THE NEW OCCULTISM: CHOAS MAGIC, DISCORDIANISM AND TRANSHUMANISM

The trickster is able to bring up in a humorous way issues that may still be too controversial to begin serious debates over. Willingness to parody ourselves protects us from becoming truly ridiculous, and renders parodies of us by our enemies utterly useless. If the New Agers were more willing to parody themselves, their culture might have filtered out some of its more absurd notions, and spared itself much vicious lampooning from without. It is the job of the Discordian to disrupt unhealthy patterns, including one’s own. It should be noted that making pointless wisecracks just as the energy is peaking in a ritual is not a positive use of irreverence.
      On a larger scale the chaos magician is able to work vast changes unattainable through ordinary, orderly means. Where chaotic systems exist, it is now well known that in the right place, a small flutter can transform the entire system. This is known in chaos science as the butterfly effect. In these fast changing times, at this crossroads of history, in this time of crisis and opportunity, our entire society is a chaotic system. By observing society keenly, and choosing the appropriate moment for the golden apple to be launched, the chaos magician can work great changes in society through the social butterfly effect.

GLOBAL MIND: TRANSHUMANISM, FREEMASONRY AND THE INTERNET AS GOD

This—the evolution of man into superman—was always the purpose of the ancient Mysteries, and the real purpose of modern Masonry is, not the social and charitable purposes to which so much attention is paid, but the expediting of the spiritual evolution of those who aspire to perfect their own nature and transform it into a more god-like quality. And this is a definite science, a royal art, which it is possible for each of us to put into practice, whilst to join the Craft for any other purpose than to study and pursue this science is to misunderstand its meaning.[1]

TRANSHUMANISM & THE ILLUMINATI

Electric information environments being utterly ethereal foster the illusion of the world as spiritual substance. It is now a reasonable facsimile of the mystical body [of Christ], a blatant manifestation of the Anti-Christ. After all, the Prince of this world is a very great electric engineer.

TRANSHUMANISM: FROM MK-ULTRA TO GOOGLE

Unfortunately, Leary was fixated on the benefits of what was then called the ‘information superhighway.’ Pioneer of LSD, his pantry table was crammed with bottles of alcohol.

He told me his “vision of God” was depicted in the last scene in William Gibson’s book “Neuromancer.”

At the end of the world, all the information stored in all the computers will rise up into Cyberspace and mingle together.” he said. “That’s God.”

COMPUTERS, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND THE ALL-SEEING EYE

As explained in Computer: A History of the Information Machine, the personal computer was in large part a product of the “computer liberation” movement that grew out of the counter-culture of California in the 1960s. More specifically, those trends were in turn an outgrowth of the CIA’s MK-Ultra program that popularized drug use for “mind-expanding” purposes.… Continue reading COMPUTERS, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND THE ALL-SEEING EYE

C19 Uninjected Blood – Darkfield Live Blood Analysis Up To 4000x Magnification – Shows Nanobots Self Assembly Of Polymer Networks

I have shown similar images now for almost 3 years. As many videos and articles I can put out, in the hopes that at some point people will get it. In the above image of 400x magnification many coalescing construction sites are seen that are building the polymer network using the blood as an energy… Continue reading C19 Uninjected Blood – Darkfield Live Blood Analysis Up To 4000x Magnification – Shows Nanobots Self Assembly Of Polymer Networks

Video: “Wiping Gaza Off The Map”: Big Money Agenda. Confiscating Palestine’s Maritime Natural Gas Reserves

Video Interview with Michel Chossudovsky

Introduction

Israel has launched an invasion (October 7, 2023) of the Gaza Strip.

As outlined by Felicity Arbuthnot with foresight 10 years ago in a December, 30 2013 article: 

“Israel is set to become a major exporter of gas and some oil, “If All Goes to Plan”.

In the current context, Israel’s “All Goes to Plan” option consists in bypassing Palestine and “Wiping Gaza off the Map”,  as well confiscating ALL Gaza’s maritime offshore gas reserves, worth billions of dollars. 

The ultimate objective is not only to exclude Palestinians from their homeland, it consists in confiscating the multi-billion dollar Gaza offshore Natural Gas reserves, namely those pertaining to the BG (BG Group) in 1999as well the Levant discoveries of 2013. 

Update. Israel’s Secret Intelligence Memorandum

An official “secret” memorandum authored by Israel’s  Ministry of Intelligence “is recommending the forcible and permanent transfer of the Gaza Strip’s 2.2 million Palestinian residents to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula”, namely to a refugee camp in Egyptian territory. There are indications of Israel-Egypt negotiations  as well as consultations with the U.S. 

The 10-page document, dated Oct. 13, 2023, bears the logo of the Intelligence Ministry … assesses three options regarding the future of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip … It recommends a full population transfer as its preferred course of action. … The document, whose authenticity was confirmed by the ministry, has been translated into English in full here on +972. See below, click here or below to access complete document (10 pages)

First published on October  22, 2023. Video added on October 27, 2023, Update, November 1, 2023

***

Video: Michel Chossudovsky, Interview with Caroline Mailloux, Lux Media

MICHEL CHOSSUDOVSKY – FOLLOW THE MONEY: CONFISCATING PALESTINE’S NATURAL GAS RESERVE

To leave a comment and/or Access Rumble click to lower right hand corner

Felicity Arbuthnot’s 2013 Analysis 

“The Giant Leviathan natural gas field, in the eastern Mediterranean, discovered in December 2010, widely described [by governments and media] as “off the coast of Israel.”

These Levant reserves must be distinguished from those discovered in Gaza in 1999 by British Gas, which belong to Palestine. Felicity Arbuthnot’s analysis nonetheless confirms that “Part of the Leviathan Gas fields lie in Gazan territorial waters” (See Map Below). 

Whilst Israel claims them as her very own treasure trove, only a fraction of the sea’s wealth lies in Israel’s bailiwick as maps. Much is still unexplored, but currently Palestine’s Gaza and the West Bank between them show the greatest discoveries… (Felicity Arbuthnot, 2013) 

Flash Forward to October 2023

Netanyahu’s October 2023 declaration of war against 2.3 million people of the Gaza Strip is a continuation of its 2008-2009 invasion of Gaza under “Operation Cast Lead.” 

The underlying objective is the outright military occupation of Gaza by Israel’s IDF forces and the expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland.

I should however mention that there are powerful financial interests which stand to benefit from Israel’s criminal undertaking (Genocide) directed against Gaza. 

.

The ultimate objective is not only to exclude Palestinians from their homeland, it consists in confiscating the multi-billion dollar Gaza offshore Natural Gas reserves, namely those pertaining to the BG (BG Group) in 1999as well the Levant discoveries of 2013. 

Egypt-Israel “Secret Bilateral Talks” 

In 2021-22, Egypt and Israel were involved in “secret bilateral talks” regarding “the extraction of natural gas off the coast of the Gaza Strip. 

“Egypt succeeded in persuading Israel to start extracting natural gas off the coast of the Gaza Strip, after several months of secret bilateral talks.

This development … comes after years of Israeli objections to extract natural gas off the coast of Gaza on [alleged] security grounds, … 

British Gas (BG Group) has also been dealing with the Tel Aviv government.

What is significant is that the civilian arm of the Hamas Gaza government has been bypassed in regards to exploration and development rights over the gas fields: 

The field, which lies about 30 kilometers (19 miles) west of the Gaza coast, was discovered in 2000 by British Gas (currently BG Group) and is estimated to contain more than 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas

The official in the Egyptian intelligence service told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “An Egyptian economic and security delegation discussed with the Israeli side for several months the issue of allowing the extraction of natural gas off the coast of Gaza. …Al-Monitor, October 22, 2022

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Egypt and Israel, which had the rubber-stamp of the Palestinian National Authority (PA):

“The Egyptian official explained that Israel required the start of practical measures to extract gas from the Gaza fields at the beginning of 2024, to ensure its own security. (Al-Monitor, October 22, 2022

Netanyahu’s Timeline: “Before The Beginning of 2024”

The timeline resulting from these bilateral Israel-Egypt “secret talks” i.e. confiscation of Palestine’s offshore Maritime Gas Reserves is “The Beginning of 2024”.

United Nations Assessment

An important United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) (2019) report describes Palestine’s predicament as follows: 

Geologists and natural resources economists have confirmed that the Occupied Palestinian Territory lies above sizeable reservoirs of oil and natural gas wealth, in Area C of the occupied West Bank and the Mediterranean coast off the Gaza Strip.

However, occupation continues to prevent Palestinians from developing their energy fields so as to exploit and benefit from such assets. As such, the Palestinian people have been denied the benefits of using this natural resource to finance socioeconomic development and meet their need for energy.

The accumulated losses are estimated in the billions of dollars. The longer Israel prevents Palestinians from exploiting their own oil and natural gas reserves, the greater the opportunity costs and the greater the total costs of the occupation borne by Palestinians become.

This study identifies and assesses existing and potential Palestinian oil and natural gas reserves that could be exploited for the benefit of the Palestinian people, which Israel is either preventing them from exploiting or is exploiting without due regard for international law. (UNCTAD, August 2019, emphasis added, download complete report)

Crimes against Humanity

In the words of Netanyahu who is on Record for Supporting and Financing a faction within Hamas:  

“Anyone who wants to thwart the establishment of a Palestinian state has to support bolstering Hamas and transferring money to Hamas … This is part of our strategy – to isolate the Palestinians in Gaza from the Palestinians in the West Bank.”

