Monday, August 30, 2021

State University of New York College at Buffalo - Buffalo State College - Whose Monster? A Study in the Rise to Power of alQaeda and the Taliban

The Fascinating Photos of Afghanistan in the 1960's and 1970's. 

Afghanistan before the US and Pakistan turned it into a hell hole. The report also talked about different tribal groups fighting over Afghanistan’s resources funded by Pakistan.

Whose Monster? A Study in the Rise to Power of alQaeda and the Taliban

The majority of the academic writing on the emerging subject of the Taliban and al Qaeda’s ascent tend to place the blame squarely at the feet of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for funding the mujahedeen, many of whom would eventually go on to have rather successful careers as members of either the Taliban or al Qaeda, with the most famous of all obviously being Osama bin Laden. The most famous of the books written about the CIA’s role in the formation of al Qaeda and the Taliban is George Crile’s Charlie Wilson’s War, also written in the wake of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which describes how the playboy congressman from Texas convinced his colleagues, with the help of a friend in the CIA and several other sources, funded the mujahedeen in their fight against the invading Soviet Union, who was America’s archnemesis at the time. Unfortunately, as evident when he said “My God, what have we done?”, upon first seeing about the 9/11 attacks on the news, he did not fully comprehend the possibility that the rebels that he authorized the CIA to assist could someday turn their backs on their benefactors.2 The book, which honestly reads more like a novel than a scholarly work, received even more attention when it was later adapted into a popular motion picture starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. Charlie Wilson is not the only work that supports this theory of blowback. Steve Coll also believes that 9/11 and the rash of al Qaeda attacks on American targets throughout the 1990s was a direct result of ignorance on the part of the CIA. Coll’s work not only outlines the numerous blunders made by the CIA and its associate organizations both during and after the Soviet-Afghan War, but also provides an intimate look at the lives of the mujahedeen rebels who sought to keep the Red Army out of their homeland. Another book which considers the CIA to be chiefly responsible for both 9/11 and the aforementioned spate of al Qaeda attacks in the 1990s is Peter Dale Scott’s The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America3. This tome posits that a “deep state” truly pulls the strings of America’s government and has been desperately trying to conceal the many crimes that have committed around the globe in the name of preserving America’s empire. 

The truth is that the CIA was only one of a myriad of factors that contributed to the Taliban and al Qaeda’s reign of terror in both Afghanistan and a large swath of the Western world. One factor was their immediate neighbor to the east, Pakistan, who likely viewed Afghanistan as a powerful buffer against potential aggression from their archnemesis India. Although both Peter Dale Scott and Michael Griffin both noted that the CIA did give generously to the mujahedeen in their jihad against the Soviet Union, the Inter-Services Intelligence, Pakistan’s version of the CIA, had the final say on who received the monies. Unfortunately for the United States, Pakistan preferred to fund the more fundamentalist-leaning members of the mujahedeen such as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar than the considerably more moderate fighters, such as Ahmad Shah Masood, that the CIA would have rather helped. In addition to Pakistan, Saudi Arabia (who Osama bin Laden’s family’s construction company had a close business relationship with) also has been accused of being a major benefactor to the Taliban and al Qaeda, likely in no small part due to the fact that the Wahhabi school of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia is strikingly similar to Islam as it was practiced in Afghanistan during the Taliban’s rule there. Scott and Crile both offer excellent explanations as to just how close the relationship was between Saudi Arabia and the Taliban. 

Whose Monster? A Study in the Rise to Power of alQaeda and the Taliban

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