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Ex-ISI Chief Says Purpose of New Afghan Intelligence Agency RAMA Is ‘to destabilize Pakistan’

Then Maj. Gen. Hamid Gul, Director General of the ISI (far left), with William Webster, Director of Central Intelligence, Clair George, Deputy Director for Operations, and Milt Bearden, CIA station chief, at a training camp for the mujahedeen in Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province in 1987 (RAWA.org)

Then Maj. Gen. Hamid Gul, Director General of the ISI (far left), with William Webster, Director of Central Intelligence, Clair George, Deputy Director for Operations, and Milt Bearden, CIA station chief, at a training camp for the mujahedeen in Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province in 1987 (RAWA.org)

In an exclusive interview with Foreign Policy Journal, retired Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul responds to charges that he supports terrorism, discusses 9/11 and ulterior motives for the war on Afghanistan, claims that the U.S., Israel, and India are behind efforts to destabilize Pakistan, and charges the U.S. and its allies with responsibility for the lucrative Afghan drug trade.

Retired Lieutenant General Hamid Gul was the Director General of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) from 1987 to 1989, during which time he worked closely with the CIA to provide support for the mujahedeen fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Though once deemed a close ally of the United States, in more recent years his name has been the subject of considerable controversy. He has been outspoken with the claim that the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were an “inside job”. He has been called “the most dangerous man in Pakistan”, and the U.S. government has accused him of supporting the Taliban, even recommending him to the United Nations Security Council for inclusion on the list of international terrorists.

In an exclusive interview with Foreign Policy Journal, I asked the former ISI chief what his response was to these allegations. He replied, “Well, it’s laughable I would say, because I’ve worked with the CIA and I know they were never so bad as they are now.” He said this was “a pity for the American people” since the CIA is supposed to act “as the eyes and ears” of the country. As for the charge of him supporting the Taliban, “it is utterly baseless. I have no contact with the Taliban, nor with Osama bin Laden and his colleagues.” He added, “I have no means, I have no way that I could support them, that I could help them.”

After the Clinton administration’s failed attempt to assassinate Osama bin Laden in 1998, some U.S. officials alleged that bin Laden had been tipped off by someone in Pakistan to the fact that the U.S. was able to track his movements through his satellite phone. Counter-terrorism advisor to the National Security Council Richard Clarke said, “I have reason to believe that a retired head of the ISI was able to pass information along to Al Qaeda that the attack was coming.” And some have speculated that this “retired head of the ISI” was none other than Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul.

When I put this charge to him, General Gul pointed out to me that he had retired from the ISI on June 1, 1989, and from the army in January, 1992. “Did you share this information with the ISI?” he asked. “And why haven’t you taken the ISI to task for parting this information to its ex-head?” The U.S. had not informed the Pakistan army chief, Jehangir Karamat, of its intentions, he said. So how could he have learned of the plan to be able to warn bin Laden? “Do I have a mole in the CIA? If that is the case, then they should look into the CIA to carry out a probe, find out the mole, rather than trying to charge me. I think these are all baseless charges, and there’s no truth in it…. And if they feel that their failures are to be rubbed off on somebody else, then I think they’re the ones who are guilty, not me.”

General Gul turned our conversation to the subject of 9/11 and the war on Afghanistan. “You know, my position is very clear,” he said. “It’s a moral position that I have taken. And I say that America has launched this aggression without sufficient reasons. They haven’t even proved the case that 9/11 was done by Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda.” He argued that “There are many unanswered questions about 9/11,” citing examples such as the failure to intercept any of the four planes after it had become clear that they had been hijacked. He questioned how Mohammed Atta, “who had had training on a light aircraft in Miami for six months” could have maneuvered a jumbo jet “so accurately” to hit his target (Atta was reportedly the hijacker in control of American Airlines Flight 11, which was the first plane to hit its target, striking the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 am). And he made reference to the flight that hit the Pentagon and the maneuver its pilot had performed, dropping thousands of feet while doing a near 360 degree turn before plowing into its target. “And then, above all,” he added, “why have no heads been rolled? The FBI, the CIA, the air traffic control — why have they not been put to question, put to task?” Describing the 9/11 Commission as a “cover up”, the general added, “I think the American people have been made fools of. I have my sympathies with them. I like Americans. I like America. I appreciate them. I’ve gone there several times.”

At this point in our discussion, General Gul explained how both the U.S. and United Kingdom stopped granting him an entry visa. He said after he was banned from the U.K., “I wrote a letter to the British government, through the High Commissioner here in Islamabad, asking ‘Why do you think that — if I’m a security risk, then it is paradoxical that you should exclude me from your jurisdiction. You should rather nab me, interrogate me, haul me up, take me to the court, whatever you like. I mean, why are you excluding me from the U.K., it’s not understandable.’ I did not receive a reply to that.” He says he sent a second letter inviting the U.K. to send someone to question him in Pakistan, if they had questions about him they wanted to know. If the U.S. wants to include him on the list of international terrorists, Gul reasons, “I am still prepared to let them grant me the visa. And I will go…. If they think that there is something very seriously wrong with me, why don’t you give me the visa and catch me then?”