(Benjamin Netanyahu, statement at a March 2019 meeting of his Likud Party’s Knesset members, Haaretz, October 9, 2023, emphasis added)

“Hamas was treated as a partner to the detriment of the Palestinian Authority to prevent Abbas from moving towards creating a Palestinian State. Hamas was promoted from a terrorist group to an organization with which Israel conducted negotiations through Egypt, and which was allowed to receive suitcases containing millions of dollars from Qatar through the Gaza crossings.”

(Times of Israel, October 8, 2023, emphasis added)

Crimes against humanity beyond description by the Netanyahu government against the People of Palestine,

Crimes also committed against the People of Israel who are the victims of the Hamas “False Flag Attack” carefully engineered by Mossad-IDF.

There are deep-seated divisions within Hamas. Our “False Flag” analysis pertains to a military-intelligence faction within Hamas which cooperates with Israeli and U.S. intelligence.  See:

Is the Gaza-Israel Fighting “A False Flag”? They Let it Happen? Their Objective Is “to Wipe Gaza Off the Map”?

By Philip Giraldi and Prof Michel Chossudovsky, October 20, 2023

Michel Chossudovsky,  Global Research, October 21, 2023

Below is the 2013 article by Felicity Arbuthnot

Israel Gas-Oil and Trouble in the Levant

by Felicity Arbuthnot 

Global Research, 

December 13, 2013

Israel is set to become a major exporter of gas and some oil, if all goes to plan. The giant Leviathan natural gas field, in the eastern Mediterranean, discovered in December 2010, is widely described as “off the coast of Israel.”

 At the time the gas field was:

“ … the most prominent field ever found in the sub-explored area of the Levantine Basin, which covers about 83,000 square kilometres of the eastern Mediterranean region.” (i)

Coupled with Tamar field, in the same location, discovered in 2009, the prospects are for an energy bonanza for Israel, for Houston, Texas based Noble Energy and partners Delek Drilling, Avner Oil Exploration and Ratio Oil Exploration.

Also involved is Perth, Australia-based Woodside Petroleum, which has signed a memorandum of understanding for a thirty percent stake in the project, in negotiations which have been described as “up and down.”

There is currently speculation that Woodside might pull out of the deal: “ …since the original plans to refrigerate the gas for export were pursued when relations between Israel and Turkey were strained. That has changed, more recently, which has opened the door for gas to be piped to Turkey.”

The spoils of the Leviathan field has already expanded from an estimated 16.7 trillion cubic feet (tcf ) of gas to nineteen trillion – and counting:

”We’ve discovered nearly 40 tcf of gas, and we have roughly 19 tcf of that gas that’s available for export to both regional and extra-regional markets. We see exports reaching 2 billion cubic feet a day in capacity in the next decade. And we continue to explore.”, stated Noble Vice Chairman Keith Elliot (ii) There are also estimated to be possibly six hundred million barrels of oil, according to Michael Economides of energytribune.com (“Eastern Mediterranean Energy – the next Great Game.”)

 However, even these estimates may prove modest. In their: “Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the Levant Basin Province, Eastern Mediterranean”, the US Department of the Interior’s US Geological Survey, wrote in 2010:

“We estimated a mean of 1.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil and a mean of 122 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas in this province using a geology based assessment methodology.”

Nevertheless, Woodside Petroleum, might also be hesitant to become involved in further disputes, since they are already embroiled, with the Australian government, in a protracted one in East Timor relating to the bonanaza of energy and minerals beneath the Timor Sea, which has even led to East Timor accusing Australia “of bugging East Timorese officials during the negotiations over the agreement.”(iii)

Woodside’s conflict in East Timor however, may well pale against what might well erupt over the Leviathan and Tamar fields. The area is not for nothing called the Levantine Basin.

Whilst Israel claims them as her very own treasure trove, only a fraction of the sea’s wealth lies in Israel’s bailiwick as maps (iv, v, see below) clearly show.

Much is still unexplored, but currently Palestine’s Gaza and the West Bank between them show the greatest discoveries, with anything found in Lebanon and Syria’s territorial waters sure to involve claims from both countries.

In a pre-emptive move, on Christmas Day, Syria announced a deal with Russia to explore 2,190 kilometres (850 Sq. miles) for oil and gas off its Mediterranean coast, to be: “… financed by Russia, and should oil and gas be discovered in commercial quantities, Moscow will recover the exploration costs.”

Syrian Oil Minister, Ali Abbas said during the signing ceremony that the contract covers “25 years, over several phases.”

Syria, increasingly crippled by international sanctions, has seen oil production plummet by ninety percent since the largely Western fermented unrest began in March 2011. Gas production has nearly halved, from thirty million cubic metres a day, to 16.7 cubic metres daily.

The agreement is reported to have resulted from “months of long negotiations” between the two countries. Russia, as one of the Syrian government’s main backers, looks set to also become a major player in the Levant Basin’s energy wealth. (vi)

Lebanon disputes Israel’s map of the Israeli-Lebanese maritime border, filing their own map and claims with the UN in 2010. Israel claims Lebanon is in the process of granting oil and gas exploration licenses in what Israel claims as its “exclusive economic zone.”

That the US in the guise of Vice President Joe Biden, as honest broker, acting peace negotiator in the maritime border dispute would be laughable, were it not potential for Israel to attack their neighbour again. In a visit to Israel in March 2010, Biden announced: “There is absolutely no space between the United States and Israel when it comes to Israel’s security- none at all”, also announcing on arrival in Israel:”It’s good to be home.”

Given US decades of  “peace brokering” between Israel and Palestine, this is already a road of pitfalls, one sidedness and duplicity, well traveled. There is trouble ahead.

Oh, and in demonology, Leviathan is one of the seven princes of Hell.

Notes

i. http://www.offshore-technology.com/projects/leviathan-gas-field-levantine-israel/

ii. http://m.theage.com.au/business/options-widen-for-woodsides-leviathan-partners-20131219-2znu6.html

iii. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-04/east-timor-offers-funds-for-onshore- gas-processing/4933106

iv. http://www.offshore-technology.com/projects/leviathan-gas-field-levantine-israel/leviathan-gas-field-levantine-israel1.html

v. http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Leviathan+gas+project+Israel+map&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=ntC2UvO7IcPE7Ab7rIDYCQ&ved=0CEQQsAQ&biw=1017&bih=598

vi. http://www.phantomreport.com/syria-inks-oil-gas-deal-with-russia-firm#more-20238

****

Michel Chossudovsky’s

Video: War and Natural Gas: The Israeli Invasion and Gaza’s Offshore Gas Fields

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, April 25, 2024

Almost fifteen years ago in December 2008, Israel invaded Gaza under “Operation Cast Lead (2008-2009)”.

The following article was first published by Global Research in January 2009 at the height of the Israeli bombing and invasion under Operation Cast Lead.

War and Natural Gas:

The Israeli Invasion and Gaza’s Offshore Gas Fields

by Michel Chossudovsky

January 8, 2009

The December 2008 military invasion of the Gaza Strip by Israeli Forces bears a direct relation to the control and ownership of strategic offshore gas reserves. 

This is a war of conquest. Discovered in 2000, there are extensive gas reserves off the Gaza coastline. 

British Gas (BG Group) and its partner, the Athens based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC) owned by Lebanon’s Sabbagh and Koury families, were granted oil and gas exploration rights in a 25 year agreement signed in November 1999 with the Palestinian Authority.

The rights to the offshore gas field are respectively British Gas (60 percent); Consolidated Contractors (CCC) (30 percent); and the Investment Fund of the Palestinian Authority (10 percent). (Haaretz, October 21,  2007).

The PA-BG-CCC agreement includes field development and the construction of a gas pipeline.(Middle East Economic Digest, Jan 5, 2001).

The BG licence covers the entire Gazan offshore marine area, which is contiguous to several Israeli offshore gas facilities. (See Map below). It should be noted that 60 percent of the gas reserves along the Gaza-Israel coastline belong to Palestine.

The BG Group drilled two wells in 2000: Gaza Marine-1 and Gaza Marine-2. Reserves are estimated by British Gas to be of the order of 1.4 trillion cubic feet, valued at approximately 4 billion dollars. These are the figures made public by British Gas. The size of Palestine’s gas reserves could be much larger.

Map 1

Map 2

Who Owns the Gas Fields

The issue of sovereignty over Gaza’s gas fields is crucial. From a legal standpoint, the gas reserves belong to Palestine.

The death of Yasser Arafat, the election of the Hamas government and the ruin of the Palestinian Authority have enabled Israel to establish de facto control over Gaza’s offshore gas reserves.

British Gas (BG Group) has been dealing with the Tel Aviv government. In turn, the Hamas government has been bypassed in regards to exploration and development rights over the gas fields.

The election of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2001 was a major turning point. Palestine’s sovereignty over the offshore gas fields was challenged in the Israeli Supreme Court. Sharon stated unequivocally that “Israel would never buy gas from Palestine” intimating that Gaza’s offshore gas reserves belong to Israel.

In 2003, Ariel Sharon, vetoed an initial deal, which would allow British Gas to supply Israel with natural gas from Gaza’s offshore wells. (The Independent, August 19, 2003)

The election victory of Hamas in 2006 was conducive to the demise of the Palestinian Authority, which became confined to the West Bank, under the proxy regime of Mahmoud Abbas.

In 2006, British Gas “was close to signing a deal to pump the gas to Egypt.” (Times, May, 23, 2007). According to reports, British Prime Minister Tony Blair intervened on behalf of Israel with a view to shunting the agreement with Egypt.

The following year, in May 2007, the Israeli Cabinet approved a proposal by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert  “to buy gas from the Palestinian Authority.” The proposed contract was for $4 billion, with profits of the order of $2 billion of which one billion was to go the Palestinians.

