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.
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 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
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),
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 ?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)
Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski,
President Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser
Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, 15-21 January 1998
Question: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs ["From the Shadows"], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?
Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen 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.
Q: 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?
B: It isn't quite that. We didn't push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.
Q: 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?
B: 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.
Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?
B: 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?
Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.
B: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn't a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.