Shocked and in Disarray, India Watches City's Rape with Impotent Rage
Would New Delhi get sucked onto Western Crusade!
When questioned if he had any regrets in supporting Islamic fundamentalism in Afghanistan during 1980s , Zbigniew Brzezinski in a January 1998 interview with Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, replied, "What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?"." Nonsense--" responded Brzezinski when asked "If Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today." Brzezinski was President Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser.
"Terrorism is a tactic, a technique, a weapon that fanatics, dictators and warriors have resorted to through history. If, as Clausewitz wrote, war is the continuation of politics by other means, terrorism is the continuation of war by other means." Patrick J. Buchanan
"The United States has supported radical Islamic activism over the past six decades, sometimes overtly, sometimes covertly," and is thus "partly to blame for the emergence of Islamic terrorism as a world-wide phenomenon." Robert Drefuss.
"It looks more like a classical special forces or commando operation than a terrorist one. No group linked to Al Qaeda and certainly not Lashkar has ever mounted a maritime attack of this complexity."- David Kilcullen, a counter-insurgency expert and adviser to US Gen. David Petraeus of 'Surge fame' in Iraq. ." [Which would be worse: if the Pakistani military knew about this operation in advance, or if they didn't?] - Fareed Zakaria in Newsweek.
"You may not be interested in war but war is interested in you." Leon Trotsky
Could this be happening to the "city of dreams"? Our very own Mumbai? The city is no stranger to terror attacks, but the scale, audacity, flamboyance and planning of this assault takes one's breath away. As the faces of anonymous, but not hooded, assassins flashed on TV screens, one thing became quickly clear. These gentlemen were looking for maximum exposure in maximum city. And what a spectacular success, from their perspective, the operation has been. Will Mumbai ever be the same again? Vinod Mehta, Editor, Outlook magazine, India
In his book "From the Shadows", Robert Gates, the re-nominated US Secretary of Defense and an ex- CIA Director had written that the US intelligence services began aiding the Mujaheddin in Afghanistan six months before the Soviet intervention. About his role Brzezinski clarified : "Yes, according to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujaheddin began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 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."
To Le Nouvel Observateur 's query , "When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn't believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don't regret anything today?" Brzezinski replied," Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it?
"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. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire."
Brzezinski admitted on July 3, 1979, that unknown to the public and Congress President Carter secretly authorized $500 million to create an international terrorist movement that would spread Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia to destabilize the Soviet Union. This was called 'Operation Cyclone'
Brzezinski along with Henry Kissinger, whom many would like to try as a war criminal and who badmouthed Indira Gandhi with US President Richard Nixon on the eve of the independence of Bangladesh from Pakistan in1971 are close to foreign policy team of incoming US President Barack Obama.
Indian Response and Reaction to Mumbai Rape
Despite several terrorist attacks in major Indian cities this year alone, the reaction of various structures and manpower supposedly in place to counter them, the 60 hour brutal rampage in the city of Mumbai, only exposed the dysfunctional nature of the Indian state and made India a laughing stock in the world, only arousing pity. It exposed lack of any coherent policy or its implementation externally or internally in dealing with such situations. Top Indian political elite after the attack on Indian Parliament in 2001 is itself now well guarded by NSG, which finally carried out the neutralization of the Pakistan trained Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists, reaching Mumbai from Delhi 8 hours after the reign of terror had begun.
The political maneuvers after the rampage give little hope for the future. After 9/11 when Pakistan was coerced into joining USA in the so called 'War on Terror' aka ' Operation enduring freedom' , Indian leaders like LK Advani had wanted India to be the front line state against terror. Well that wish has been fulfilled. West would love Indian masses to be the canon fodder in its fight against Islamic terrorism, incubated and nurtured by UK, USA and others.
New Delhi is relying on the very states, that are responsible for the creation of the monster of religious terrorism around the world throughout history and specially since 1980s. USA, UK and Israel promote policies of 'creative chaos' to promote their interests. Remember how the Sunni states and the West indirectly, encouraged and hailed Iraq's Saddam Hussein in 1980 to douse the flames from Shia Iran's revolution, in which over a million lives were lost and their economies shattered. It only strengthened interests of the West and its allies in the region. Saddam was soon taken care of.
Why not also consult Russia, Iran and others facing West created terrorism. As for any outcome of demarches with the Pakistan government directly or via others, remember the charade TV trial of the confirmed nuclear weapons proliferator Dr A.Q. Khan by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and his being pardoned. Do not expect others to take out your chestnuts out of the fire. It is a wild goose chase as it is emerging. In UNSC Pakistan is reviving the Kashmir red herring and the West hyphenating India-Pakistan again.
In 1987-89, while establishing Indian Foreign Ministry's institute for training diplomats, after reading up on history of violence and how to manage crisis situations created by terrorist attacks, I had designed a week long module. The training module, inaugurated by the then minister of state P. Chidambaram was to sensitize diplomats, officers from police, intelligence, military, civil aviation, NSG and others. When I checked up in 1999 at the time of the hijacking of Indian airlines plane from Katmandu to Kandahar, the module had been discontinued.
