Ol’ Blind Joe
Heroin oil rush
By Stirling Hamilton
FORMER US President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brezinski said the US meddled in Afghanistan before the Soviet Union’s December 1979 invasion to provoke that outcome.
The Carter doctrine’s cynical objective was to bleed the Soviets by hoping to entrap them in a Vietnam-style quagmire.
The US State Department produced a memorandum in the summer of 1979, more than six months before the Soviets moved their battle tanks in.
“The overthrow of the DRA (Democratic Republic of Afghanistan) would show the rest of the world, particularly the Third World, that the Soviets’ view of the socialist course of history as being inevitable is not accurate,” it said.
Fearing a US-backed fundamentalist pressing against its own border, the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in force two days after Christmas that year.
The high number of civilian casualties didn’t faze the architects of the covert US intervention.
“I decided I could live with that,” recalled Carter’s CIA director Stansfield Turner.Read more
Heroin-related deaths fuelled by Afghan drug imports increased by 77 per cent in New York City in 1979, the year that the US flow of anti-Soviet arms to Afghan Mujahideen resistance fighters began.
Fast forward to January 2001 when, within 10 days of taking office, the Bush administration formalised a decision to invade Iraq.
This was nine months before the September 11 attacks on the Pentagon and New York’s Twin Towers, and the US-led retaliatory invasion of Afghanistan a month later.
Neither proposed incursion had anything to do with terrorism but sought pre-emptive access to Iraqi oil and a pipeline across Afghanistan for the Unocal Corporation.
Al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack offered a fortuitous alibi that enabled President George W Bush to declare a “war on terror” and launch his premeditated wars.
The 9/11 hijackers mostly came from Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan’s post-Soviet Taliban rulers agreed to turn over al-Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden to an international court after the 9/11 attacks, which was never supported.
On the contrary, Bin Laden family members were flown out of the US in a night-and-fog operation so that they could not be interrogated.
From his first day in office on 20 January 2001, President George W Bush could have negotiated with the Taliban to assassinate Osama bin Laden or have him surrendered into US custody.
That was a standing offer the Taliban tendered in late 2000, seeking to retain US favour after al-Qaeda killed 17 US sailors and injured many others in a suicide bomb attack on the guided missile destroyer USS Cole while it was refuelling in the Yemeni port of Aden in October 2000.
The Bush administration refused the offer, four times prior to 9/11 and once more five days later.
The Taliban offered unconditional surrender at a US Special Forces camp near Kandahar in Afghanistan 5 December 2001.
They would disband and disarm; a military force would no longer exist.
The Mujahideen were scarcely fighting for freedom but to impose a repressive brand of
Islamic fundamentalism which was barbarous, ignorant and notably cruel to women.
The Mujahideen were extremely well-equipped with CIA-furnished weapons in the most-expensive covert war ever mounted by the US spy agency.
Yunas Khalis, described as the leader of the Afghan warriors, was a ruthless butcher whose troops boasted of their slaughter of 700 prisoners of war.
Khalis fought other Afghan rebel groups to control Afghan’s lucrative poppy fields and seven heroin labs with irrigation equipment underwritten by the US Agency for International Development.
Darra is a town in north-west Pakistan where the CIA had set up a factory to manufacture Soviet-style weapons that it was giving away to Afghan fighters.
The weapons factory was run under contract to Pakistani Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI).
Much of the opium trucked by the Mujahideen into Darra from Afghanistan was refined in labs in Darra and had captured 60 per cent of the heroin market in Western Europe and the US.
US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) liaison officer David Melocik told a congressional committee in 1983: “You can say the rebels make their money off the sale of opium.”
The DEA had evidence of more than 40 heroin syndicates operating in Pakistan in the mid-1980s during the Soviet Afghan war, and evidence of more than 200 heroin labs operating in north-west Pakistan.
Islamabad houses one of the largest DEA offices in Asia but no action was ever taken by its agents against any of these operations.
CIA agents working in the same DEA offices ordered US drug enforcement officers to pull back their operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan for the duration of the Soviet war.
There were fewer than 5000 heroin addicts in Pakistan before the CIA program began, and more than 1.6 million by 1996.
Taliban fundamentalists, nurtured originally in Pakistan as creatures of both the ISI and the CIA, seized power in Kabul in September 1996 and leader Mullah Omar announced that all laws inconsistent with Muslim Sharia laws would change.
Jon Schwarz, a senior writer for online news publisher The Intercept, examined returns on stocks of the five biggest US defence contractors; Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics.
He found that a $10,000 investment evenly split across those five companies on the day in 2001 that former US President George W Bush signed the authorisation preceding the US invasion would now be worth nearly $100,000.
About 15,000 US forces, including soldiers and private contractors, have died.
Untold scores of devastating injuries have been inflicted on millions of civilians, opposition fighters and US troops.
It is estimated that post-9/11 wars have cost US taxpayers $6.4 trillion by the end of last year.
The goal in Afghanistan “is to have an endless war not a successful war” to “wash money out of the tax bases of the United States … into the hands of the transnational security elite” – detained Wikileaks founder Julian Assange who is fighting extradition to the US from Britain.