Little Known Facts About Afghanistan and Bin Laden

Evidence which has come out over the last couple of years makes it clear that top Bush administration officials knew that Saddam didn’t have weapons of mass destruction and knew that Saddam had no connection with 9/11.

It is now reasonably obvious that the Bush administration was looking for an excuse to oust Saddam, and – in the words of the Downing Street Memo – “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy”.

Indeed, former CIA director George Tenet said that the White House wanted to invade Iraq long before 9/11, and inserted “crap” in its justifications for invading Iraq. Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill – who sat on the National Security Council – also says that Bush planned the Iraq war before 9/11. And top British officials say that the U.S. discussed Iraq regime change long before 9/11 (one month after Bush took office).

Saddam’s Offer

Saddam allegedly offered to let weapons inspectors in the country and to hold new elections:

In the few weeks before its fall, Iraq’s Ba’athist regime made a series of increasingly desperate peace offers to Washington, promising to hold elections and even to allow US troops to search for banned weapons. But the advances were all rejected by the Bush administration, according to intermediaries involved in the talks.

Moreover, Saddam allegedly offered to leave Iraq:

“Fearing defeat, Saddam was prepared to go peacefully in return for £500million ($1billion)”.

“The extraordinary offer was revealed yesterday in a transcript of talks in February 2003 between George Bush and the then Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar at the President’s Texas ranch.”

“The White House refused to comment on the report last night. But, if verified, it is certain to raise questions in Washington and London over whether the costly four-year war could have been averted.”

According to the tapes, Bush told Aznar that whether Saddam was still in Iraq or not, “We’ll be in Baghdad by the end of March.” See also this and this.

Afghanistan Is Different

But Afghanistan is much different.

As President Obama said Tuesday night as justification for the surge in troops in Afghanistan:

We did not ask for this fight. On September 11, 2001, 19 men hijacked four airplanes and used them to murder nearly 3,000 people.

Al Qaeda’s base of operations was in Afghanistan, where they were harbored by the Taliban”, who refused to turn over Osama bin Laden.

Is that true?

The Taliban Offer

On October 14, 2001, the Taliban offered to hand over Osama bin Laden to a neutral country if the US halted bombing if the Taliban were given evidence of Bin Laden’s involvement in 9/11.

Specifically, as the Guardian writes:

Returning to the White House after a weekend at Camp David, the president said the bombing would not stop, unless the ruling Taliban “turn [bin Laden] over, turn his cohorts over, turn any hostages they hold over.” He added, “There’s no need to discuss innocence or guilt. We know he’s guilty” …

Afghanistan’s deputy prime minister, Haji Abdul Kabir, told reporters that the Taliban would require evidence that Bin Laden was behind the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US.

“If the Taliban is given evidence that Osama bin Laden is involved” and the bombing campaign stopped, “we would be ready to hand him over to a third country”, Mr Kabir added.

However, as the Guardian subsequently points out:

A senior Taliban minister has offered a last-minute deal to hand over Osama bin Laden during a secret visit to Islamabad, senior sources in Pakistan told the Guardian last night.

For the first time, the Taliban offered to hand over Bin Laden for trial in a country other than the US without asking to see evidence first in return for a halt to the bombing, a source close to Pakistan’s military leadership said.

And yet, as with Saddam, the U.S. turned down the offer and instead prosecuted war.

Little-Known Facts About Afghanistan and Bin Laden

The government apparently planned the Afghanistan war before 9/11 (see this and this).

And the government apparently could have killed Bin Laden in 2001 and AGAIN in 2007, but failed to do so.

In fact, starting right after 9/11 — at the latest — the goal has always been to create “regime change” and instability in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon and other countries. As American historian, investigative journalist and policy analyst Gareth Porter writes in the Asia Times:

Three weeks after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld established an official military objective of not only removing the Saddam Hussein regime by force but overturning the regime in Iran, as well as in Syria and four other countries in the Middle East, according to a document quoted extensively in then-under secretary of defense for policy Douglas Feith’s recently published account of the Iraq war decisions. Feith’s account further indicates that this aggressive aim of remaking the map of the Middle East by military force and the threat of force was supported explicitly by the country’s top military leaders.

Feith’s book, War and Decision, released last month, provides excerpts of the paper Rumsfeld sent to President George W Bush on September 30, 2001, calling for the administration to focus not on taking down Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network but on the aim of establishing “new regimes” in a series of states

***

General Wesley Clark, who commanded the North Atlantic Treaty Organization bombing campaign in the Kosovo war, recalls in his 2003 book Winning Modern Wars being told by a friend in the Pentagon in November 2001 that the list of states that Rumsfeld and deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz wanted to take down included Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan and Somalia [and Lebanon].

***

When this writer asked Feith . . . which of the six regimes on the Clark list were included in the Rumsfeld paper, he replied, “All of them.”

***

The Defense Department guidance document made it clear that US military aims in regard to those states would go well beyond any ties to terrorism. The document said the Defense Department would also seek to isolate and weaken those states and to “disrupt, damage or destroy” their military capacities – not necessarily limited to weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

Indeed, the goal seems to have more to do with being a superpower (i.e. an empire) than stopping terrorism.

As Porter writes:

After the bombing of two US embassies in East Africa [in 1988] by al-Qaeda operatives, State Department counter-terrorism official Michael Sheehan proposed supporting the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance in Afghanistan against bin Laden’s sponsor, the Taliban regime. However, senior US military leaders “refused to consider it”, according to a 2004 account by Richard H Shultz, Junior, a military specialist at Tufts University.

A senior officer on the Joint Staff told State Department counter-terrorism director Sheehan he had heard terrorist strikes characterized more than once by colleagues as a “small price to pay for being a superpower”.