This long essay is to inform the public, specially gullible and Anglo-Saxon brain washed Indian chattering and chanting classes, who hog media outlets, to look carefully at the Trojan horses being brought to India; why and what US, UK and Israel are up to. Indian corporate media and writers are easily seduced and co-opted by study grants, scholarships, well paid seminars and fat pensions to those who were on deputations to West controlled institutions like IMF and the World Bank, established to maintain US economic hegemony in the wake of 1944 Bretton Woods agreement. (For example with the term of the current PMO coming to an end in a few months, at least four senior bureaucrats have gone on deputation to these institutions)
When one analyzes the history, the causes and the phenomenon of Islamic terrorism, it is important to look at the role played by and still being played by USA, UK, Israel and Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and others, in stirring up Muslims, either as mercenaries or for proxy wars to preserve their regimes and promote their interests.
The major axis controlling fundamentalist Islamic terrorism is composed of the ruling corporate elites in USA and UK, the Saud dynasty and the military establishment in Pakistan.
US-Saudi Dynasty-Wahabi Nexus
The first Saudi "state" was founded in 1744 by the al-Saud leader Muhammad ibn Saud who made a Faustian bargain with the religious reformer Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab, the founder of "Wahabism". The pact between the Wahab clan and the house of Saud was sealed with multiple marriages. The links between Saudi family and Wahabi followers have remained durable. The Saudi minister of religion is always a member of the Al Sheikh family, descendants of Ibn Abdul Wahab. The Wahabis' sway over mosques is undoubted with their own religious police . Financed from surplus oil revenues, the Wahabis have extended their reach via networks of Madarsas and mosques throughout the Muslim world, specially in Pakistan. In central Asian republics like Uzbekistan, Pakistani visitors are referred to as Wababis.
Wahabism is extremely austere and rigid. It tolerates little dialogue and even less interpretation, frowns on idolatry, tombstones or the veneration of statues and artworks. Followers prefer to identify themselves as muwahiddun, which means "the unifiers." Wahabis forbid smoking, shaving of beards, abusive language, rosaries and many rights for women. They regard all those who don't practice their form of Islam, including other Muslims, as heathens and enemies.
Two experts Brisard and Dasquie explain that Saudi Arabia has always supported radical Islamic movements (including the Taliban, Al Qaeda and bin Laden) in order to extend its hegemony over the region and Muslims. Riyadh's support of the Taliban kept Afghanistan from falling under Iranian influence.
According to Kepel, the noted French Arabist, following the 1979 over running of the Grand Mosque at Mecca by fundamentalists (the debacle was finally ended with the help of French special forces) and after Operation Desert Shield when United States troops moved into Saudi Arabia on August 7, 1990, the Saudi government desperately needed the religious blessing of the Wahabi clergy to sanctify US troops onto Saudi soil. The concessions granted to Wahabis completed the kingdom's fall into "bottomless Islamization". Sunni Islam will remain backward and mired in mediaeval mores, unable to face modern day challenges unless there is a catharsis after a revolution like of Shia Islam in Iran.
In 1945, before a declining Britain was divested of its colonies and influence, USA signed a memo with the British to protect "very extensive joint interest and ' control of the great bulk of the free petroleum resources of the world. --The Middle East was a vital prize for any power interested in world influence or domination", since control of the world's oil reserves also meant control of the world economy. After the decline of UK and France, US stepped in as the dominant neo-colonial power in the region as elsewhere.
"One of the basic policies of the United States in the Near East is unqualifiedly to support the territorial integrity and political independence of Saudi Arabia". A 1953 internal U.S. document: states -"United States policy is to keep the sources of oil in the Middle East in American hands." (quoted by Mohammed Heikal in 'Cutting the lion's tail'.) In 1958, a secret British document described the principal objectives of Western policy in the Middle East " (a) to ensure free access for Britain and other Western countries to oil produced in States bordering the Gulf; (b) to ensure the continued availability of that oil on favorable terms and for surplus revenues of Kuwait; (c) to bar the spread of Communism and pseudo-Communism in the area and subsequently to defend the area against the brand of Arab nationalism."
Since then a nexus has emerged between US, the rich Saudi ruling elite with its extravagant life style and its familial extension to puritan Wahabis, In exchange for security of the dynasty the peninsula's oil wealth and revenues have been handed over for exploitation and benefit of the West led by USA (a major cause of anger among Arab masses.) This nexus has stood the test of time with Washington doing everything possible to maintain the feudal regime with its mediaeval practices. The regime controls "the largest family business" in the world without any popular mandate or accountability.
The Saud family-US nexus was anointed after President Franklin Roosevelt's meeting with the Saudi King aboard a warship in 1945, who said "I hereby find that the defense of Saudi Arabia is vital to the defense of the United States." Jimmy Carter, a later day saint, in 1980, put it even more forcefully: "Let our position be absolutely clear. An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States."
