August 30, 2021

A Bargain With The Devil: America, ISI, & The Taliban

"The spirits that I summoned up I now can't rid myself of." - Goethe, The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

NARRATOR: One of the key issues for Haq was that the U.S. government's policy was based on using Afghanistan's powerful neighbour Pakistan as the channel for all its aid to the mujahideen. They delegated day to day control to Pakistan's intelligence service, the ISI.

CIA AGENT CHARLES COGAN: We were condemned, if you will, to work with the Pakistanis. There was no other way of damaging the Soviets in Afghanistan except to use the Pakistanis. We couldn't go through Iran, we can't obviously go through the Soviet Union, there is only one other route and that is Pakistan. And we had this functioning, effective element within the Pakistani Army, the ISI."

NARRATOR: The CIA even agreed to keep its agents out of Afghanistan. 

SPECIAL ENVOY TO AFGHANISTAN PETER TOMSEN: The bottom line was, and this was true during the period of the Soviet occupation, the United States outsourced its strategic and political policies on Afghanistan to Pakistan, which meant to the ISI. The Pakistani government insisted that ISI decide who gets the weapons. We agreed to that." 

JOURNALIST AHMED RASHID: Once the Americans signed this deal, that gave the Pakistanis an enormous clout in determining the policy, because, clearly, the policy was not something abstract now. The policy was who got the guns and who got the money. And whoever got the guns and the money was going to be in the strongest position. 

NARRATOR: With the ISI running the Afghan operation, this gave Pakistan the opportunity to push its own Afghan policy.

RASHID: The ISI had a very particular, focused agenda, which was to bring in a group of Afghans into power who were going to be obligated to Pakistan and the military so that Afghanistan would become a client-state of Pakistan. All the Afghan nationalists, the left-wing parties, the middle class parties, the secular-democratic parties, were actually disbanded and were not allowed to function. And, instead, the ISI promoted basically seven parties who were all very closely linked to the Islamic fundamentalists in one way or the other. So, right from the very beginning, you had a complete misrepresentation of the Afghan Jihad." - An excerpt from the 2003 BBC documentary, "Afghan Warrior: The Life and Death of Abdul Haq." (16:45 - 19:40).

In the U.S. quest for revenge against the Soviet Union for its role in the Vietnam war the nation of Afghanistan was chosen to be sacrificed.

Afghanistan was picked both for its proximity to the Soviet sphere and its history as empire resistors. It was the perfect place to wage a protracted anti-Soviet war and bleed the Russians without any cost to the U.S. empire and its benefactors.

The stability and relative prosperity that Afghanistan enjoyed up to that period in history were cast aside in favour of a policy of perpetual Jihad against the godless enemy. 

Forty years after the initiation of that heinous policy the warriors of Jihad and its evil paymasters have turned out to be more godless than the communists ever were.

All along, the United States empire was in fact the real godless enemy. It used up and threw out its "Afghan allies" like they were scraps of meat. Afghans were treated like cannon fodder.

Pakistan took the cue from Washington and didn't look back. It preyed on the children of the Afghan refugees who fled during the Soviet occupation and formed them into an army of darkness. 

Since 1992, after the fall of the communist regime, it has destabilized Afghanistan at every turn, using Islam like a battering ram against its weaker neighbour.

Pakistan, it should be remembered, is the modern world's first Islamic Republic. It was invented by the British to serve as a garrison state in the event the Soviet Union expanded into South Asia. For the West it served no other purpose. It is not a country but a collection of strategic air bases.

Ever since the Soviet Empire collapsed Pakistan has felt vulnerable about its position in the region. Its army lost its identity as an anti-Communist force. What is its function now?

It couldn't adapt to the new realities. To continue to get American and Western support it needed its neighbour to be mired in chaos and Islamic extremism. Pakistan can only be viewed as a stable partner against the backdrop of instability and terrorism.

So it interfered in Afghanistan in order to stay important. And it told the world it can be trusted to help bring order to Afghanistan. 

But what it gave Afghanistan was the opposite. It destroyed independent and moderate voices and raised petty warlords and Islamic school children to be the guardians of the country.

The world will soon learn what it should already know, that Islamic fundamentalism is not a force of order. The Taliban doesn't know how to govern because it never learned. It will rule with the gun, with threats and intimidations. Afghanistan will become a nation of hostages.

And this tragic reality could have been avoid had the United States and Pakistan not used Afghanistan as a religious and terrorist laboratory. 

The mobilization of religion for short-term political gain and military conquest, whether done by the Ayatollahs in Iran or the CIA and ISI agents in Afghanistan, has stunted the development of the region. It has led not to liberation, as it was promised, but terror and tyranny. 

At the turn of the century, the false flag 9/11 attacks presented the United States and the West with the opportunity to reshape the Muslim world to its liking. 

But they failed.

Bush's wars for democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan brought corrupt and ineffective regimes to power that have been absorbed by Islamic fundamentalist militias backed by the Islamic Republics of Iran and Pakistan.

Now the reach of Islamic fundamentalists extends from India to Europe and North Africa, with the three epicenters being Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey. 

The nations that were on the Neocons' target list -  Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya - have each fallen in parts to the forces of Islamic terrorism.

Terror won the war on terror.

And it means another war, by another name, is around the corner.