‘They lack character’

I turned to the war in Afghanistan, observing that the ostensible purpose for the war was to bring the accused mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Osama bin Laden, to justice. And yet there were plans to overthrow the Taliban regime that predated 9/11. The FBI does not include the 9/11 attacks among the crimes for which bin Laden is wanted. After the war began, General Tommy Franks responded to a question about capturing him by saying, “We have not said that Osama bin Laden is a target of this effort.” The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Richard Myers, similarly said afterward, “Our goal has never been to get bin Laden.” And President George W. Bush himself said, “I truly am not that concerned about him.” These are self-serving statements, obviously, considering the failure to capture bin Laden. But what, I asked General Gul, in his view, were the true reasons for the invasion of Afghanistan, and why the U.S. is still there?

“A very good question,” he responded. “I think you have reached the point precisely.” It is a “principle of war,” he said, “that you never mix objectives. Because when you mix objectives then you end up with egg on your face. You face defeat. And here was a case where the objectives were mixed up. Ostensibly, it was to disperse al Qaeda, to get Osama bin Laden. But latently, the reasons for the offensive, for the attack on Afghanistan, were quite different.”


About the Author

Jeremy R. Hammond

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Jeremy R. Hammond
Jeremy R. Hammond is an independent political analyst and a recipient of the Project Censored Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism. He is the founding editor of Foreign Policy Journal and the author of Ron Paul vs. Paul Krugman: Austrian vs. Keynesian economics in the financial crisis and The Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination: The Struggle for Palestine and the Roots of the Israeli-Arab Conflict. His forthcoming book is on the contemporary U.S. role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 
  • Steve Real

    General Gul sounds like he’s nut job.
    He has the art of conspiracy theories and propaganda down to a politikal science.
    He believes his own hype
    instead of the facts and that’s a real problem.

    • Paul Craig Roberts

      Steve Real sounds like the typical brainwashed American.

  • Caknucklehead

    Well Steve I’d like to know what you think are “the facts?” Just like well trained sheeple to point out that the conspiracy theorists are just plain ol’ nut jobs. I would agree that he sounds like he is spouting some propaganda, and well versed indeed, but just because it doesn’t come for the “main-stream media” doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have some truth behind it.
    Yeremie, this is an excellent story that is sure to open up some eyes, mine included. Great job!

  • Khurram Zaki

    Interesting replies from Gen Gul. Till this date FBI not dare to indict OBL for 9/11 and no one answers why. Because they have not got any evidence for the purpose and there are serious circumstantial evidence coming out that this was inside job indeed.

  • David Ray Griffin

    I would encourage readers, rather than dismissing Gul as a “nut job,” to check Patriots Question 9/11 (patriotsquestion911.com), where they can find that Gul’s views about 9/11 are shared not only by many other political leaders but also by numerous architects, engineers, physicists, pilots, firefighters, and former military and intelligence officers. Perhaps “the facts” were somewhat different from what the Bush-Cheney administration claimed they were.

  • http://atheonews.blogspot.com atheo

    The TAPI pipeline motive suggested by Gul along with his statement that the aggressors sought to keep the Chinese away fails to be confirmed by the facts. Haliburton and G.E. are presently working for China building alternate pipelines and pumping stations from Central Asia directly to China. That conflicts with Gul’s position. He should stick to the facts or at least develop a theory that makes sense.

    Too bad, because he does have some interesting things to say. His credibility is undermined by his adoption of a baseless meme.

    • http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      So, what, atheo, the U.S. isn’t competing with China for the world’s energy resources? Really? And the suggestion that they are doesn’t square with “the facts”? Really? That’s a bit hard to swallow, I must confess.

      General Gul is actually point on about UNOCAL. They led an American consortium that was competing with an Argentine company in wooing the Taliban. The U.S. had no problem with the Taliban until two things happened: 1) a women’s rights movement arose pressuring the Clinton administration to get tough with them, a cause Madeleine Albright took up, and 2) UNOCAL informed the Congress that no pipeline deal could go forward unless the Taliban regime was replaced.

  • Deryck

    Pretty interesting. What he says is plausible because there are always underlying circumstances beside those that are ostensibly stated that lead a country into a war. From my research into the negative impacts of IMF and World Bank policies in poor countries I realise what he is saying could be true. His insights deserve some investigation.

  • ROBinDALLAS

    I agree with David Ray Griffin. When it comes to 9/11/01, cui bono? The US military industrial complex and the transnational oil and gas companies were the big winners in both illegal wars. 911 was an inside job. The evidence is overwhelming.

  • entactogen

    Thanks for providing Guls viewpoint.

    As to UNOCAL one could have added the fact that Karzai (as well as Khalizad) worked for them.

    In regard to the drug trade it´s interesting to note that UNODCs Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa claims to have evidence that some banks have been bailed out by drug money. Unfortunately he does not say which, but a August 14, 2001 article on AIG/Government Sachs by M. Ruppert claims that those institutions are part of the CIA´s laundering of Drug Money.