Washington backed that commitment with military treaties safeguarding the Middle East. Apart from old CENTO and now NATO, U.S. military bases are stretched into east Africa, the Indian Ocean, and the Gulf to protect the Middle East oil. Then came the Rapid Deployment Force and the U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet, now based in Bahrain. The 1991 Gulf War led to a massive expansion of the U.S. military presence in the region, including US troops on the sacred Saudi soil, a major cause of anguish and deep resentment among conservative Saudi Muslims led by Osama bin Laden. US troops were shifted away only after the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
ME Oil and Partition of India
A former Indian diplomat Narendra Singh Sarila, in a well researched book 'The Shadow of the Great Game: The Untold Story of India's Partition', based on British documents, uncovers the truth that, after the 2nd world War, realizing that London had to relinquish India, the British leadership across the political spectrum, Conservatives and Labor, intrigued, told lies and finally partitioned the Indian subcontinent creating the state of Pakistan. Because with Mahatma Gandhi with his opposition to violence and war and Jawaharlal Nehru 's non-real politic idealism and vision of creating friendship and understanding among colonized and exploited people of the world, India would not join Western military pacts to protect from the Soviet Union the oil resources in the Middle East being exploited by Western powers.
Britain's ultimate objective was to retain at least some part in the North-West of India, "for defensive and offensive action against the USSR in any future dispensation in the sub-continent". And Britain knew that this could be best achieved by having a willing and subservient Pakistan as its client. So the only way -- was to use Jinnah to detach areas of India, which borders Iran, Afghanistan and Sinkiang and create a new state there. Sarila documents in detail how after the end of World War II in 1945, the new Labor government of Clement Attlee and Wavell decided to divide India and used Jinnah and political Islam to protect their strategic interests.
A top-secret telegram of Lord Wavell, then Viceroy, to the Secretary of State in London dated February 6, 1946, suggested the lines on which British India could be divided. On June 3, 1947, British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, while addressing the Labor Party's annual conference, spilled the beans that the division of India "would help consolidate Britain in the Middle East".
Sarila also traces the roots of the present Kashmir problem and how the matter was handled in the UN to favor ally Pakistan.
US-Pakistan Military Axis
Unlike India, Pakistan began with weak grassroots political organizations, with the British-era civil servants strengthening bureaucracy's hold over the polity and decision-making and soon called for the military's help. While the politicians had wanted strengthening relations with Britain, General Ayub Khan, encouraged by the US military, forged closer cooperation with the Pentagon. And in 1958 the military took over power, with Ayub Khan, a mere Colonel at the time of the partition soon promoting himself to Field Marshall. He eased out officers who did not fit into the Anglo-Saxon scheme of using Pakistan's strategic position against the evolving Cold War confrontation against the communist block.
General Zia ul-Haq was a cunning schemer, veritably a mullah in uniform. While seducing the north Indian media with lavish praise and kebabs, he planned Operation Topaz, which in 1989 fueled insurgency in Kashmir. His Islamisation of the country made the situation for women and minorities untenable. The judicial killing of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1977 turned General Zia into a pariah, but the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan made him a US darling, restoring and fatally strengthening the Pakistan military's links with the Pentagon.
This led to the hold of Pakistani military and ISI becoming pervasive, omnipotent, omniscient and ominous for Pakistan. This defense alliance, the seeds of which were planted by Ayub Khan, and the symbiotic relationship between the ISI and the CIA bolstered under General Zia, was never really dismantled and is unlikely to be fully disentangled ever. The form of government in a country has seldom bothered the US in the pursuit of its national interests. In fact US prefers military and other dictators; easier to handle.
Like the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, September 11 revived the imperative necessity to bring Pakistan closer to US once again (Washington even threatened to bomb Pakistan to stone age if it did not fall in line ). The US needed Pakistan to protect itself from a backlash of its earlier Afghan policies of creating the Mujaheddin and then Taliban, Washington desperately wanted to stop Pakistan's nuclear material or bombs falling into Jihadi hands, and to at least curtail, further damage to US interests in the region.
Establishment of Terrorist Nurseries in Afghanistan and Pakistan
From 1979 to the exit of Soviet troops in 1989, USA , UK other western countries, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf and Muslim states and even China (which sold AKM assault rifles and Type 69 RPGs, with US even supplying Stinger anti-aircraft missiles systems) exploited Jihadis as a weapon against the Russian forces in Afghanistan. Washington and Riyadh contributed most of the funds, reportedly totaling even up to $40 billion on the war in Afghanistan (US with $600 million in aid per year, with a matching amount coming from the Gulf states.) The CIA and its allies, Pakistan ISI, British MI6 and others recruited, supplied, and trained almost 40,000 hard core radical Mujahedeen from forty Muslim countries including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Algeria, and Afghanistan itself. Zia's military government established some 2,500 religious school nurseries, which were funded by Saudi Arabia and backed by the U.S. Some 225,000 children who went to these schools were trained to fight as guerrillas in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Not a penny was spent in defense of the Afghan people.
Among those who answered the call for Jihad was Saudi-born millionaire Osama bin Laden and his cohorts. Although in his violent campaign against US interests, bin Laden had attacked US embassies in East Africa, with his camps being attacked by US missiles in retaliation, it was not until the attack on the World Trade Centre in New York on 11 September 2001, when the realization came painfully to USA of the possibilities of nuclear terror, with linkages between Al Qaeda,Taliban and others in nuclear armed Pakistan's powerful ISI.