Tel Aviv, however, had no intention on sharing the revenues with Palestine. An Israeli team of negotiators was set up by the Israeli Cabinet to thrash out a deal with the BG Group, bypassing both the Hamas government and the Palestinian Authority:

Israeli defence authorities want the Palestinians to be paid in goods and services and insist that no money go to the Hamas-controlled Government.” (Ibid, emphasis added)

The objective was essentially to nullify the contract signed in 1999 between the BG Group and the Palestinian Authority under Yasser Arafat.

Under the proposed 2007 agreement with BG, Palestinian gas from Gaza’s offshore wells was to be channeled by an undersea pipeline to the Israeli seaport of Ashkelon, thereby transferring control over the sale of the natural gas to Israel.

The deal fell through. The negotiations were suspended:

 “Mossad Chief Meir Dagan opposed the transaction on security grounds, that the proceeds would fund terror”. (Member of Knesset Gilad Erdan, Address to the Knesset on “The Intention of Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to Purchase Gas from the Palestinians When Payment Will Serve Hamas,” March 1, 2006, quoted in Lt. Gen. (ret.) Moshe Yaalon, Does the Prospective Purchase of British Gas from Gaza’s Coastal Waters Threaten Israel’s National Security?  Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, October 2007)

Israel’s intent was to foreclose the possibility that royalties be paid to the Palestinians. In December 2007, The BG Group withdrew from the negotiations with Israel and in January 2008 they closed their office in Israel.(BG website).

Invasion Plan on The Drawing Board

The invasion plan of the Gaza Strip under “Operation Cast Lead” was set in motion in June 2008, according to Israeli military sources:

“Sources in the defense establishment said Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed the Israel Defense Forces to prepare for the operation over six months ago [June or before June] , even as Israel was beginning to negotiate a ceasefire agreement with Hamas.”(Barak Ravid, Operation “Cast Lead”: Israeli Air Force strike followed months of planning, Haaretz, December 27, 2008)

That very same month, the Israeli authorities contacted British Gas, with a view to resuming crucial negotiations pertaining to the purchase of Gaza’s natural gas:

“Both Ministry of Finance director general Yarom Ariav and Ministry of National Infrastructures director general Hezi Kugler agreed to inform BG of Israel’s wish to renew the talks.

The sources added that BG has not yet officially responded to Israel’s request, but that company executives would probably come to Israel in a few weeks to hold talks with government officials.” (Globes online- Israel’s Business Arena, June 23, 2008)

The decision to speed up negotiations with British Gas (BG Group) coincided, chronologically, with the planning of the invasion of Gaza initiated in June. It would appear that Israel was anxious to reach an agreement with the BG Group prior to the invasion, which was already in an advanced planning stage.

Moreover, these negotiations with British Gas were conducted by the Ehud Olmert government with the knowledge that a military invasion was on the drawing board. In all likelihood, a new “post war” political-territorial arrangement for the Gaza strip was also being contemplated by the Israeli government.

In fact, negotiations between British Gas and Israeli officials were ongoing in October 2008, 2-3 months prior to the commencement of the bombings on December 27th.

In November 2008, the Israeli Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of National Infrastructures instructed Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) to enter into negotiations with British Gas, on the purchase of natural gas from the BG’s offshore concession in Gaza. (Globes, November 13, 2008)

“Ministry of Finance director general Yarom Ariav and Ministry of National Infrastructures director general Hezi Kugler wrote to IEC CEO Amos Lasker recently, informing him of the government’s decision to allow negotiations to go forward, in line with the framework proposal it approved earlier this year.

The IEC board, headed by chairman Moti Friedman, approved the principles of the framework proposal a few weeks ago. The talks with BG Group will begin once the board approves the exemption from a tender.” (Globes Nov. 13, 2008)

Gaza and Energy Geopolitics 

The military occupation of Gaza is intent upon transferring the sovereignty of the gas fields to Israel in violation of international law.

What can we expect in the wake of the invasion?

What is the intent of Israel with regard to Palestine’s Natural Gas reserves?

A new territorial arrangement, with the stationing of Israeli and/or “peacekeeping” troops?

The militarization of the entire Gaza coastline, which is strategic for Israel?

The outright confiscation of Palestinian gas fields and the unilateral declaration of Israeli sovereignty over Gaza’s maritime areas?

If this were to occur, the Gaza gas fields would be integrated into Israel’s offshore installations, which are contiguous to those of the Gaza Strip. (See Map 1 above)

These various offshore installations are also linked up to Israel’s energy transport corridor, extending from the port of Eilat, which is an oil pipeline terminal, on the Red Sea to the seaport – pipeline terminal at Ashkelon, and northwards to Haifa, and eventually linking up through a proposed Israeli-Turkish pipeline with the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

Map 3

Ceyhan is the terminal of the Baku, Tblisi Ceyhan Trans Caspian pipeline.

“What is envisaged is to link the BTC pipeline to the Trans-Israel Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline, also known as Israel’s Tipline.” (See Michel Chossudovsky, The War on Lebanon and the Battle for Oil, Global Research, July 23, 2006)

Readers’ Thanks to Michel Chossudovsky

  • Thank you for your continued activism and truth-telling. A thankless task but the right thing.
  • You Sir are a Canadian hero. Thank you for your wonderful site and all the fine work you have done over the many years I have followed your work.
  • Michel Chossudovsky, you are a voice of reason and understanding. Thank you for your awareness. I am a Syrian/American. I heard one voice during the bombing of Gaza of a child screaming for his father and his father could not reach him, but he cried out to him, “PUT YOUR HEART ON MY HEART.” Those humans who are putting your Heart on Palestine, thank you.

The original source of this article is Global Research

Copyright © Felicity Arbuthnot and Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2024

Afghanistan a tragic past, a Teetering present, and a Dubious future.

The U.S. war on Afghanistan is a brutal attack on a country that has already been almost destroyed by more than 20 years of foreign invasion and civil war.’ The Soviet occupation, which lasted from 1979 to 1989, left more than a million people dead. Millions still live in refugee camps More than 500,000 orphans are disabled. Ten million land mines still litter the country, killing an average of 90 people per month. At 43 years, life expectancy in Afghanistan is on average 17 years lower than that for people in other developing countries. The countryside is devastated and is currently experiencing a severe drought, with 7.5 million people threatened with starvation. The death and destruction wrought by the U.S. bombing campaign-and the cut off of food aid deliveries it has caused-have already killed hundreds and produced thousands more refugees scrambling to escape into Pakistan.

But not only is Washington attacking one of the poorest countries in the world, past U.S. government actions are in no small part responsible for the current situation in Afghanistan. The Bush administration claims to be targeting Osama bin Laden, who it says masterminded the September 11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon (even though it has offered no concrete evidence to back up this accusation), and Afghanistan’s Taliban government, which is sheltering him. But as the Economist magazine noted soon after September 11, ” [U.S.] policies in Afghanistan a decade and more ago helped to create both Osama bin Laden and the fundamentalist Taliban regime that shelters him.” An examination of this history will reveal the extent to which U.S. foreign policy is based on hypocrisy, realpolitik, and the short-term pursuit of narrow interests.


 

Before the Russians invaded

Modern Afghanistan was created in the nineteenth century as a buffer state between the Russian and British empires as they played their “great game” in the region. This historical circumstance, coupled with the country’s forbidding mountainous terrain, not only made it difficult for imperialist countries to conquer Afghanistan (it did not undergo colonial rule), but also resulted in little economic development.

The country contains many different ethnic groups. The Pashtuns-from whom Afghanistan’s traditional rulers have come-constitute 52 percent of the population. The Hazaras are 19 percent of the population. The Tajiks in the north constitute 21 percent; Uzbeks, also in the north, 5 percent. About 85 percent of Afghans are Sunni Muslims, and about 15 percent, among the Hazaras, are Shia Muslims.

Afghanistan survived as a medieval island in the modern world, characterized by backwardness and extreme poverty. In the postwar period, some changes began to occur as a result of foreign aid from the USSR and, to a lesser extent, the U.S., which were vying for influence during the Cold War. Power shifted toward the state, and an educated middle class began to emerge. But industry still barely existed.

In 1973, following a severe drought, King Zaher’s cousin Daud overthrew Zaher’s corrupt and repressive regime and declared a republic. But government corruption increased and promised modernization did not take place. Meanwhile, Daud began to collaborate more closely with the Shah of Iran. Lower-level officials and members of the middle class grew increasingly discontented. In April 1978, as Daud attempted to move against his opponents on the left, he was overthrown and killed by army officers sympathetic to the pro-Soviet People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA).

Following the coup, a broad ruling coalition was set up, controlled by the Khalq, one of the PDPA’s two factions. Nur Mohammad Taraki, a well-known novelist, became president. Within a few months, however, the Khalq pushed Barbrak Karmal and other members of the rival Parcham faction out of the government. Karmal was made ambassador to Prague, and other Parchami were also given diplomatic posts. The new government lacked any social base outside Kabul, and its program of reforms soon provoked a popular backlash. The Kabul regime was completely isolated from the mass of the population in the countryside:

[They] had neither survey information nor local leaders with knowledge of actual conditions in the countryside. In short, it would have been virtually impossible for them to devise a successful land-reform program. As it was, their reforms were implemented by blundering and often brutal officials from the city who dropped into the countryside by parachute.

Rebellion and resistance started to spread around the country. The resistance was spontaneous, but soon came to be led by an alliance of conservative Islamic groups who referred to themselves as “majahideen” (holy warriors). By the spring of 1979, rebellion had spread to most of the country’s 29 provinces. On March 24, a garrison of soldiers in Herat killed a group of Soviet advisers (and their families) who had ordered Afghan troops to fire on antigovernment demonstrators. From this point, the regime was no longer merely isolated from peasants in the countryside, but divided by open hostility from an overwhelming majority of all the people. The regime had no choice now but to crush much of the population…. [Prime Minister Hafizullah] Amin’s secret police and a repressive civilian police force went into action across Afghanistan, and army troops were sent into the countryside to subdue “feudal” villagers.

