— The Erimtan Angle —

Archive for the ‘9/11’ Category

Is it a Gas? “9/11” and the Occupation of Afghanistan

occupation

Originally published on 11 September 2010

It is all but an article of faith that the War in Afghanistan, which began on October 7, 2001, was launched in response to the September 11 attacks. Then-U.S. President George W. Bush followed his predecessor’s lead and focused on the figure of Osama bin Laden as U.S. Public Enemy Nr. 1. In 1998, President Clinton had launched missile strikes on Sudan and Afghanistan in retaliation for the African U.S. embassy attacks, apparently carried out by terrorists linked to the Saudi millionaire and erstwhile champion of the U.S.-led Jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan during the 1980s. Following the Soviet withdrawal from the Hindu Kush, Bin Laden left Afghanistan and went to Sudan upon the invitation of Hassan al-Turabi, and spent five years there (1992-96). Then Bin Laden returned to Afghanistan to apparently continue his Jihad against the United States.

Following the attacks on New York and Washington, DC the population of the U.S. was in deep shock. On 11 September 2001, or “9/11”, the world changed forever, or that is what George W. Bush had us believe. That same evening, in an address to the nation from the Oval Office in the White House, Bush pronounced that “Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror. The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge — huge structures collapsing have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger”. He then declared that “These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong”.

But in reality, fear has pervaded American life ever since, and the Bush Administration has cunningly employed this fear to push through some far-reaching measures affecting the lives of millions of U.S. citizens and many more hapless people across the wider world. Domestically, the rapidly passed Patriot Act clearly limits the much-valued Constitutional Rights of U.S. citizens as well as “aliens” deemed threats to U.S. national security. Currently, the Obama Administration has not revoked this legal measure.

It is all but an article of faith that the War in Afghanistan, which began on October 7, 2001, was launched in response to the September 11 attacks. Then-U.S. President George W. Bush followed his predecessor’s lead and focused on the figure of Osama bin Laden as U.S. Public Enemy Nr. 1. In 1998, President Clinton had launched missile strikes on Sudan and Afghanistan in retaliation for the African U.S. embassy attacks, apparently carried out by terrorists linked to the Saudi millionaire and erstwhile champion of the U.S.-led Jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan during the 1980s. Following the Soviet withdrawal from the Hindu Kush, Bin Laden left Afghanistan and went to Sudan upon the invitation of Hassan al-Turabi, and spent five years there (1992-96). Then Bin Laden returned to Afghanistan to apparently continue his Jihad against the United States.

9-11-shock

Following the attacks on New York and Washington, DC the population of the U.S. was in deep shock. On 11 September 2001, or “9/11”, the world changed forever, or that is what George W. Bush had us believe. That same evening, in an address to the nation from the Oval Office in the White House, Bush pronounced that “Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror. The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge — huge structures collapsing have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger”. He then declared that “These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong”.

But in reality, fear has pervaded American life ever since, and the Bush Administration has cunningly employed this fear to push through some far-reaching measures affecting the lives of millions of U.S. citizens and many more hapless people across the wider world. Domestically, the rapidly passed Patriot Act clearly limits the much-valued Constitutional Rights of U.S. citizens as well as “aliens” deemed threats to U.S. national security. Currently, the Obama Administration has not revoked this legal measure.

On an international plane, less than a month after the terrorist strikes, the invasion of Afghanistan took off in earnest following covert CIA operations in the country. The progress of the American-led coalition was swift – in fact the invasion proceeded so quickly that the journalist Jon Simpson even claimed live on radio that the BBC had liberated Kabul on the morning of 13 November 2001. Following “9/11” and the swift and successful invasion of Afghanistan, Bush’s approval rating soared domestically to 86%. Back in 2001, the whole world followed the Bush lead into Afghanistan, everybody was keen to have the perfidious Taliban – oppressors of women and growers of beards – defeated and destroyed. The U.S. took the lead in a NATO mission named ISAF or International Security Assistance Force. This 40-nation mission was set up to pacify the country, support the Karzai government and keep the Taliban in check. But, is that really the whole story???  Why was everybody so eager to blame Osama bin Laden? And why was Bush suddenly so anxious to punish the Taliban? Did George H. W. Bush’s notoriously Texan and cowboy-like son even know where Afghanistan was located or who the Taliban were?