After the withdrawal of the Soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1989, West largely forgot about the monster they had created. But it was obvious that the festering nurseries of terrorists left south of Russian underbelly and just across in the restive Muslim Xinxiang province of China and India's Jammu and Kashmir, would sooner or later affect these countries. The Mujaheddin mercenaries now took on a life of their own. Hundreds of them returned home to Algeria, Chechnya, Kosovo, and Kashmir to carry on terrorist attacks in Allah's name against the purveyors of secular "corruption." In fact Lashkar-e-Toiba was created while the West and Muslim countries were waging their war against Russia in Afghanistan.
The 1980s jihad also spawned a home-grown malignancy in Pakistan - one that now poses a powerful threat to Pakistan itself. Free from the Jihad against Soviet troops after the Russians withdrawal, in 1990s Pakistan's ISI gave the Jihadis a fresh assignment, to create terror in Jammu and Kashmir. Led by Afghan veterans, fighters were secretly trained, armed and funded by the ISI to fight Indian soldiers in Kashmir. The best were later sent to help the Taliban in Afghanistan against NATO and US troops supporting the Karzai government in Kabul, foisted on Afghanistan by Washington after 2002.
"Be Nice to America, Otherwise We will Bring you Democracy "
-A New York poster
Since feudal times the landholding system in Afghanistan remained unchanged, with more than 75 percent of the land owned by big landlords comprising only 3 percent of the rural population. In the mid-1960s, democratic revolutionary elements had coalesced to form the People's Democratic Party (PDP). After the secret US intervention in 1979 mentioned above a seriously besieged leftist government of Taraki invited Moscow to send troops to help ward off the Mujaheddin and foreign mercenaries, all recruited, financed, and well-armed by the CIA.
A report in the San Francisco Chronicle (17 November 2001) noted that under the Taraki regime Kabul had been "a cosmopolitan city. Artists and hippies flocked to the capital. Women studied agriculture, engineering and business at the city's university. Afghan women held government jobs'-in the 1980s, there were seven female members of parliament. Women drove cars, traveled and went on dates. Fifty percent of university students were women." This had aroused serious opposition from several quarters; feudal landlords who opposed the land reforms and tribesmen and fundamentalist mullahs who vehemently opposed the government's policy of gender equality and education of women and children."
In Afghanistan itself, by 1995 an extremist strain of Sunni Islam called the Taliban---heavily funded and advised by the ISI and the CIA and with the support of Islamic political parties in Pakistan---fought its way to power, taking over most of the country, luring many tribal chiefs into its fold with threats and bribes.
The years of war that have followed the US intervention in July, 1979, have taken millions of Afghan lives. Along with those killed by Cruise missiles, Stealth bombers, Tomahawks, daisy cutters, and land mines are those who now continue to die of hunger, cold, lack of shelter, and water.
The strength and capability of Al Qaeda has been used as bogeyman by the Bush administration for political and electoral purposes. Writes Anand Gopal, "As Taliban and al-Qaeda remnants trickled into Pakistan after the fall of the Taliban government in 2001, Islamabad signed on to the Bush administration's Global War on Terror. It was a profitable venture: Washington delivered billions of dollars in aid and advanced weaponry to Pakistan's military government. In return, Islamabad targeted al-Qaeda militants, every few months parading a captured "high-ranking" leader before the news cameras, while leaving the Taliban leadership on its territory untouched. While the Pakistani military establishment never completely eradicated al-Qaeda -- doing so might have stanched the flow of aid -- it kept up just enough pressure so that the Arab militants declared war on the government. Despite such foreign connections, the Afghan rebellion remains mostly a homegrown affair. Foreign fighters -- especially al-Qaeda -- have little ideological influence on most of the insurgency, and most Afghans keep their distance from such outsiders. Al-Qaeda's vision of global jihad doesn't resonate in the rugged highlands and windswept deserts of southern Afghanistan. Instead, the major concern throughout much of the country is intensely local: personal safety."
Simon Jenkins, the noted British journalist after visiting USA recently wrote a column in The Guardian, "America, Cowering to an imaginary enemy, is not the country I once knew". He said that "America seems much in need of Roosevelt's maxim to stop fearing fear itself. Virtually all comment on the Mumbai massacre has mentioned 9/11 and al Qaeda and thus invited citizens to continue feeling afraid.-- Any stick will do to elevate al-Qaeda as America's enemy number one.- Al-Qaeda does not, yet it has become the ruling obsession of Bush's courtiers. They see al-Qaeda fiends on every side, bearded mullahs, caches of bombs, ricin and anthrax. The precautionary principle has become fanaticized. ' "
Yes , Muslims across the world, with grievances have created cells based on Al Qaeda philosophy and pattern.
How London's Sordid Love Affair with Muslim Brotherhood was Transformed into Washington's Unleashing of Fundamentalist Islam
Let us look at the history how Britain and then USA have promoted Islamic fundamentalism against popular, nationalist and socialist governments in Muslim countries to safeguard Western interests.
In his book "Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam," Robert Dreyfuss paints a vivid picture of how the United States spent the last century taking over the British imperial apparatus in the Middle East ;sponsoring and manipulating Islamic fundamentalism to control and exploit petroleum resources and politics. Dreyfuss's book based on major academic literature and actors on the scene is an excellent survey of the history of the Muslim Brotherhood and its various 20th-Century offshoots.