Government repression was severe. “Mass arrests were commonly followed by torture and execution without trial. Police terror was common in the city as well as the countryside, where virtually all social groups joined in the rebellion.” The rebels’ tactics were equally brutal. The Washington Post reported that the mujahideen liked to “torture victims by first cutting off their noses, ears, and genitals, then removing one slice of skin after another.”

As the situation got out of control, the Soviets advised Taraki to dismiss Amin, reunite with Parcham, and adopt a policy of “democratic nationalism.” But Amin got wind of the plan and arrested Taraki in September, assassinating him soon afterward. Amin was now in the position of publicly accusing the Russians of plotting to overthrow the Afghan government while being totally dependent on Soviet military and economic support.

In December, hard-liners in Moscow decided that Amin had to go. They believed that he could be removed by a dramatic show of force and quietly replaced by Karmal. On December 27, a force of 5,000 Soviet troops advanced on Kabul, but Amin refused to leave office quietly and fought back. On December 28, ” [a]fter twelve hours of bitter combat with Soviet forces at the presidential palace, Amin was killed, along with 2,000 loyal members of his armed forces.” Having killed the man whom they claimed had invited them into the country, the Russians proclaimed Karmal to be president and flew him back from Moscow. Within a few days, the number of Soviet troops in Afghanistan had reached 80,000. The figure later climbed to more than 100,000. What was to be nearly a decade of Russian occupation had begun.

 

The CIA’s anticommunist jihad

President Jimmy Carter immediately declared that the invasion jeopardized vital U.S. interests, because the Persian Gulf area was “now threatened by Soviet troops in Afghanistan. But the Carter administration’s public outrage at Russian intervention in Afghanistan was doubly duplicitous. Not only was it used as an excuse for a program of increased military expenditure that had in fact already begun, but the U.S. had in fact been aiding the mujahideen for at least the previous six months, with precisely the hope of provoking a Soviet response. Former CIA director Robert Gates later admitted in his memoirs that aid to the rebels began in June 1979. In a candid 1998 interview, Zbigniew Brezinski, Carter’s national security adviser, confirmed that U.S. aid to the rebels began before the 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 [in] 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…. We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would….

That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap…. 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.”

The Carter administration was well aware that in backing the mujahideen it was supporting forces with reactionary social goals, but this was outweighed by its own geopolitical interests. In August 1979, a classified State Department report bluntly asserted that “the United States’ larger interest…would be served by the demise of the Taraki-Amin regime, despite whatever setbacks this might mean for future social and economic reforms in Afghanistan.” That same month, in a stunning display of hypocrisy, State Department spokesperson Hodding Carter piously announced that the U.S. “expect[s] the principle of nonintervention to be respected by all parties in the area, including the Soviet Union.”

The Russian invasion in December was the signal for U.S. support to the Afghan rebels to increase dramatically.

Three weeks after Soviet tanks rolled into Kabul, Carter’s secretary of defense, Harold Brown, was in Beijing arranging for a weapons transfer from the Chinese to the ClA-backed Afghani troops mustered in Pakistan. The Chinese, who were generously compensated for the deal, agreed and even consented to send military advisers. Brown worked out a similar arrangement with Egypt to buy $15 million worth of weapons. “The U.S. contacted me,” [then-Egyptian president] Anwar Sadat recalled shortly before his assassination [in 1981]. “They told me, ‘Please open your stores for us so that we can give the Afghans the armaments they need to fight.’ And I gave them the armaments. The transport of arms to the Afghans started from Cairo on U.S. planes.”

By February 1980, the Washington Post reported that the mujahideen was receiving arms coming from the U.S. government.

The objective of the intervention, as spelled out by Brezinski, was to trap the Soviets in a long and costly war designed to drain their resources, just as Vietnam had bled the United States. The high level of civilian casualties that this would certainly entail was considered but set aside. According to one senior official, “The question here was whether it was morally acceptable that, in order to keep the Soviets off balance, which was the reason for the operation, it was permissible to use other lives for our geopolitical interests.” Carter’s CIA director Stansfield Turner answered the question: “I decided I could live with that.” According to Representative Charles Wilson, a Texas Democrat,

There were 58,000 dead in Vietnam and we owe the Russians one…. I have a slight obsession with it, because of Vietnam. I thought the Soviets ought to get a dose of it…. I’ve been of the opinion that this money was better spent to hurt our adversaries than other money in the Defense Department budget.

The mujahideen consisted of at least seven factions, who often fought amongst themselves in their battle for territory and control of the opium trade. To hurt the Russians, the U.S. deliberately chose to give the most support to the most extreme groups. A disproportionate share of U.S. arms went to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, “a particularly fanatical fundamentalist and woman-hater.”‘ According to journalist Tim Weiner, ” [Hekmatyar’s] followers first gained attention by throwing acid in the faces of women who refused to wear the veil. CIA and State Department officials I have spoken with call him ‘scary,’ ‘vicious,’ ‘a fascist,’ ‘definite dictatorship material.”

There was, though, a kind of method in the madness: Brezinski hoped not just to drive the Russians out of Afghanistan, but to ferment unrest within the Soviet Union itself. His plan, says author Dilip Hiro, was “to export a composite ideology of nationalism and Islam to the Muslim-majority Central Asian states and Soviet Republics with a view to destroying the Soviet order.” Looking back in 1998, Brezinski had no regrets. “What was more important in the world view of history?… A few stirred-up Muslims or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War>”

With the support of Pakistan’s military dictator, General Zia-ul-Haq, the U.S. began recruiting and training both mujahideen fighters from the 3 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan and large numbers of mercenaries from other Islamic countries. Estimates of how much money the U.S. government channeled to the Afghan rebels over the next decade vary, but most sources put the figure between $3 billion and $6 billion, or more. Whatever the exact amount, this was “the largest covert action program since World War II” – much bigger, for example, than Washington’s intervention in Central America at the same time, which received considerably more publicity. According to one report:

The CIA became the grand coordinator: purchasing or arranging the manufacture of Soviet-style weapons from Egypt, China, Poland, Israel and elsewhere, or supplying their own; arranging for military training by Americans, Egyptians, Chinese and Iranians; hitting up Middle-Eastern countries for donations, notably Saudi Arabia which gave many hundreds of millions of dollars in aid each year, totaling probably more than a billion; pressuring and bribing Pakistan-with whom recent American relations had been very poor-to rent out its country as a military staging area and sanctuary; putting the Pakistani Director of Military Operations, Brigadier Mian Mohammad Afzal, onto the CIA payroll to ensure Pakistani cooperation.

When Ronald Reagan became president in 1981, he found the Democratic-controlled Congress eager to increase spending on the Afghan war. A congressional staffer told a reporter, “It was a windfall [for the new administration]. They’d faced so much opposition to covert action in Central America and here comes the Congress helping and throwing money at them, putting money their way and they say, ‘Who are we to say no?”

Aid to the mujahideen, who Reagan praised as “freedom fighters,” increased, but initially Afghanistan was not a priority:

In the first years after the Reagan administration inherited the Carter program, the covert Afghan war “tended to be handled out of [CIA director William] Casey’s back pocket,” recalled Ronald Spiers, a former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, the base of the Afghan rebels. Mainly from China’s government, the CIA purchased assault rifles, grenade launchers, mines and SA-7 light antiaircraft weapons, and then arranged for shipment to Pakistan…. The amounts were significant-10,000 tons of arms and ammunition in 1983, according to [Pakistani General Mohammed] Yousaf-but a fraction of what they would be in just a few years.

In March 1985, the Reagan administration issued National Security Decision Directive 166,29 a secret plan to escalate covert action in Afghanistan dramatically:

Abandoning a policy of simple harassment of Soviet occupiers, the Reagan team decided secretly to let loose on the Afghan battlefield an array of U.S. high technology and military expertise in an effort to hit and demoralize Soviet commanders and soldiers….

Beginning in 1985, the CIA supplied mujahideen rebels with extensive satellite reconnaissance data of Soviet targets on the Afghan battlefield, plans for military operations based on the satellite intelligence, intercepts of Soviet communications, secret communications networks for the rebels, delayed timing devices for tons of C-4 plastic explosives for urban sabotage, and sophisticated guerrilla attacks, long-range sniper rifles, a targeting device for mortars that was linked to a U.S. Navy satellite, wire-guided anti-tank missiles, and other equipment.

Between 1986 and 1989, the mujahideen were also provided with more than 1,000 state-of-the-art, shoulder-fired Stinger antiaircraft missiles.

By 1987, the annual supply of arms had reached 65,000 tons, and a “ceaseless stream” of CIA and Pentagon officials were

 

visiting Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) headquarters in Rawalpindi and helping to plan mujahideen operations:

At any one time during the Afghan fighting season, as many as 11 ISI teams trained and supplied by the CIA accompanied mujahideen across the border to supervise attacks, according to Yousaf and Western sources. The teams attacked airports, railroads, fuel depots, electricity pylons, bridges and roads….

CIA operations officers helped Pakistani trainers establish schools for the mujahideen in secure communications, guerrilla warfare, urban sabotage and heavy weapons.

Although the CIA claimed that the purpose was to attack military targets, mujahideen trained in these techniques, and using chemical and electronic-delay bomb timers supplied by the U.S., carried out numerous car bombings and assassination attacks in Kabul itself.

