheney plan was predicated on the presumption that Iran would be behind a Second 9/11 and that punitive bombings could immediately be activated, prior to the conduct of an investigation, much in the same way as the attacks on Afghanistan in October 2001, allegedly in retribution for the alleged support of the Taliban government to the 9/11 terrorists.
It is worth noting that one does not plan a war in three weeks: the bombing and invasion of Afghanistan had been planned well in advance of 9/11. As Michael Keefer points out in an incisive review article:
"At a deeper level, it implies that "9/11-type terrorist attacks" are recognized in Cheney’s office and the Pentagon as appropriate means of legitimizing wars of aggression against any country selected for that treatment by the regime and its corporate propaganda-amplification system.... (Michael Keefer, Petrodollars and Nuclear Weapons Proliferation: Understanding the Planned Assault on Iran, Global Research, February 10, 2006)
Since 2001, Vice President Cheney has reiterated his warning of a second 9/11 on several occasions
"The enemy that struck on 9/11 is fractured and weakened, yet still lethal, still determined to hit us again" (Waterloo Courier, Iowa, 19 July 2006, italics added).
"Justification and Opportunity to Retaliate against some known targets"
In April 2006, (former) Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld launched a far-reaching military plan to fight terrorism around the World, with a view to retaliating in the case of a second major terrorist attack on America.
"Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has approved the military's most ambitious plan yet to fight terrorism around the world and retaliate more rapidly and decisively in the case of another major terrorist attack on the United States, according to defense officials.
The long-awaited campaign plan for the global war on terrorism, as well as two subordinate plans also approved within the past month by Rumsfeld, are considered the Pentagon's highest priority, according to officials familiar with the three documents who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about them publicly.
Details of the plans are secret, but in general they envision a significantly expanded role for the military -- and, in particular, a growing force of elite Special Operations troops -- in continuous operations to combat terrorism outside of war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Developed over about three years by the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) in Tampa, the plans reflect a beefing up of the Pentagon's involvement in domains