The United States, Dreyfuss argues, has supported radical Islamic activism over the past six decades, "sometimes overtly, sometimes covertly," and is thus "partly to blame for the emergence of Islamic terrorism as a world-wide phenomenon." He writes about U.S. support for the Muslim Brotherhood against Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt, whose goal was to end Western domination and control in the Middle East. Western interests used the Islamic Brotherhood to destabilize the Nasser government. The Brotherhood remains active and continues to conduct terrorist activities in Egypt.
Britain's Imperial History of Divide and Rule in Middle East
Although the Muslim Brotherhood was formally launched in Egypt in 1928, the roots of the British-sponsored policy began in the last quarter of the 19th Century , when the British intelligence sponsored the career of a Persian-born Shia named Jamaleddin, later known as Jamaleddin al-Afghani (1838-97) to hide his sect. A British (and French) Freemason and a professed atheist, al-Afghani spent his entire adult life as an agent of British intelligence, fomenting "Islamist" insurrections where they suited British imperial goals. At points in his fascinating career, he served as Minister of War and Prime Minister of Iran, before leading an insurrection against the Shah. He was a founder of the Young Egypt movement, which was part of a worldwide network of British Jacobin fronts that waged war against Britain's imperial rivals during the second half of the 19th Century. In Sudan, following the Mahdi-led nationalist revolt and the murder of Britain's Lord Gordon, al-Afghani organized an "Islamist" counterrevolution in support of restoration of British colonial control.
Al-Afghani was backed by the British with funding, a publishing house and other amenities. Al-Afghani's leading disciple and fellow British agent was Mohammed Abduh (1849-1905). The Egypt born Abduh founded the Salafiyya movement, under the patronage of the British proconsul of Egypt, Lord Cromer. In the 1870s, al-Afghani and Abduh founded the Young Egypt movement, which battled against secular Egyptian nationalists.
In 1899, two years after al-Afghani's death, Lord Cromer made Abduh the Grand Mufti of Egypt. Abduh in turn, begot Syrian Mohammed Rashid Rida (1865-1935), his leading disciple. Rida founded the organization that would be the immediate precursor to the Muslim Brotherhood, the Society of Propaganda and Guidance and an Institute. It published a journal, The Lighthouse, which provided "Islamist" backing to the British colonial rule over Egypt, by attacking Egyptian nationalists as "atheists and infidels." In Cairo, under British patronage, Rida brought in Islamists from every part of the Muslim world to be trained in political agitation in support of British colonial rule.
Hassan al-Banna (1906-49), a graduate of the Institute for Propaganda and Guidance, founded the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928, which was an unabashed British intelligence front. The mosque in Ismailia, Egypt, which was the first headquarters of the Brotherhood, was built by the (British) Suez Canal Company, near a British World War I military base. During World War II, the Muslim Brotherhood functioned as a de facto branch of the British military. In 1942, the Brotherhood created the "Secret Apparatus," an underground paramilitary organization that specialized in assassinations and espionage.
Hitler's and London's Grand Mufti
During the formative years of the Muslim Brotherhood, the British were simultaneously promoting the career of another "Islamist" named Haj Amin al-Husseini. A notorious anti-Semite with little Islamic theological training , he was promoted by Sir Ronald Storrs, the British Governor General and in 1921 installed as president of the Supreme Muslim Council, a British-sponsored association of hand-picked Muslim religious leaders . With British rigging , Al-Husseini was 'elected ' next year the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. During the World War II, al-Husseini, and al-Banna, wound up in Berlin as a propagandist for the Nazi assault against the Jews. But al-Husseini was back in the Holy Land, again on the British intelligence payroll, now a firebrand anti-communist propagandist for the Middle East Broadcasting Station. [The current Western proxy leaders in Iraq, Ahmed Chalabbi and Ex Prime Minister Iyad Alawi , have been unabashed operatives of CIA,MI6 and others .So the pattern continues]
Hassan al-Banna was assassinated in 1949 by Egyptian security but by that time, the Muslim Brotherhood had vastly expanded its ranks, and had spread to other parts of the Middle East, where the British had a major postwar presence. The Muslim Brotherhood established branches in Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine.
'British Brains and American Brawn to rule the world' ' Churchill
After the untimely death of Franklin Roosevelt in 1945 , Winston Churchill 's famous "Iron Curtain" address came to define the Cold War. An Anglo-American partnership that Churchill once described: "With British brains and American brawn, we can rule the world."
During the 1950s the United States sided with Great Britain against the legitimate, popular secularist governments of Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser and Iran's Mohammed Mossadegh. And in both instances, the Anglo-Americans used the Muslim Brotherhood as the battering ram to bring down the popular regimes. In the case of Egypt, President Dwight Eisenhower, in a most decisive postwar break with London, neutralized the joint British-French-Israeli invasion of Suez in 1956, temporarily backing the Nasser regime. (For years after the Suez crisis, Eisenhower and the United States were admired in Egypt).
One of the architects of playing the Islamists against the nationalist /socialist /communists in the Middle East was Dr. Bernard Lewis, a wartime British intelligence Arab Bureau spy, who in his crucial 1953 essay "Communism and Islam," argued for a strategy of promoting right-wing Islamist movements and regimes as a weapon against Soviet backed nationalist and socialist regimes in the region. Lewis's scheme was embraced by the Dulles brothers, Secretary of State John Foster and CIA Director Allen, despite reservations from President Eisenhower and some leading CIA Middle East specialists.
