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[Emperor's Clothes]

The creation called Osama
By Shamsul Islam

Reprinted from 'The Hindu' (India) September 27, 2001
[Posted 27 September 2001]

THE UNPRECEDENTED deaths and destruction in two cities of the U.S. on September 11 has stirred the conscience of the world. It was the most lethal, ruthless and daring terrorist strike on the nerve centre of the world's most powerful nation today. The U.S., which promises to guarantee security to the world, was found wanting in checking the terrorist strikes at home or more than 40 minutes when the terrorists had the free run of its major airports, highjacking not one or two but four domestic planes to be used as flying bombs.

It did not take long for the U.S. establishment to identify the culprits who masterminded these terrorist acts. These were the `evil' forces of `Islamic terrorism' led by Osama bin Laden. The mainstream U.S. media went on to explain these terrorist attacks in the context of the `clash of civilisations' thesis of Samuel Huntington. There were urgent calls for "forming a global alliance that will use all tools - diplomatic, political, economic, educational, investigative, and where appropriate, force - to pursue and root out the terrorist criminals and their supporters...''

But it is really surprising that the U.S., mecca of information technology with its super computers and all kinds of data bases, should be so greatly short of memory about Osama bin Laden. The media in the U.S. these days is full of biographical sketches of Osama bin Laden in which he appears on the world scene in 1990 opposing the Gulf War and then is shown growing into an anti-West monster, finally, targeting the U.S. on `Black Tuesday'.

However, it may be news to many ears that Osama's journey as a terrorist did not start in 1990-1991. Any honest biographical description of Osama should not overlook his activities in the 1980s when he was deputed by the CIA to Afghanistan to finance and oversee the resistance to the Soviets. He was groomed as a theocratic-terrorist by the U.S. openly. In fact, there is lot of weight in the thesis that the modern Jehadi-Islam is a byproduct of intrigues by the West to keep the Islamic world under its suzerainty, devoid of any kind of democratic processes. And also to use it as a whipping boy occasionally whenever attention needs to be diverted from issues raised by anti-globalisation campaigners.

The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), which has a long tradition of opposing the Taliban regime and paying for it with blood, raised this issue in its September 14 press statement. While condemning the terrorist attack, the statement went on to underline the fact that "the people of Afghanistan have nothing to do with Osama and his accomplices. But unfortunately we must say that it was the Government of the United States who supported Pakistani dictator Gen. Zia-ul-Haq in creating thousands of religious schools from which the germs of Taliban emerged. In the similar way, as is clear to all, Osama has been the blue-eyed boy of the CIA''.

How the U.S. and the CIA created Osama and his network has been well-documented in the book "Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia'' by Ahmed Rashid who is the Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review and The Daily Telegraph of London. This book which has been published by the Yale University Press clearly shows who in reality created Osama. Ahmed Rashid in his superb expose is able to present the factual linkages between the U.S. and the `monster' which it created. Some of the excerpts are too revealing too be missed.

In 1986, CIA chief William Casey had stepped up the war against the Soviet Union by taking three significant, but at that time highly secret, measures. He had persuaded the U.S. Congress to provide the Mujaheddin with American-made Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to shoot down Soviet planes and provide U.S. advisers to train the guerrillas. The CIA, Britain's MI6 and the ISI (Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence) also agreed on a provocative plan to launch guerrilla attacks into the Soviet Socialist Republics of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, the soft Muslim underbelly of the Soviet state from where Soviet troops in Afghanistan received their supplies. Casey was delighted with the news, and on his next secret trip to Pakistan he crossed the border into Afghanistan with President Zia to review the Mujaheddin groups.

"Thirdly, Casey committed CIA support to a long-standing ISI initiative to recruit radical Muslims from around the world to come to Pakistan and fight with the Afghan Mujaheddin. Washington wanted to demonstrate that the entire Muslim world was fighting the Soviet Union alongside the Afghans and their American benefactors.''

The book also goes on to show in graphic detail how harmless madrassas were turned into factories for breeding religious guerillas. "... 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 Mujaheddin. Tens of thousands more foreign Muslim radicals came to study in the hundreds of new madrassas 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...