It turns out that he knew both the country and its fundamentalist rulers quite well. As long ago as 1997, the Taliban had sent a delegation to Texas to talk about a possible lucrative pipeline passing through their territory. Then-Governor of Texas, George W. Bush, supported the Texan firm Unocal in its dealings with the Afghans. Subsequently, Unocal and its partners planned to build a 1,000 mile gas pipeline from resource-rich Turkmenistan to Multan in Pakistan, passing through the Taliban heartland of Kandahar. In the waning years of the 20th century, the BBC dutifully reported that this deal was part “of an international scramble to profit from developing the rich energy resources of the Caspian Sea”. In other words, the Unocal deal with the Taliban was instrumental in the 21th-century development of what the Pakistani author Ahmed Rashid has termed the “New Great Game”, in reference to the 19th-century rivalry between the Russian and British Empires for supremacy in Central Asia.

The American bestselling author, and academic Michael T. Klare coined the term “Resource Wars” in 2001, indicating that in his opinion most wars of the future, like many of those of the past and present, will be caused by conflicts over access to natural resources, particularly oil, natural gas, and water. Is the war in Afghanistan such a conflict, and were the “9/11” attacks used a pretext to launch this military aggression? Is all the talk we hear of Al Qaeda and its allies really a ruse hiding a blatant economic imperative?

Already in 2007, then-Candidate Obama unequivocally stated that, when President his “first step must be to get off the wrong battlefield in Iraq and take the fight to the terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan”. At the time, Barack Obama also hinted at the threat posed by an Al Qaeda presence in the so-called Af-Pak theatre. In the meantime, the above-mentioned pipeline project has been expanded to include a 400-mile extension to India, giving rise to the acronym TAPI indicative of the countries the project encompasses: Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. In the first seven years of the 21st century, eleven high-level planning meetings have been held with the support of the Asia Development Bank. The next three years remained without much action on the TAPI front however, as the world was focusing on finishing the war in Iraq while the formerly business-friendly Taliban slowly regained ground in Afghanistan. But then, in late 2009, President Obama decided to pay heed to his then-man in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, and authorise the dispatch of more U.S. troops to Afghanistan: a total of 30,000 troops over a period of six months, bringing up the total of US and NATO troops to more than 100,000. In addition, numerous mercenaries or rather private security contractors (PSCs), working for the notorious outfit Blackwater (renamed Xe Services and the US Training Center) as well as other companies, are now also present in the Af-Pak theatre in sufficient numbers. These men and women number up to 104,000, effectively outnumbering the real military presence in the country.

The war in Afghanistan has been heating up lately, and the U.S. and its allies still concentrate on the southern part of the country, on the province of Kandahar to be precise. Consequently, the recent Taliban strike on Forward Operating Base Salerno and Camp Chapman in the eastern Khost province came as a surprise to most if not all. In the south, Kandahar is awaiting the completion of the TAPI pipeline, which will traverse the province on its way to Pakistan and India. In meetings, held in the Turkmen capitol of Ashgabat on 17-18 April, the go-ahead was given and work on the lucrative project started in May, with 2015 as the provisional completion date when Turkmenistan’s liquid gas will start flowing southward. The U.S. government is one of the strongest backers of this project.

How do these machinations surrounding the pipeline project relate to the current war in the Hindu Kush region? According to the former Pakistani diplomat Niaz Naik, approximately two months prior to “9/11”, the Bush administration had already decided to topple the Taliban regime and install a more amenable transitional government of moderate Afghans in its place. In July 2001, a four-day meeting was held in Berlin under the portentous heading of “brainstorming on Afghanistan”. The TAPI project was undoubtedly high on the session’s agenda. Literally one week after the attacks, the BBC’s former Pakistan correspondent George Arney related that Naik had “no doubt that after the World Trade Center bombings this pre-existing US plan had been built upon and would be implemented within two or three weeks”. And Niaz Naik proved right. Was he therefore really a man who knew too much? In early August 2009, Naik was tortured and murdered in his residence in Sector F-7/3 of Pakistan’s capital of Islamabad.