And recall that former U.S. National Security Adviser (and top foreign policy advisor) Zbigniew Brzezinski told the Senate that the war on terror is “a mythical historical narrative”.

Cynics argue that America is just the latest in a long string of empires trying to control the “crossroads” between East and West.

And people such as the former UK ambassador to Afghanistan argue that there are even uglier reasons for America’s involvement in Afghanistan.

This essay does not address such questions. All I’m asking is whether the U.S. refusal to accept the Taliban’s offer to hand over Bin Laden should be viewed as similar to its refusal to accept Saddam’s offer to go into exile for $1 billion dollars. In other words, we should ask whether the U.S. was hell-bent on going to war against Afghanistan and Saddam, without – contrary to official statements – really caring about the bad guys.

Looking Ahead

These questions are not just stale, historical questions.

The U.S. military is currently pursuing a strategy in Afghanistan that – according to some – will decrease national security and spend our nation’s blood and treasure, all for the sake of killing only 100 Al Qaeda fighters in the entire country, while we could spend much less to capture or kill those bad guys.

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  • http://Anonymousnoreply@blogger.com Anonymous

    Believing that AfPak is about anything other than the modern version of the Great Game is, in my view, akin to believing in the tooth fairy.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03245177292191521012 Medusae

    You specifically distance yourself from any 'conspiracy theory', and yet you are simply asking the very questions that those labeled with the ad hominem, 'conspiracy theorists' raise. These are legitimate questions, and the sooner that people stop making it seem repugnant or embarrassing to ask, the sooner we'll get to the truth. Good blog post, but again, suggesting we not 'worry' that you might be 'one of them' is simply dividing when we should be uniting.

  • http://Anonymousnoreply@blogger.com Anonymous

    You ask:All I'm asking is whether the U.S. intentionally refused to provide evidence of Bin Laden's guilt so that it would have a justification for invading Afghanistan . . .I'll answer:Yes, the U.S. intentionally refused to provide evidence of Bin Laden's guilt so that it would have a justification for invading Afghanistan . . .The evidence is right in front of us…the current administration merely an extension of the previous.How much money do these people want?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17066440544129368326 Bill Bergman

    Thanks, especially for the 'this and this'

  • http://Anonymousnoreply@blogger.com Anonymous

    "How much money do these people want?"Enough to burn as firelogs for the next 30 years (or so)…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13156080225918567393 The Grey Tiger

    What they don't realize is that the firelogs they are burning are in a fire ring of stones, because that's all that will be left when they are done screwing us and the planet. The Bushies were talking about doing Iraq long before 911 and some say even before he becamse president. We all know the war was phony , some will never admit it. But these are the same folks that think torture is just fine. Their end will come when they find out money is not a good food source.

  • http://Anonymousnoreply@blogger.com Anonymous

    Bin Laden is not even wanted by the US of A for the 9/11 attacks. Check it out.No such person as Osama Bin Laden. It's the bankers folks.

  • http://Anonymousnoreply@blogger.com Anonymous

    The central issue playing out here is the financial system setup based on debt based money is collapsing. Until a new system is created that replaces it and equitably dispenses it to all equally, there will be no peace – only wars and rumors of wars. Bet on it…

  • http://Anonymousnoreply@blogger.com Anonymous

    Thanks bro, couldn't have been written at a more appropriate time. Hope you won't mind when I preach your words to the masses.

  • http://Anonymousnoreply@blogger.com Anonymous

    The neocons in the Bush administration pulled off 911 with the help of their Israeli buddies to use as the pretext for these wars,that, as the author so kindly points out,were planned before 911

  • http://Anonymousnoreply@blogger.com Anonymous

    Now lets see-"The Pentagon"how many people work there?Besides being the most highest paid military think tank in the entire civilized world 365 days out of the year.My guess by now is,they have ran computerized attack scenarios over&over&over against who knows how many countries of the world including Canada.WAR IS MONEY!

  • http://Anonymousnoreply@blogger.com Anonymous

    FBI does not want him for 9/11http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/topten/fugitives/laden.htm

  • http://Anonymousnoreply@blogger.com Anonymous

    Considering the likely composition of your readership, I'll say you're preaching to the choir. Of course the Iraq and Aftganistan were pre-meditated contrived wars. So was Vietnam.Wall St/Banking and the Military Instustrial Complex effectively control the U.S.Politicians,bureaucrats & regulators are for the most part … on their payroll one way or another.The "enemey" is amongst us and has been for a long time. That is the epiphany so many Americans need to experience.

  • http://Anonymousnoreply@blogger.com Anonymous

    Don't any of you realise that Bin Laden is responsible for global warming, wake up and smell the potty.

  • http://RecDesnoreply@blogger.com RecDes

    The time has come for us all to finally and forever remove the blinders completely from our eyes and see the world for what it is and for what it has become. The global elite created the circumstances that made it easier for them to go to to war, but it has been our aqcuiescence, our silence, and our ridicule of those who ask the bold questions and make the radical assertions that has allowed them to do so. We as a nation love the idea of patriotism, but have such little regard for its true meaning. Dissent, to paraphrase JFK, is the highest form of patriotism. We are so afraid of being seen as disloyal that when our government acts against our own interests, and frankly, against humanity's interests, we walk in lockstep like good Germans. We have to divest from the sham of this two-party system and dare to stand against the tyranny that is staring down at us by researching all the info at our disposal. Look up PNAC, the Unocal pipeline, HAARP technology, Bush family dealings with the Bin Ladens, IG Farben, the Rockefellers, Rothschilds, MK Ultra etc. See just how deep the rabbit hole is. Oh, and by the way, every war fought by this nation, including the Revolution, was based on false pretenses. The global elite couldn't care less about saving the world from tyrants.

 

 

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