 

Bin Laden and the Arab-Afghans

As well as training and recruiting Afghan nationals to fight the Soviets, the CIA permitted its ISI allies to recruit Muslim extremists from around the world. Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid reports:

Between 1982 and 1992, some 35,000 Muslim radicals from 43 Islamic countries in the Middle East, North and East Africa, Central Asia and the Far East would pass their baptism under fire with the Afghan mujahideen. Tens of thousands more foreign Muslim radicals came to study in the hundreds of new madrassas [religious schools] that Zia’s military government began to fund in Pakistan and along the Afghan border. Eventually more than 100,000 Muslim radicals were to have direct contact with Pakistan and Afghanistan and be influenced by the jihad [against the USSR].

In camps near Peshawar and in Afghanistan, these radicals met each other for the first time and studied trained and fought together. It was the first opportunity for most of them to learn about Islamic movements in other countries, and they forged tactical and ideological links that would serve them well in the future. The camps became virtual universities for future Islamic radicalism.

One of the first non-Afghan volunteers to join the ranks of the mujahideen was Osama bin Laden, a civil engineer and businessman from a wealthy construction family in Saudi Arabia, with close ties to members of the Saudi royal family. 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, raising money from private Saudi citizens. By 1984, he was running the Maktab al-Khidamar, an organization set up by the ISI to funnel “money, arms, and fighters from the outside world in the Afghan war.”

Since September 11, CIA officials have been claiming they had no direct link to bin Laden. These denials lack credibility. Earlier this year, the trial of defendants accused of the 1998 U.S. embassy bombing in Kenya disclosed that the CIA shipped high-powered sniper rifles directly to bin Laden’s operation in 1989. Even the Tennessee-based manufacturer of the rifles confirmed this. According to the Boston Globe,

Some military analysts and specialists on the weapons trade say the CIA has spent years covering its tracks on its early ties to the Afghan forces…. Despite the ClA’s denials, these experts say it was inevitable that the military training in guerrilla tactics and the vast reservoir of money and arms that the CIA provided in Afghanistan would have ended up helping bin Laden and his forces during the 1980s.

“In 1988, with U.S. knowledge, bin Laden created Al Qaeda (The Base): a conglomerate of quasi independent Islamic terrorist cells spread across at least 26 countries,” writes Indian journalist Rahul Bhedi. “Washington turned a blind eye to Al-Qaeda, confident that it would not directly impinge on the U.S.” After the Soviet withdrawal, however, bin Laden and thousands of other volunteers returned to their own countries:

Their heightened political consciousness made them realize that countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt were just as much client regimes of the United States as the Najibullah regime [in Afghanistan] has been of Moscow.

In their home countries they built a formidable constituency-popularly known as “Afghanis”-who combined strong ideological convictions with the guerrilla skills they had acquired in Pakistan and Afghanistan under CIA supervision.

Over the past 10 years, the “Afghani” network has been linked to terrorist attacks not only on U.S. targets, but also in the Philippines, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, France, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, China, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, and elsewhere. “This is an insane instance of the chickens coming home to roost,” one U.S. diplomat in Pakistan told the Los Angeles Times. “You can’t plug billions of dollars into an anti-Communist jihad, accept participation from all over the world and ignore the consequences. But we did.

 

Romancing the Taliban

As the Russians withdrew from Afghanistan in early 1989, American policymakers celebrated with champagne, while the country itself collapsed into virtual anarchy. Almost a quarter of the population was living in refugee camps and most of the country was in ruins. Different factions of the mujahideen struggled for power in the countryside, while the government of Muhammed Najibullah, the last Soviet-installed president controlled Kabul. Eventually, in April 1992, Kabul fell to some of the mujahideen factions and Burhannudin Rabbani was de dared president, but civil war continued unabated. Hekmatyar in particular was dissatisfied with the new distribution 0 power. With his huge stock of U.S.-supplied weapons, h began an artillery and rocket assault on Kabul that lasted for almost three years, even after he was appointed prime minister in 1993. “The barrage…killed more than 10,000 Afghans [drove] hundreds of thousands into squalid refugee camps, created political chaos, and blocked millions of exiles from returning.” The rest of the country disintegrated into isolated fiefdoms dominated by local warlords.

In 1994, a new group, the Taliban (Pashtun for “students”), emerged on the scene. Its members came from madrassas set up by the Pakistani government along the border and funded by the U.S., Britain, and the Saudis, where they had received theological indoctrination and military training. Thousands of young men-refugees and orphans from the war in Afghanistan-became the foot soldiers of this movement:

These boys were from a generation who had never seen their country at peace-an Afghanistan not at war with invaders and itself. They had no memories of their tribes, their elders, their neighbors nor the complex ethnic mix of peoples that made up their villages and their homeland. These boys were what the war had thrown up like the sea’s surrender on the beach of history …

They were literally the orphans of war, the rootless and restless, the jobless and the economically deprived with little self-knowledge. They admired war because it was the only occupation they could possibly adapt to. Their simple belief in a messianic, puritan Islam which had been drummed into them by simple village mullahs was the only prop they could hold on to and which gave their lives some meaning. Untrained for anything, even the traditional occupations of their forefathers such as farming, herding or the making of handicrafts, they were what Karl Marx would have termed Afghanistan’s lumpen proletariat.

With the aid of the Pakistani army, the Taliban swept across most of the exhausted country promising a restoration of order and finally capturing Kabul in September 1996. The Taliban imposed an ultra-sectarian version of Islam, closely related to Wahhabism, the ruling creed in Saudi Arabia. Women have been denied education, health care, and the right to work. They must cover themselves completely when in public. Minorities have been brutally repressed. Even singing and dancing in public are forbidden.

The Taliban’s brand of extreme Islam had no historical roots in Afghanistan. The roots of the Taliban’s success lay in 20 years of “jihad” against the Russians and further devastation wrought by years of internal fighting between the warlord factions. Initially, villagers-especially the majority Pashtuns in the south who shared the Taliban’s ethnicity-welcomed them as a force that might end the warfare and bring some order and peace to Afghanistan. Their lack of a social base within Afghanistan made them appear untainted by the factional warfare, and their moral purism made them appear above compromise. Before launching their war to conquer power, they first won some public support by appearing as the avenger against the warlords’ raping of women and boys. Of course, they could not have risen so far and so fast without the financial and military backing of Pakistan.

The U.S. government was well aware of the Taliban’s reactionary program, yet it chose to back their rise to power in the mid-1990s. The creation of the Taliban was “actively encouraged by the ISI and the CIA,” according to Selig Harrison, an expert on U.S. relations with Asia. “The United States encouraged Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to support the Taliban, certainly right up to their advance on Kabul,” adds respected journalist Ahmed Rashid. When the Taliban took power, State Department spokesperson Glyn Davies said that he saw “nothing objectionable” in the Taliban’s plans to impose strict Islamic law, and Senator Hank Brown, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Near East and South Asia, welcomed the new regime: “The good part of what has happened is that one of the factions at last seems capable of developing a new government in Afghanistan.” “The Taliban will probably develop like the Saudis. There will be Aramco [the consortium of oil companies that controlled Saudi oil], pipelines, an emir, no parliament and lots of Sharia law. We can live with that,” said another U.S. diplomat in 1997.

The reference to oil and pipelines explains everything. Since the collapse of the USSR at the end of 1991, U.S. oil companies and their friends in the State Department have been salivating at the prospect of gaining access to the huge oil and natural gas reserves in the former Soviet republics bordering the Caspian Sea and in Central Asia. These have been estimated as worth $4 trillion. The American Petroleum Institute calls the Caspian region “the area of greatest resource potential outside of the Middle East.” And while he was still CEO of Halliburton, the world’s biggest oil services company, Vice President Dick Cheney told other industry executives, “I can’t think of a time when we’ve had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian.” The struggle to control these stupendous resources has given rise to what Rashid has dubbed the “new Great Game,” pitting shifting alliances of governments and oil and gas consortia against one another.

Afghanistan itself has no known oil or gas reserves, but it is an attractive route for pipelines leading to Pakistan, India, and the Arabian Sea. In the mid-1990s, a consortium led by the California-based Unocal Corporation proposed a $4.5 billion oil and gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan. But this would require a stable central government in Afghanistan itself. Thus began several years in which U.S. policy in the region centered on “romancing the Taliban.” According to one report,

In the months before the Taliban took power, former U.S. assistant secretary of state for South Asia Robin Raphel waged an intense round of shuttle diplomacy between the powers with possible stakes in the [Unocal] project.

“Robin Raphel was the face of the Unocal pipeline,” said an official of the former Afghan government who was present at some of de meetings with her….

In addition to tapping new sources of energy, de [project] also suited a major U.S. strategic aim in the region: isolating its nemesis Iran and stifling a frequently mooted rival pipeline project backed by Teheran, experts said.

But Washington’s initial enthusiasm for the Taliban’s seizure of power provoked a hostile reaction from human rights and women’s organizations in the United States. The Clinton administration quickly decided to take a more cautious public approach. Plans to send the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan on a visit to Kabul were canceled, and the State Department decided not to recognize the new regime immediately. Nevertheless, Unocal executive vice president Chris Taggart continued to maintain, “If the Taliban leads to stability and international recognition then it’s positive.”

Tacit U.S. support for the Taliban continued until 1998, when Washington blamed Osama bin Laden for the bombing of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and retaliated by launching cruise missiles at bin Laden’s alleged training camps in Afghanistan. The Taliban’s refusal to extradite bin Laden- not its atrocious human rights record-led to UN-imposed sanctions on the regime the following year. “Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright used to say that she cared about the women suffering under the Taliban, but after the Taliban took over the U.S. accepted very few refugees,” points out journalist Laura Flanders. “In ’96 and ’97 no Afghan refugees were admitted to the United States; in ’98, only 88, in ’99, some 360.”