Despite Washington's ambivalence about Nasser, Britain's Prime Minister Anthony Eden had no doubt that the Egyptian President was a menace to British interests and had to be eliminated. George Young, a top MI6 officer posted in Cairo, ordered by Eden to assassinate Nasser, according to MI6 documents, turned to the Muslim Brotherhood's for the job , leading to a full-scale war between the Brotherhood and Nasser. Thousands were killed, and eventually, the Brotherhood was forced to flee, taking refuge in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and other pro-US/UK Arab regimes. Saudi Arabia funded Egypt's Brothers against Nasser .Riyadh also funded the Brothers in Jordan as King Hussein complained when I was posted at Amman (1989-92).
Operations in Iran: 'Made in England'
Contrary to popular assumptions, the Muslim Brotherhood was not exclusively a Sunni movement. In Iran, a Shia cleric, Ayatollah Seyyed Abolqassin Kashani, was a close collaborator of al-Banna, his heir Ramadan, and other Brothers. In 1943, he founded an Iranian Shia branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, called the Devotees of Islam. Like the Muslim Brotherhood, the Devotees had their own assassination squads. They failed, in 1949, to assassinate the Shah.
The author remembers what Jordan's Crown Prince Hassan told him in 1990s, when Tehran re-established diplomatic relations with Amman. As the Iranian CDA spent most of his time in the National Assembly where after the recent elections the Muslim Brotherhood had a sizable presence Hassan wryly commented that the CDA thought that he was accredited to the Assembly and not to the Palace of Hashemite King Hussein, his brother.
The appointment of Mohammed Mossadegh as the new Prime Minister, led to yet-another Anglo-American coup against a secular nationalist regime, falsely branded "communist." As in Egypt, the British turned to the local Muslim Brotherhood'the Devotees of Islam'to stage the street riots and other actions that led to the overthrow of Mossadegh. The coup in Iran became the food of legend, about CIA officers Kermit and Archibald Roosevelt, who organized the bazaari to stem the tide of communism and stop the nationalization of British oil holdings.
"A well-informed Iranian source reported that Mossadegh made the decision to step down, rather than either side with the Soviet-backed Iranian Communist Party or unleash his own mass base of supporters to battle the Muslim Brothers and the allied bazaari. It was Mossadegh's concern about the Iranian people that had more to do with the success of the so-called "coup," than the clandestine prowess of the Roosevelt boys and their British partners."
The Khomeini Revolution
The Khomeini revolution was a blowback against UK-US supported Shah's repressive regime and resentment against the overthrow of popular and nationalist Mossadegh government. From the beginning, not all Iranians fully supported the Islamic revolution (in which skillful use was made of Karbala - where Imam Hussein and his army and family fought and died for Islam - and other Shia imagery), its agenda and implementation. Khomeini was a rallying point for all against the Shah (caricatured as the sultan or the caliph), the corroding corruption, the excesses of the Savak secret police and its backers, the CIA, the hopes and aspirations of the youth for social justice, the masses suffering from inflation and sudden oil wealth inequities.
Khomeini provided that unflinching moral and spiritual bulwark against the Shah's armed-to-the-teeth military machine and his capacity to deny whatever concessions were demanded, and what was held out in the end was too little too late. Many Iranians who opposed the hard line clerics and their killjoy agenda were eliminated, forced to flee or went underground. Even in 1980, disenchanted, only one fourth of Iranians went to the parliamentary polls. Expectedly, many clerics, some even senior to Khomeini, like Shariatmadari, favored political parties and more freedoms. But by sheer force, the radical conservatives took over power, sometimes in spite of Khomeini.
It is the current US policies which have strengthened radical forces in Iran and catapulted President Mahmud Ahmedinejed against a reformer like President Khatami.
The next British-backed battle between fundamentalist Islam and nationalism occurred in Syria where the branch of the Muslim Brotherhood was founded by Ramadan. When a Baathist military coup took place in 1969, the Brotherhood began a campaign of irregular warfare, that built momentum throughout the 1970s. In 1979, the Muslim Brotherhood staged a military assault on the Syrian Army academy at Hama, setting the main building on fire and killing 83 cadets mostly from Alawaite sect belonging to the ruling Assad regime. The government killed many thousands of Syrian brothers who then escaped to Saudi Arabia.
Afghanistan and Muslim Brotherhood
Dreyfuss gives a brief history of the evolution of the Muslim Brotherhood in Afghanistan with roots in Egypt. A group of young Afghan students after spending several years at the al-Azhar mosque in Cairo, a center of Muslim Brotherhood activity, returned to Afghanistan and formed a branch of the Brothers, the Islamic Society. "The Professors," as they were known, would later form the backbone of the Afghan Mujahedeen, who waged a West and Saudi backed decade-long war against the Soviet Army occupation. The three leading "Professors" were: Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, Burhanuddin Rabbani, and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Sayyaf and Hekmatyar, in particular, were backed by the Pakistani ISI, and by Pakistan's own Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Group, founded by Abdul Ala Mawdudi. The three professors led the major factions of the Afghan insurgency.