In spite of the very real TAPI project and the American backing for the pipeline in the U.S. pursuit of a fossil fuel policy, President Obama is keen to continue the Bush rhetoric as well as policy. In his address to the nation from the Oval Office on 31 August to mark the end of the combat mission in Iraq, he made the following remarks: “And no challenge is more essential to our security than our fight against al Qaeda . . . Americans across the political spectrum supported the use of force against those who attacked us on 9/11 . . . As we speak, al Qaeda continues to plot against us, and its leadership remains anchored in the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan. We will disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda, while preventing Afghanistan from again serving as a base for terrorists”.

Is President Obama being simply disingenuous by keeping quiet about his administration’s support for the TAPI project and continuing to sell War on Terror, renamed Overseas Contingency Operations, to the American public and the world at large? Is he being merely circuitous continuously talking about al Qaeda and its allies while ordering his troops to fight the Taliban and pacify Kandahar province?

tapi

 

Those 28 Pages: Saudi Arabia and its Role in 9/11

russiatoday-logo

‘US President Barack Obama has said the classified pages of the 9/11 Commission report that do not “compromise major national security interests” may “hopefully” be soon released, but argued against any potential legal action against Saudi citizens. Published on Apr 20, 2016’.

‘Finally there is renewed effort to declassify 28 pages of a 838-page congressional report on the events of 9/11. It is all about the role some Saudi officials and others may have played. We have been repeatedly told that the pages are damaging. Should we be surprised? After all, it is said Riyadh supports radical ideologies and groups around the world. CrossTalking with Larry Johnson, Oliver Miles, and Eric Zuesse. Published on Apr 20, 2016’.

28_pages_ untitled

9/11 and the Belligerent Empire // Empire_File002

‘In September 11th’s episode of The Empire Files on TeleSUR, Abby Martin examines the two major wars launched under the “Global War on Terror”–their historical development and their aftermath. Featuring former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, this episode digs into the tragedy of a region shaped by Empire. Published on Sep 12, 2015′.

The PM and the Caliph: An Existential Co-Existence???

Following the recent terrorist outrage on a Tunisian beach killing scores of British holidaymakers, David Cameron now feels at ease and able to reveal his true foreign and domestic policy programme to the world at large. As told by the Beeb: the “fight against Islamic State is ‘the struggle of our generation’, David Cameron has said, as it emerged the British death toll in the Tunisian attack will rise above 30. Home Secretary Theresa May will travel to Tunisia on Monday [, 29 June 2015] to meet ministers and those caught up in the attack. A total of 38 people were killed on a beach near Sousse by a gunman with links to Islamic State extremists. Mr Cameron said IS could be beaten but it would take ‘a very long time’. The prime minister told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the ‘absolutely horrific’ events had ‘shocked the whole of the world’. He said IS posed ‘an existential threat’ to the West, and its members in Iraq and Syria were plotting ‘terrible attacks’ on British soil. Mr Cameron – who will chair another meeting of the Cobra emergency committee on Monday morning – said the UK must have a ‘full-spectrum response’ to the IS threat – including continuing with air strikes”.[1]

In other words, a possibly deranged or brainwashed individual by the name of Seifeddine Rezgui, with no clear or apparent connections to the Caliph and his henchmen, has now handed Cameron his very own Bush moment. In the aftermath of what has become known as “9/11”, then-U.S. President George W. Bush craftily utilized the terror attacks to oil the wheels of the Military-Industrial Complex (or Mic,[2] if you will) and unleash the true successor to the Cold War in the form of the War on Terror, an endless affair that has received a new moniker since then. In addition, Bush also oversaw the introduction of the PATRIOT Act and the subsequent implementation of extreme and complete surveillance. But, back to Cameron now and his plans to unseat Bashar al-Assad, oops, I meant the Caliph Ibrahim (aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi): “Our strategy is to build up local armies. It’s much easier to just invade a country. . . it’s easier and faster, but that has consequences”.[3]  Still talking on Radio 4, Cameron declared that “[i]t is an existential threat because what’s happening here is the perversion of a great religion, and the creation of this poisonous death cult that is seducing too many young minds in Europe, in America, in the Middle East and elsewhere. This is going to be the struggle of our generation and we have to fight it with everything that we can”.[4]  And sounding just like Bush, the PM minced now words stating that “[]hey have declared war on us and they are attacking our people at home and overseas whether we like it or not”.[5]  And so it become apparent that the Tunisia beach attack has now given President Obama a true ally in his attempt to train, equip, and position non-extremist opposition fighters (known more commonly as Jihadi terrorists) in the fight against the new bogeyman.