"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''.Interesting details of Osama's recruitment by the CIA for jehad in Afghanistan are also available in this book. "Among these thousands of foreign recruits was a young Saudi student, Osama Bin Laden, the son of a Yemeni construction magnate, Mohammed Bin Laden, who was a close friend of the late King Faisal and whose company had become fabulously wealthy on the contracts to renovate and expand the Holy Mosques of Mecca and Medina. The ISI had long wanted Prince Turki Bin Faisal, the head of Istakhbarat, the Saudi Intelligence Service, to provide a Royal Prince to lead the Saudi contingent in order to show Muslims the commitment of the Royal Family to the jehad. Only poorer Saudis, students, taxi drivers and Bedouin tribesmen had so far arrived to fight. But no pampered Saudi prince was ready to rough it out in the Afghan mountains. Bin Laden, although not a royal, was close enough to the royals and certainly wealthy enough to lead the Saudi contingent so when Bin Laden decided to join up, his family responded enthusiastically.

He first traveled to Peshawar in 1980 and met the Mujaheddin leaders, returning frequently with Saudi donations for the cause until 1982, when he decided to settle in Peshawar. In 1986, he helped build the Khost tunnel complex, which the CIA was funding as a major arms storage depot, training facility and medical center for the Mujaheddin, deep under the mountains close to the Pakistan border.''

The book also demolishes the CIA claim that after 1990 there were no contacts with Osama. Surprisingly, just a few weeks before the U.S. Embassy bombings in Africa, the book tells us, "the Saudi conundrum was even worse. In July 1998 Prince Turki had visited Kandahar and a few weeks later 400 new pick-up trucks arrived in Kandahar for the Taliban, still bearing their Dubai license plates''.

This all shows that any meaningful fight back against world terrorism today will have to begin from the backyard of the U.S.

(The writer is Reader, Department of Political Science, Satyawati College, University of Delhi.)

Original URL http://www.hinduonnet.com/stories/05272524.htm
(C) 'The Hindu' 2001 Reprinted for Fair Use Only

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Further Reading
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How can we trust the U.S. government's claim that its motivation is to fight terror when it has been the main support - no, the creator - of terrorist forces in several regions? Consider the following articles analyzing U.S. operations in the Balkans. The sources used in these articles are a) the mainstream media and b) interviews with eyewitnesses.

Feel free to re-post these and other articles written for Emperor's Clothes in any non-commercial medium. For commercial use, contact us. When posting, please credit Emperor's Clothes. Thank you.

The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) is a group of ruthless terrorists heavily involved in the drug trade. When NATO took over Kosovo, the KLA marched into the Province alongside the NATO occupiers.

Emperor's Clothes has published eyewitness accounts which describe in detail how NATO and the KLA have worked together.

1) See for example: 'Driven from Kosovo,' the account by the leader of the Jewish community of how he and thousands of other residents were driven from Pristina, capital of Kosovo. Can be read at http://emperors-clothes.com/interviews/ceda.htm

2) Also see "What NATO Occupation Would Mean For Macedonians' - eyewitness accounts of the NATO/KLA takeover of the Kosovo town of Orahovac. Can be read at http://emperors-clothes.com/misc/savethe-a.htm

Having installed the KLA in power in Kosovo, NATO is now providing advisers, weapons and training for these same terrorists in their latest war, against Macedonia. This is discussed in several Emperor's Clothes articles which are supported by citations from mainstream media and reliable eyewitness accounts. For a list of these articles go to http://emperors-clothes.com/mac/list-m.htm

One of the most revealing articles is by Canadian military analyst Scott Taylor, who recently traveled to Macedonia and talked to the terrorist leaders. See "Terrorist Thug Boasts: "Thanks to Uncle Sam, Macedonians are no match for us!" at http://emperors-clothes.com/analysis/taylor.htm

3) Belarus, a former Soviet Republic in the strategic Baltic region, is a thorn in NATO's side because it insists on independence from NATO. Having apparently failed to create a successful Fifth Column within the country, the U.S. Ambassador has openly declared Washington's intention to overthrow the Belarussian government, using techniques developed in the Contra war against the Nicaraguan Sandanistas in the 1980s. Indeed, the Ambasssador, Michael Kozak, is one of the operatives involved in Iran Contra.

If the U.S. government is not motivated by the "fight against terrorism" then what is it really after? Here is an analysis from the editors of Emperor's Clothes:

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