One of the key recruiters for the Jihad in Afghanistan was a Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood member Abdullah Azzam. In 1984, under Anglo-American and Pakistani sponsorship, Azzam and a leading prot'g', bin Laden, founded the Service Bureau in Peshawar, Pakistan. The Service Bureau served as a hospitality service for incoming jihadists.
USA and the Rise of the Taliban to Power
In April 1992 various guerrilla armies took over Kabul, where they promptly started fighting among themselves for power. There were street fights in the capital, battles for control of strategic positions. The U.S encouraged and enabled Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to support one faction , whose army had destroyed most of Kabul in 1993. Iran, Russia, India, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan chose other factions to back. For the next three years, the United States would support first one, then another fundamentalist faction in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the people suffered, caught in endless civil war.
Around 1993, the Pakistani government became interested in opening up trade with the new Central Asian republics that had split from the old USSR. USA was interested in American UNOCAL laying energy pipelines from central Asia to Pakistan and beyond. But the warfare in Afghanistan blocked the roads. A way to end the warfare was needed.
The Pakistan government once again set up schools for guerrillas, masked as religious schools. They were recruited from the Afghan refugee camps. The Taliban were nurtured in these schools and camps. They were supported by the Pakistani Deobandis and their political party the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI). In 1993, when JUI entered the government coalition of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, ties between JUI and the Army and ISI were established. In 1995, with the downfall of the Hezb-I-Islami Hektmatyar government in Kabul, the Taliban not only re-instated a hard line Islamic government, they also "handed control of training camps in Afghanistan over to JUI factions..."
By the summer of 1994 the first grouping of guerrillas was ready. It was led by older religious teachers and Pakistani soldiers, and armed by Saudi Arabia, with the cooperation from the CIA. The arms, food and four wheel drive vehicles gave the Taliban the material means to grow rapidly, against those less equipped. Jane Defense Weekly confirms that "half of Taliban manpower and equipment originated in Pakistan under the ISI". The Taliban Islamic State was to serve US geopolitical interests.
The Taliban were only one more armed reactionary band in a country with lots of them. Yet in a couple of years they were able to take power. They profited from the advanced decomposition of the state apparatus and were able to take entire cities without combat. Some of the war lords preferred to join the Taliban, while others fled instead of fighting.
The Taliban presented themselves as champions against corruption and against the rule of war lords. They appeared as austere, disinterested combatants, opposed to pillage and respecting private property. They received at least the resigned consent of the population to end the civil war, even if that meant giving up the most basic liberties.
The Koran was already the law of the land, and rights of women hardly existed. After the Taliban took control of Kabul in September 1996, Glyn Davies, a State Department spokesman, said that the United States saw "nothing criticizable in the measures now taken by the Taliban movement to impose Islamic law in the zones which it controls." U.S. imperialism saw the Taliban as establishing order. UNOCAL, the giant California-based oil company, looked forward to being able to build a giant pipeline across the country.
After coming to power, the Taliban again opened training camps for recruits from fundamentalist groups around the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
The Pakistani Taliban ' Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan
The Pakistani Taliban or the Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan (TTP), are led by Baitullah Mahsud. Centered in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) that lie between the North-West Frontier Province, it differs from their Afghan cousins in being mostly tribal rather than clerically trained in madrasahs (though they have some clerics among them). While Pakistan's population is 165 million or so, the population of FATA is about 3.5 million. Moreover, many clans in the tribal agencies actively oppose the TTP and have engaged in battles with them. The Pakistani Taliban are a relatively small group, probably a few thousand strong but they are powerful in North and South Waziristan and also in the northern agency of Bajaur. Apparently they have gained strength in the Khyber Agency, as well. Since FATA abuts Peshawar, the Pakistani Taliban have on several occasions encroached on that city. The Khyber Agency lies between Peshawar and the Khyber Pass, the easiest road into southern Afghanistan from Pakistan.
The War in Chechnya
The main rebel leaders Shamil Basayev and Al Khattab were trained and indoctrinated in CIA sponsored camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to Yossef Bodansky, director of the U.S. Congress's Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, the war in Chechnya had been planned during a secret summit of Hezbollah International held in 1996 in Mogadishu, Somalia. The summit, was attended by Osama bin Laden and high-ranking Iranian and Pakistani intelligence officers. In this regard, the involvement of Pakistan's ISI in Chechnya "goes far beyond supplying the Chechens with weapons and expertise: the ISI and its radical Islamic proxies are actually calling the shots in this war
Mujaheddin in Balkans and US involvement
The JUI with the support of the Saudi Wahabi movements also played a key role in recruiting volunteers to fight in the Balkans and the former Soviet Union. The Golden Crescent drug trade was used to finance and equip the Bosnian Muslim Army (starting in the early 1990s) and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) /There is evidence that Mujaheddin mercenaries were fighting in the ranks of KLA-NLA terrorists in their assaults into Macedonia.