[1] “Tunisia attack: Cameron says IS fight ‘struggle of our generation'” BBC News (29 June 2015). http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-33307279.

[2] “Military Industrial Complex (Snarkipedia #1) ” in “Snarkipedia” No Cure for That” The Erimtan Angle (22 Jan 2011). https://sitanbul.wordpress.com/2011/01/22/snarkipedia-no-cure-for-that/.

[3] “Tunisia attack: Cameron says IS fight ‘struggle of our generation'”.

[4] Matt Chorley, “We CAN beat ISIS terrorists who threaten our way of life but it will take ‘extraordinary resolve and patience’, says Cameron” Daily Mail (29 June 2015). http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3142884/David-Cameron-says-beat-ISIS-terrorists-threaten-way-life-Sousse-terror-attack.html#ixzz3eRiNnq1x.

[5] Matt Chorley, “We CAN beat ISIS terrorists who threaten our way of life but it will take ‘extraordinary resolve and patience’, says Cameron”.

Philip Marshall: CIA killed 9/11 Author in Black Ops Hit???

‘Philip Marshall was killed in a black operation over confessing to having worked with CIA drug smugglers and the potential exposure of 9/11 secrets. In the background to this, former US National Security Agency Officer Wayne Madsen says the 9/11 investigative author Philip Marshall and his children were killed in a “black ops hit” by the CIA, dismissing the suicide hypothesis. Marshall was afraid of being silenced for his revelations about 9/11, Madsen said, noting that a side door the investigator never used was wide open when his dead body was found. Marshall believed the former US President George Bush had pulled off the 9/11 attack to foment a government coup. In his fourth book, he was supposed to disclose blockbuster information. Press TV has conducted an interview with Dr. Kevin Barrett, an American author and political expert in Madison, Wisconsin, to further discuss the issue. Barrett is joined by Lee Kaplan, investigative journalist from Berkley (4 March 2013)’.

HSBC SWISSLEAKS – The Al-Qaeda Connection

‘SWISSLEAKS – Did HSBC channel funds to Al-Qaeda? Revelations keep coming from the so-called SwissLeaks list of clients who stached cash in Switzerland with the bank. Frederik OBERMAIER, investigative journalist for German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung who connected the dots between Swiss Leaks, the so-called Golden Chain list of alleged Al Qaeda financiers and those 28 pages from the US Congress’ 9/11 Report that the Bush administration redacted tells us more on FRANCE 24 (12 Feb 2015)’.

The Secret Saudi Connection to 9/11: Screwed News

“Consortium News’ ‘Robert Parry comes on The Big Picture. Saudi Arabia says it had no role in the 9/11 attacks that killed 3,000 Americans – but new allegations from a former Al-Qaeda operative are casting doubts on that claim (6 Feb 2015)’.

In the NYT, Scott Shane writes that in “highly unusual testimony inside the federal supermax prison, a former operative for Al Qaeda has described prominent members of Saudi Arabia’s royal family as major donors to the terrorist network in the late 1990s and claimed that he discussed a plan to shoot down Air Force One with a Stinger missile with a staff member at the Saudi Embassy in Washington. The Qaeda member, Zacarias Moussaoui, wrote last year to Judge George B. Daniels of United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, who is presiding over a lawsuit filed against Saudi Arabia by relatives of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He said he wanted to testify in the case, and after lengthy negotiations with Justice Department officials and the federal Bureau of Prisons, a team of lawyers was permitted to enter the prison and question him for two days last October”.[1]

Shane then adds that in a “statement [2 February 2015], the Saudi Embassy said that the national Sept. 11 commission had rejected allegations that the Saudi government or Saudi officials had funded Al Qaeda”.[2]

[1] Scott Shane, “Moussaoui Calls Saudi Princes Patrons of Al Qaeda” NYT (03 Feb 2014). http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/04/us/zacarias-moussaoui-calls-saudi-princes-patrons-of-al-qaeda.html.

[2] Scott Shane, “Moussaoui Calls Saudi Princes Patrons of Al Qaeda”.