Whatever the U.S. government’s current rhetoric about the repressive nature of the Taliban regime, its long history of intervention in the region has been motivated not by concern for democracy or human rights, but by the narrow economic and political interests of the U.S. ruling class. It has been prepared to aid and support the most retrograde elements if it thought a temporary advantage would be the result. Now Washington has launched a war against its former allies based on a strategic calculation that the Taliban can no longer be relied upon to provide a stable, U.S.-friendly government that can serve its strategic interests. No matter what the outcome, the war is certain to lay the grounds for more “blowback” in the future.


Islamism, fascism and terrorism: 4 Parts

By Marc Erikson, Asia Times

Part 1:

[Editor’s note: As distinct from the world religion of Islam, Islamism – as in part contextually defined below – is a political ideology that adherents would apply to contemporary governance and politics, and which they propagate through political and social activism.]

On November 7, 2001, on the request of the US government, the Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s Office froze the bank accounts of Nada Management, a Lugano-based financial services and consulting firm, and ordered a search and seizure raid on the firm’s offices. Police pulled in several of the company’s principals for questioning. Nada Management, part of the international al-Taqwa (“fear of God”) group, is accused by US Treasury Department investigators of having acted for years as advisers and a funding conduit for Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda.

Among those interrogated by police was a certain Albert Friedrich Armand (aka Ahmed) Huber, 74, a Swiss convert to Islam and retired journalist who sits on the Nada board of directors. Nothing too unusual perhaps, except for the fact that Huber is also a high-profile neo-Nazi who tirelessly travels the far-right circuit in Europe and the United States. He sees himself as a mediator between radical Islam and what he calls the New Right. Since September 11, a picture of Osama bin Laden hangs next to one of Adolf Hitler on the wall of his study in Muri just outside the Swiss capital of Bern. September 11, says Huber, brought the radical Islam-New Right alliance together.

On that, as his own career amply demonstrates, he is largely wrong. Last year’s horrific terrorist acts were gleefully celebrated by Islamists and neo-Nazis alike (Huber boozed it up with young followers in a Bern bar) and may have produced closer links. But Islamism and fascism have a long, over 80-year history of collaboration based on shared ideas, practices and perceived common enemies. They abhor “Western decadence” (political liberalism, capitalism), fight holy wars – if needs be suicidal ones – by indiscriminate means, and are bent on the destruction of the Jews and of America and its allies.

Horst Mahler – once a lawyer for, later a member of, the 1960s/’70s German ultra-left terrorist Baader-Meinhof gang, and now a leading neo-Nazi – summed up convergent radical Islamic and far-right views and hopes in a September 21, 2001 letter: “The USA – or, to be more exact, the World Police – has shown itself to be vulnerable … The foreseeable reaction of the East Coast [= the Jewish controllers and their gentile allies = the US Establishment] can be the spark that falls into a powder keg. For decades, the jihad – the Holy War – has been the agenda of the Islamic world against the ‘Western value system.’ This time it could break out in earnest … It would be world war, that is won with the dagger … The Anglo-American and European employees of the ‘global players,’ dispersed throughout the entire world, are – as Osama bin Laden proclaimed a long while ago – military targets. These would be attacked by dagger, where they least expected an attack. Only a few need be liquidated in this manner; the survivors will run off like hares into their respective home countries, where they belong.”

Such convergence of views, methods and goals goes back to the 1920s when both Islamism and fascism, ideologically pre-shaped in the late 19th century, emerged as organized political movements with the ultimate aim of seizing state power and imposing their ideological and social policy precepts (in which aims fascism, of course, succeeded in the early ’20s and ’30s in Italy and Germany, respectively; Islamism only in 1979 in Iran; then in Sudan and Afghanistan). Both movements claim to be the true representatives of some arcane, idealized religious or ethnically pure communities of days long past – in the case of Islamism, the period of the four “righteous caliphs” (632-662), notably the rule of Umar bin al-Khattab (634-44) which allegedly exemplifies “din wa dawla”, the unity of religion and state; in the case of the Nazis, the even more obscure Aryan “Volksgemeinschaft”, with no historical reference point at all. But both are in reality – as historian Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, puts it – 20th century outgrowths, radical movements, utopian and totalitarian in their outlook. The Iranian scholars Ladan and Roya Boroumand have made the same point.

The Nazi (“national socialist”) movement was formed in reaction to the World War I destruction of the “Second Reich”, the “unequal and treasonous” Versailles Treaty and the mass social dislocation that followed, its racialist, corporatist ideology laid out in Hitler’s Mein Kampf (My Struggle). The Muslim Brotherhood (Al Ikhwan Al Muslimun), parent organization of numerous Islamist terrorist outfits, was formed in 1928 in reaction to the 1924 abolition of the caliphate by Turkish reformer Kemal Ataturk, drawing the consequences of the World War I demise of the Ottoman Empire. Ikhwan founder Hassan al-Banna, an Egyptian school teacher, wrote at the time that it was endless contemplation of “the sickness that has reduced the ummah (Muslim community) to its present state” which prompted him and five like-minded followers – all of them in their early twenties – to set up the organization to rectify it.

Fascist Nazi history need not be dwelt on further here. It led to the horrors and destruction of World War II and the Holocaust. Neo-Nazism, whether in Europe or the US, remains a terrorist threat and – as the French Le Pen version demonstrated in parliamentary elections this year – retains a measure of political clout. It is nonetheless a boxed-in niche force with little capability for break-out. Its ideological twin, Islamism, by sharp contrast, has every chance for wreaking escalating world-wide havoc based on its fast-growing influence among the world’s more than one billion Muslims. Immediately following September 11 last year, US President George W Bush declared war on terrorism. It’s a catchy phrase, but a serious misnomer all the same. Terrorism is a method of warfare, not the enemy. The enemy is Islamism.

Al-Banna’s brotherhood, initially limiting itself to spiritual and moral reform, grew at astonishing speed in the 1930s and ’40s after embracing wider political goals and by the end of World War II had around 500,000 members in Egypt alone and branches throughout the Middle East. Event background, ideology, and method of organizing all account for its improbable success. As the war drew to a close, the time was ripe for an end to British and French colonial rule and the Ikhwan was ready with the persuasive, religiously-buttressed answer: Free the Islamic homeland from foreign, infidel (kafir) control; establish a unified Islamic state. And al-Banna had built a formidable organization to accomplish just that: it featured sophisticated governance structures, sections in charge of different segments of society (peasants, workers, professionals), units entrusted with key functions (propaganda, press relations, translation, liaison with the Islamic world), and specialized committees for finances and legal affairs – all built on existing social networks, in particular those around mosques and Islamic welfare associations. Weaving of traditional ties into a distinctly modern political structure was at the root of al-Banna’s success..

But the “Supreme Guide” of the brethren knew that faith, good works and numbers alone do not a political victory make. Thus, modeled on Mussolini’s blackshirts (al-Banna much admired “Il Duce” and soul brother “Fuehrer” Adolf Hitler), he set up a paramilitary wing (slogan: “action, obedience, silence”, quite superior to the blackshirts’ “believe, obey, fight”) and a “secret apparatus” (al-jihaz al-sirri) and intelligence arm of al-Ikhwan to handle the dirtier side – terrorist attacks, assassinations, and so on – of the struggle for power.

In 1948, after the brotherhood had played a pivotal role in mobilizing volunteers to fight in the war against “the Zionists” in Palestine to prevent establishment of a Jewish state, it considered itself to have the credibility, political clout, and military might to launch a coup d’etat against the Egyptian monarchy. But that wasn’t to be. On December 8, 1948, a watchful Prime Minister Nuqrashi Pasha disbanded it. He wasn’t watchful enough. Less than three weeks later, the brethren retaliated by assassinating the prime minister – in turn prompting the assassination of al-Banna by government agents on February 12, 1949.

That didn’t end it. Under a new, more radical leader, Sayyid Qutb, the al-Ikhwan fight for state power continued and escalated. A mid-1960s recruit was Ayman al-Zawahiri, present number two man of al-Qaeda and the brains of the organization.


Part 2: The World War II Nazi connections of the Muslim Brotherhood, the ideological precursors of Islamism, and its present-day exponents and financiers.

Osama bin Laden has the money, proven organizational skills, combat experience, and the charisma that can confer the air of wisdom and profundity even on inchoate or trivial utterances and let what’s unfathomable appear to be deep in the eyes of his followers. But he’s no intellectual. The brains of al-Qaeda and its chief ideologue by most accounts is Egyptian physician Ayman al-Zawahiri, 51, the organization’s number two man and former head of the Egyptian al-Jihad, which was merged with bin Laden’s outfit in February 1998 to form the “International Front for Fighting Jews and Crusaders”.

Al-Zawahiri hails from an elite Egyptian family. His father was a professor at Cairo University’s medical school from which Ayman graduated in 1974. His paternal grandfather was the Grand Imam at the al-Azhar Institute, Sunni Islam’s paramount seat of learning. His great-uncle, Abdel-Rahman Azzam, was the first secretary-general of the Arab League.

Such family background notwithstanding, perhaps because of it, al-Zawahiri joined the radical Islamist Muslim Brotherhood (al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun) as a young boy and was for the first time arrested in 1966 at age 15, when the secular government of President Gamal Abdel Nasser rounded up thousands of al-Ikhwan members and executed its top leaders in retribution for repeated assassination attempts on the president. One of those executed by hanging was chief ideologue Sayyid Qutb. Al-Zawahiri is Qutb’s intellectual heir; he has further developed his message, and is putting it into practise.