On US support to Mujaheddin in the Balkans read extracts from "Turkey: 'Sow war and reap terror' by K Gajendra Singh , Atimes.com ,22 November, 2003( extracts form this article , hosted by over a hundred websites, and quoted by many reputed columnists including USA's Tom Engelhardt)
"During the current debate, the Balkan chapter of the 1990s and the US and European role in the breakup of Yugoslavia and subsequent events are not scrutinized closely. The origins of al-Qaeda and other terror groups during the Afghan war of 1979-1992, their fight against the Soviet army and the role of the US, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and others is well documented, including Osama bin Laden's drive to recruit Muslim volunteers world-wide. US officials estimate that tens of thousands of foreign fighters were trained in bomb-making, sabotage and guerrilla warfare tactics in Afghan camps that the US Central Intelligence Agency helped set up between1985-92.
"After the Russians withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989, and the Najibullah communist regime collapsed in 1992, the Afghan mujahideen became irrelevant to the US. But the mujahideen had acquired a taste for fighting, and now they had no cause. But soon a new cause arose.
"During 1992-95, the Pentagon helped with the movement of thousands of mujahideen and other Islamic elements from Central Asia, even some Turks, into Europe to fight alongside Bosnian Muslims against the Serbs.
"It was very important in the rise of mujahideen forces and in the emergence of current cross-border Islamic terrorist groups who think nothing of moving from state to state in the search of outlets for their jihadi mission. In moving to Bosnia, Islamic fighters were transported from the caves of Afghanistan and the Middle East into Europe; from an outdated battleground of the Cold War to the major world conflict of the day; from being yesterday's men to fighting alongside the West's favored side in the clash of the Balkans. If Western intervention in Afghanistan created the mujahideen, Western intervention in Bosnia appears to have globalized it."
There is a Dutch government report after investigations, prepared by Professor C Wiebes of Amsterdam University, into the Srebrenica massacre of July 1995, entitled "Intelligence and the War in Bosnia", published in April 2002.
It details the secret alliance between the Pentagon and radical Islamic groups from the Middle East and their efforts to assist Bosnia's Muslims. By 1993, a vast amount of weapons were being smuggled through Croatia to the Muslims, organized by "clandestine agencies" of the US, Turkey and Iran, in association with a range of Islamic groups that included the Afghan Mujahideen and the pro-Iranian Hezbollah. Arms bought by Iran and Turkey with the financial backing of Saudi Arabia were airlifted from the Middle East to Bosnia - airlifts with which, Wiebes points out, the US was "very closely involved". [ The same gang which fought against Soviet Russia in Afghanistan , was now fighting against Russia's Slav Orthodox ally ,Yugoslavia and succeeded in breaking up the secular socialist state.]
The Pentagon's alliance with Islamic elements permitted mujahideen fighters to be "flown in" as shock troops for particularly hazardous operations against Serb forces. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times in October 2001, from 1992 as many as 4,000 mujahideen from the Middle East, North Africa and Europe reached Bosnia to fight with the Muslims. Richard Holbrooke, America's former chief Balkans peace negotiator, said as much. The Bosnian Muslims "wouldn't have survived" without the imported mujahideen, which was a "pact with the devil" from which Bosnia would take long to recover. If the US made a pact with the devil, then the Muslim mujahideen made a pact with Satan. They temporized with the Christian West to defeat the ungodly Russian communists, now they are after the US-led Crusaders." ---
"But by the end of the 1990s, State Department officials (as now vis-a-vis the Pentagon), were increasingly worried about the consequences of this devil's pact sponsored by the Pentagon. Under the terms of the 1995 Dayton Peace Accord, the foreign mujahideen units were required to disband and leave the Balkans. Yet in 2000, the State Department raised concerns about the "hundreds of foreign Islamic extremists" who became Bosnian citizens after fighting against the Serbs, and who will remain a potential terror threat to Europe and the United States. "
US officials claimed that "one of bin Laden's top lieutenants had sent operatives to Bosnia", and that during the 1990s Bosnia had served as a "staging area and safe haven" for al-Qaeda and others. The Bill Clinton administration learned that it was one thing to permit the movement of Islamic groups across territories; it was quite another to rein them back in again. "
And in spite of the official US stand against jihadis, it permitted the growth and movement of mujahideen cadres in Europe during the 1990s. In the run up to Clinton and Blair's Kosovo war of 1999, the US backed the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) against Serbia. The Jerusalem Post reported in 1998 that KLA members, like the Bosnian Muslims earlier, were "provided with financial and military support from Islamic countries", and had been "bolstered by hundreds of Iranian fighters and mujahideen ... [some of whom] were trained in Osama bin Laden's terrorist camps in Afghanistan". So the US's pact with the devil continued.
The aspect of the mujahideen's encouragement by the US and its growth in Balkan Europe has been largely overlooked, and the Bosnia connection remains largely unexplored. In Jason Burke's excellent Al-Qaeda: Casting a Shadow of Terror, Bosnia is mentioned only in passing. Kimberley McCloud and Adam Dolnik of the Monterey Institute of International Studies have written some incisive commentary calling for rational thinking when assessing al-Qaeda's origins and threat - but little on the Bosnian link.
A cool analysis of today's disparate Islamic terror groups, created in Afghanistan and emboldened by the Bosnian experience, would do much to shed some light on precisely the dangers of such intervention. Car bombers in Istanbul on November 15 and 20  are perhaps the results. "
Continued to Taliban and UNOCAL