But without Qutb, present-day Islamism as a noxious amalgam of fascist totalitarianism and extremes of Islamic fundamentalism would not exist. His principal “accomplishment” was to articulate the social and political practices of the Muslim Brotherhood from the 1930s through the 1950s – including collaboration with fascist regimes and organizations, involvement in anti-colonial, anti-Western and anti-Israeli actions, and the struggle for state power in Egypt – in demagogically persuasive fashion, buttressed by tendentious references to Islamic law and scriptures to deceive the faithful. Qutb, a one-time literary critic, was not a religious fundamentalist, but a Goebbels-style propagandist for a new totalitarianism to stand side-by-side with fascism and communism.

Hitler’s early 1933 accession to power in Germany was widely cheered by Arabs of all different political persuasions. When the “Third Reich” spook and horrors were over 12 years later, a favorite excuse among those who felt the need for one was that the Nazis had been allies against the colonial oppressors and “Zionist intruders”. Many felt no need for an excuse at all and simply bemoaned the fact that the Nazis’ “final solution” to the “Jewish problem” had not proved final enough. But affinities with fascism on the part of the Muslim Brotherhood and other segments of Arab and Muslim society went much deeper than collaboration with the enemy of one’s enemies, and collaboration itself took some extreme forms.

Substitute religious for racial purity, the idealized ummah of the rule of the four righteous caliphs of the mid-7th century for the mythical Aryan “Volksgemeinschaft”, and most ideological and organizational precepts of Nazism laid out by chief theoretician Alfred Rosenberg in his work The Myth of the 20th Century and by Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf, and later put into practice, are in all essential respects identical to the precepts of the Muslim Brotherhood after its initial phase as a group promoting spiritual and moral reform. This ranges from radical rejection of “decadent” Western political and economic liberalism (instead embracing the “leadership principle” and corporatist organization of the economy) to endorsement of the use of terror and assassinations to seize and hold state power, and all the way to concoction of fantastical anti-Semitic conspiracy theories linking international plutocratic finance to Freemasonry, Zionism and all-encompassing Jewish world control.

Not surprisingly then, as Italian and German fascism sought greater stakes in the Middle East in the 1930s and ’40s to counter British and French controlling power, close collaboration between fascist agents and Islamist leaders ensued. During the 1936-39 Arab Revolt, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of German military intelligence, sent agents and money to support the Palestine uprising against the British, as did Muslim Brotherhood founder and “supreme guide” Hassan al-Banna. A key individual in the fascist-Islamist nexus and go-between for the Nazis and al-Banna became the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini – incidentally the later mentor (from 1946 onward) of a young firebrand by the name of Yasser Arafat.

Having fled from Palestine to Iraq, el-Husseini assisted there in the short-lived April 1941 Nazi-inspired and financed anti-British coup. By June 1941, British forces had reasserted control in Baghdad and the mufti was on the run again, this time via Tehran and Rome to Berlin, to a hero’s welcome. He remained in Germany as an honored guest and valuable intelligence and propaganda asset through most of the war, met with Hitler on several occasions, and personally recruited leading members of the Bosnian-Muslim “Hanjar” (saber) division of the Waffen SS.

Another valued World War II Nazi collaborator was Youssef Nada, current board chairman of al-Taqwa (Nada Management), the Lugano, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Bahamas-based financial services outfit accused by the US Treasury Department of money laundering for and financing of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda. As a young man, he had joined the armed branch of the “secret apparatus” (al-jihaz al-sirri) of the Muslim Brotherhood and then was recruited by German military intelligence. When Grand Mufti el-Husseini had to flee Germany in 1945 as the Nazi defeat loomed, Nada reportedly was instrumental in arranging the escape via Switzerland back to Egypt and eventually Palestine, where el-Husseini resurfaced in 1946.


Part 3: The Muslim Brotherhood, Nasser and Sadat, and the reshaping of Brotherhood Islamism into its present form by Sayyid Qutb.

Islamism, or fascism with an Islamic face, was born with and of the Muslim Brotherhood. It proved (and improved) its fascist core convictions and practices through collaboration with the Nazis in the run-up to and during World War II. It proved it during the same period through its collaboration with the overtly fascist “Young Egypt” (Misr al-Fatah) movement, founded in October 1933 by lawyer Ahmed Hussein and modeled directly on the Hitler party, complete with paramilitary Green Shirts aping the Nazi Brown Shirts, Nazi salute and literal translations of Nazi slogans. Among its members, Young Egypt counted two promising youngsters and later presidents, Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar El-Sadat.

In later years, the Brotherhood had serious fallings-out with Nasser, whom it attempted to assassinate on several different occasions, and with Sadat, whom it did assassinate in 1981. But up until at least the time of Nasser’s 1952 coup d’etat, all was sweetness and light between Hassan al-Banna’s brethren and Nasser’s “free officers”. In his personal diary, Sadat wrote in the summer of 1940:

“One day I invited Hassan al-Banna, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, to the army camp where I served, in the Egyptian Communication Corps, so that he might lecture before my soldiers on various religious topics. A few days before his scheduled appearance it was reported to me from army Intelligence that his coming was forbidden and canceled by the order of General Headquarters, and I myself was summoned for interrogation. After a short while I went secretly to El Bana’s office and participated in a few seminars he organized. I like the man and admired him.”

Whether al-Banna, who had already been in contact with German agents since the 1936-39 Palestine uprising against the British, or someone else introduced Sadat and his free officer comrades to German military intelligence is not known. But in the summer of 1942, when Rommel’s Afrikakorps stood just over 100 kilometers from Alexandria and were poised to march into Cairo, Sadat, Nasser and their buddies were in close touch with the German attacking force and – with Brotherhood help – preparing an anti-British uprising in Egypt’s capital. A treaty with Germany including provisions for German recognition of an independent, but pro-Axis Egypt had been drafted by Sadat, guaranteeing that “no British soldier would leave Cairo alive”. When Rommel’s push east failed at El Alamein in the fall of 1942, Sadat and several of his co-conspirators were arrested by the British and sat out much of the remainder of the war in jail.

Islamist-fascist collaboration did not cease with war’s end. King Farouk brought large numbers of German military and intelligence personnel as well as ranking (ex-) Nazis into Egypt as advisors. It was a bad move. Several of the Germans, recognizing Farouk’s political weakness, soon began conspiring with Nasser and his free officers (who, in turn, were working closely with the Brotherhood) to overthrow the king. On July 23, 1952, the deed was done and Newsweek marveled that, “The most intriguing aspect [of] the revolt … was the role played in the coup by the large group of German advisors serving with the Egyptian army … The young officers who did the actual planning consulted the German advisors as to ‘tactics’ … This accounted for the smoothness of the operation.”

And yet another player fond of playing all sides against the middle had entered the game prior to Farouk’s ouster: In 1951, the CIA’s Kermit Roosevelt (grandson of president Teddy, who in 1953 would organize the overthrow of elected Iranian leader Mohammed Mossadegh and install Reza Pahlavi as Shah) opened secret negotiations with Nasser. Agreement was soon reached that the US, post-coup, would assist in building up Egypt’s intelligence and security forces – in the obvious manner, by reinforcing Nasser’s existing Germans with additional, “more capable”, ones. For that, CIA head Allen Dulles turned to Reinhard Gehlen, one-time head of eastern front German military intelligence and by the early 1950s in charge of developing a new German foreign intelligence service. Gehlen hired the best man he knew for the job – former SS colonel Otto Skorzeny, who at the end of the war had organized the infamous ODESSA network to facilitate the escape of high-ranking Nazis to Latin America (mainly Peron’s Argentina) and Egypt. With Skorzeny now on the job of assisting Nasser, Egypt became a safe haven for Nazi war criminals galore. The CIA officer in charge of the Egypt assistance program was Miles Copeland, soon a Nasser intimate.

And then things got truly complicated and messy. Having played a large role in Nasser’s power grab, the Muslim Brotherhood, after the 1949 assassination of Hassan al-Banna by government agents [see part 1] under new leadership and (since 1951) under the radical ideological guidance of Sayyid Qutb, demanded its due – imposition of Sharia (Islamic religious) law. When Nasser demurred, he became a Brotherhood assassination target, but with CIA and the German mercenaries’ help he prevailed. In February 1954, the Brotherhood was banned. An October 1954 assassination attempt failed. Four thousand brothers were arrested, six were executed, and thousands fled to Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Lebanon.

Within short order, things got more tangled still: As Nasser in his brewing fight with Britain and France over control of the Suez Canal turned to the Soviet Union for assistance and arms purchases, the CIA approached and began collaboration with the Brotherhood against their ex-ally, the now pro-Soviet Nasser.

We leave that twisted tale at this stage. A leading Brotherhood member arrested in 1954 was Sayyid Qutb. He spent the next 10 years in Jarah prison near Cairo and there wrote the tracts that subsequently became (and till this day remain) must-reading and guidance for Islamists everywhere. (The main translations into Farsi were made by the Rahbar of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.) But while brother number one went to jail, other leading members who had escaped were given jobs in Saudi universities and provided with royal funding. They included Sayyid’s brother Muhammad and Abdullah al-Azzam, the radical Palestinian preacher (the “Emir of Jihad”) who later in Peshawar, Pakistan, founded the Maktab al-Khidamat, or Office of Services, which became the core of the al-Qaeda network. As a student at King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah, Osama bin Laden, son of Muhammad bin Laden, the kingdom’s wealthiest contractor and close friend of King Faisal, became a disciple of Muhammad Qutb and al-Azzam.

Sayyid Qutb was born in 1906 in a small village in Upper Egypt, was educated at a secular college, and subsequently worked as an inspector of schools for the ministry of education. In the 1930s and 1940s, nothing pointed to his later role. He wrote literary criticism, hung out in coffee houses, and published a novel which flopped. His conversion to radical Islam came during two-and-a-half years of graduate studies in education in the United States (1948-51). He came to hate everything American, described churches as “entertainment centers and sexual playgrounds”, was shocked by the freedom allowed to women, and immediately upon his return to Egypt joined the Muslim Brotherhood and assumed the position of editor-in-chief of the organization’s newspaper.

While in jail, Qutb wrote a 30-volume (!) commentary on the Koran; but his most influential book, published in 1965 after his 1964 release from prison for health reasons, was Ma’alim fi’l-tariq (“Signposts on the Road”, also translated as “Milestones”). In it, he revised Hassan al-Banna’s concept of establishing an Islamic state in Egypt after the nation was thoroughly Islamized, advocating instead – fascist or Bolshevik-style – that a revolutionary vanguard should first seize state power and then impose Islamization from above. Trouble is, this recipe went against the unambiguous Muslim prohibition against overthrowing a Muslim ruler.

Qutb found his clue to resolving the dilemma in the writings of his Pakistani contemporary, Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi (1903-79), founder in 1941 of the Jamaat-i-Islami, who had denounced the existing political order in Muslim societies as partial jahiliyyah – resembling the state of unenlightened savagery, ignorance and idolatry of pre-Islamic Arab societies. There was nothing “partial” about the jahiliyyah of the existing order, nothing that could be redeemed, pronounced Qutb: “… a society whose legislation does not rest on divine law … is not Muslim, however ardently its individuals may proclaim themselves Muslim, even if they pray, fast and make the pilgrimage … jahiliyyah … takes the form of claiming the right to create values, to legislate rules of collective behavior and to choose any way of life that rests with me, without regard to what God has prescribed.”

Only uncompromising restoration of the ideal of the union of religion and state as evidenced during the 7th century reign of the “righteous caliphs” would do. Islam was a complete system of life not in need of man-made additions. Any ruler, Muslim or otherwise, standing in the way could be justifiably removed – by any means.

This, naturally, applied to Nasser, and another attempt on his life was made in 1965. Qutb was rearrested, tortured and tried for treason. On August 29, 1966, he was hanged. The charge against him of plotting to establish a Marxist regime in Egypt was ludicrous. Nasser and his minions knew full well that the real danger to the regime stemmed from Qutb’s denunciation of it as jahiliyyah, and not from those clauses of his Ma’alim fi’l-tariq which speak of a classless society in which the “selfish individual” and the “exploitation of man by man” would be abolished, which the prosecution cited as evidence against him.

The martyred Qutb’s writings rapidly acquired wide acceptance in the Arab world, especially after the ignominious defeat of the Arabs in the June 1967 “Six Day War” with Israel, taken as proof of the depth of depravity to which the regimes in the Muslim realm had sunk.


Part:4

An early convert to Sayyid Qutb’s new-fangled fascist Islamism which condones, indeed commands, terrorism and murder was the alleged number two man of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri. [see part 2]. Having joined the Muslim Brotherhood at age 15, he was caught in the Nasser dragnet after the 1965 assassination attempt on the Egyptian leader and – young age and elite family background notwithstanding – was thrown in jail. An April 1968 amnesty freed most of the brethren, and Ayman, in that regard following in his father’s footsteps, went on to Cairo University to become a physician. He obtained his degree in 1974 and practiced medicine for several years.

His profession, however, was not his calling. By the late 1970s, he was back full-time in the Islamist revolution business agitating against the Egypt-Israel peace treaty (concluded in 1979). In 1980, on the introduction by military intelligence officer Abbud al-Zumar, he became a leading member of the Jama’at al-Jihad of Muhammad Abd-al-Salam Faraj which on October 6, 1981, assassinated President Anwar El Sadat while he was reviewing a military parade.

Faraj, like al-Zawahiri, had been a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, but became disenchanted with its passivity. In 1979, he penned a short pamphlet titled “The Neglected Obligation” (al-Farida al-Gha’ibah), which relied heavily on the ideas of Sayyid Qutb. It became the founding document of al-Jihad, arguing along the familiar lines that acceptance of a government was only possible and legitimate when that government fully implemented Sharia, or Islamic law. Contemporary Egypt had not done so, and was thus suffering from jahiliyya. Jihad to rectify this, wrote Faraj, was not only the “neglected obligation” of Muslims, but in fact their most important duty.

Following the Sadat assassination, al-Zawahiri was arrested on a minor weapons possession charge and spent three years in jail. In 1985 he left Egypt for Saudi Arabia and later Peshawar, Pakistan, where he was joined by Muhammad al-Islambuli, the brother of one of Sadat’s five assassins, 24-year-old artillery lieutenant Khalid Ahmed Shawki al-Islambuli. There, connections were made with the groups of Palestinian Islamist Abdullah Azzam and the latter’s one-time student Osama bin Laden, by then fully engaged (with well-known CIA support) in assisting the mujahideen struggle against Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

Al-Zawahiri’s al-Jihad was in many respects better organized and better trained than other groups in the Afghanistan theater. Prior to the murder of Sadat, it had succeeded in recruiting members of the presidential guard, military intelligence and the civil bureaucracy. Most importantly, it was in possession of a cogent and comprehensive ideology pointing beyond the Afghan struggle against the Soviet occupiers. “Afghanistan should be a platform for the liberation of the entire Muslim world,” was the distinguishing creed of al-Jihad.

Al-Zawahiri wrote several books on Islamic movements, the best known of which is The Bitter Harvest (1991/92), a critical assessment of the failings of the Muslim Brotherhood. In it, he draws not only on the writings of Sayyid Qutb to justify murder and terrorism, but prominently references Pakistani Jamaat-i-Islami founder and ideologue Mawdudi on the global mission of Islamic jihad.

Mawdudi had written, “Islam wants the whole earth and does not content itself with only a part thereof. It wants and requires the entire inhabited world. It does not want this in order that one nation dominates the earth and monopolizes its sources of wealth, after having taken them away from one or more other nations. No, Islam wants and requires the earth in order that the human race altogether can enjoy the concept and practical program of human happiness, by means of which God has honored Islam and put it above the other religions and laws. In order to realize this lofty desire, Islam wants to employ all forces and means that can be employed for bringing about a universal all-embracing revolution. It will spare no effort for the achievement of this supreme objective. This far-reaching struggle that continuously exhausts all forces and this employment of all possible means are called jihad.”

And further, “Islam is a revolutionary doctrine and system that overturns governments. It seeks to overturn the whole universal social order … and establish its structure anew … Islam seeks the world. It is not satisfied by a piece of land but demands the whole universe … Islamic jihad is at the same time offensive and defensive … The Islamic party does not hesitate to utilize the means of war to implement its goal.”

Not just or even principally the expulsion of the Soviets from Afghanistan or the removal of any one godless Muslim regime, but global jihad as Mawdudi had prescribed, became al-Zawahiri’s obsession. And he acted as he had read and written. After several years in Afghanistan and Pakistan, constructing there the platform from which to launch broader pursuits, Zawahiri traveled extensively on Swiss, French and Dutch passports in Western Europe and even the United States on fund-raising, recruiting and reconnaissance missions. Then came initial implementation of the offensive.

It is not known whether he had a hand in the 1993 bombing of the New York World Trade Center. But he had close connections to Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the spiritual leader of the group that carried out the attack. Then, in 1995, he was behind the truck bomb attack on the Egyptian embassy in Pakistan; in November 1997, he led the Vanguards of Conquest group responsible for the Luxor (Egypt) massacre in which 60 foreign tourists were systematically murdered and mutilated; in August 1998, he organized the bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania; and probably, in 2000, the speed-boat bomb attack on the USS Cole in Aden. Israeli intelligence considers him the “operational brains” behind September 11; the fact, in any case, is that the Egyptian Mohammed Atta, principal of the Hamburg, Germany, al-Qaeda cell that was instrumental to the World Trade Center destruction, was a member of Zawahiri’s al-Jihad.

Osama bin Laden, as we wrote earlier, had the money, some of the connections, and perhaps the charisma to function as the leader of the al-Qaeda global jihad. But it was not until Zawahiri’s al-Jihad in February 1998 formally joined forces with bin Laden that the present global Islamist terrorist threat truly emerged. With his long experience in the Muslim Brotherhood, his critical assessment of its failures, his cunning – albeit highly eclectic – fashioning of a fascist ideology drawing on Islamic religious elements, and his organizational and operational skills, al-Zawahiri is the key personality of global jihad. The key point to understand is that Zawahiri fascist Islamism has seized the ideological initiative in the Muslim world against which traditional Islam has so far proved an impotent, indeed often unwilling, opponent. Young Muslims everywhere are captivated by Zawahiri Islamism and jihad to which they attribute selfless idealism and in which they admire ruthless determination. It will be a long war.

And make no mistake: In this war against a new, ideologically vigorous fascism, collateral assets of the Islamists, the neo-Nazis of the Ahmed Huber variety which we described in part 1 of this series, or – for that matter – Saudi financiers wittingly pushing narrow sectarian Wahhabism upon youths in madrassas worldwide, are key forces in the enemy camp. Islamism as we have portrayed it in its historical and present dimension is a form of fascist madness – the same type of madness which one of Hitler’s closest confidants, convicted war criminal Albert Speer, saw during the Fuehrer’s final days. In his Spandau prison diary entry for November 18, 1947, Speer recollects:

“I recall how [Hitler] would have films shown in the Reich Chancellory about London burning, about the sea of fire over Warsaw, about exploding convoys, and the kind of ravenous joy that would then seize him every time. But I never saw him so beside himself as when, in a delirium, he pictured New York going down in flames. He described how the skyscrapers would be transformed into gigantic burning torches, how they would collapse in confusion, how the bursting city’s reflection would stand against the dark sky.”


Published
Categorized as Islamism