  • Rana Asif

    RAMA is realy a news for me.

  • http://atheonews.blogspot.com atheo

    Sorry Jerry but your world view seems to fail at explaining a few things such as the facts that Sinopec is not only the fastest growing energy producer in North America, but it is also publicly traded in New York. One would also have to wonder why China has been financing the US militarism. Perhaps you should try to answer those questions before becoming to attached to the ‘struggle with China for resources’ meme. If the US were out to stymie Chinese participation in energy production and distribution they could easily start right at home where many of the big new projects are relying not only on Chinese corporations but Chinese engineers also. Who gives them the visas? How do they get the leases? Licenses and Permits? No, America is not in an existential struggle with China for energy. That’s bogus disinformation.

    UNOCAL actually stole the Bridas project from the Argentinians in a complex scheme (you can study the court records). But as it has turned out it’s just a loss all the way around. It would be interesting to see your claimed proof that UNOCAL demanded the Taliban’s ouster, but that would fail to explain the situation anyhow. The new pipelines that have since been built would make any resurrection of the TAPI pipeline uneconomic.

    The best explanation for the NATO presence in the Middle East is that they are securing Israel’s regional dominance by threatening Iran and destabilising Pakistan with its ‘Islamic bomb’. This theory actually comports with reality, the big new military bases in Afghanistan are built closer to Iran than to the Pashtun areas of resistance.

    • http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      atheo, I don’t know how you deduced my “world view” out of a few sentences. More to the point, the fact that there is cooperation between the U.S. and China in some regards doesn’t mean they aren’t also in competition for the world’s energy supplies. It’s absurd to say it’s “bogus disinformation” that the U.S. competes with China for resources. But this is only one motive for the war. You’ve given others, equally valid.

      • http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com Jeremy R. Hammond

        “In recent years, China and Russia have forged a strategic alliance, as part of a group called the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, to squeeze the United States out of Central Asia, after the U.S. established military bases here. They have largely succeeded.” – AP http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2004077633_chinagame17.html

        Looks like AP fell for this “bogus disinformation”. I guess nobody warned them about the “meme” pitfall. This one example suffices. There’s much more, of course. Take this study: “Managing China-U.S. Energy Competition in the Middle East” http://www.cfr.org/publication/9569/

        • http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com Jeremy R. Hammond

          “China will not stop its drive for energy resources in the Middle East, and Middle Eastern energy producers will not follow exhortations from Washington to cut off China. The smarter and potentially more successful U.S. policy would be to try to work with China to give it both a sense of energy security and a shared interest in a stable Middle East.” – Managing China-U.S. Energy Competition in the Middle East

          This has been an evolving policy.

  • AZHAR MASOOD

    GOOD INTERVIEW

  • MG

    9/11 Truth

    • Zed-man

      Yes sir, investigate 9/11!

  • http://rootsofmindcontrol.com Richard Plettau

    The purpose is to ultimately dismember Pakistan and split the occupation between India and the U.S. This will keep India on the side of the ‘West’ in the upcoming war with China and Russia. The U.S. has been de-stabilizing the entire region for a long time–supporting Muslim extremists and various other intrigues.

    • vimal

      Purpose is not bad. Let American do now some right thing now.

  • http://atheonews.blogspot.com atheo

    Jeremy, the world view I refer to is quite clear in your first riposte; “U.S. … competing with China for the world’s energy resources”.

    This view tends to willfully ignore the most basic facts of our contemporary globalized economy:

    Joint ventures between Western and Chinese corporations are innumerable.

    China could rein in U.S. military spending in a flash. Simply by investing their dollars outside the U.S.

    Alaskan as well as Canadian oil is shipped to China.

    Nobody has ever suggested sanctions on shipping to China.

    China buys oil on all the same bourses that everyone else uses. There are no separate special bidding restrictions on the Chinese.

    To claim that the U.S. is acting as a belligerent toward Chinese capital or management is contrary to every relevant data point that one could imagine.

    Jeremy, while it is useful to study the geopolitics behind developments such as the SCO, it is not useful to superimpose a prejudgment that the SCO is significantly oriented toward energy issues.

    As to your final point, I have no doubt that memes are disseminated by main stream media. Fear mongering is a basic element of selling militarism. That’s what makes the ‘peak oil’ hoax such a powerful stealth tool for warmongering.

    An article that you may benefit from reading on the issue is:

    Taking stock of ‘Peak Oil’
    By Dave McGowan
    Excerpt:

    …the notion of ‘Peak Oil’ is being specifically marketed to the anti-war crowd — because, as we all know, the pro-war crowd doesn’t need to be fed any additional justifications for going to war; any of the old lies will do just fine. And I never said that the necessity of war was being overtly sold. What I said, if I remember correctly, is that it is being sold with a wink and a nudge.

    The point that I was trying to make is that it would be difficult to imagine a better way to implicitly sell the necessity of war, even while appearing to stake out a position against war, than through the promotion of the concept of ‘Peak Oil.’ After September 11, 2001, someone famously said that if Osama bin Laden didn’t exist, the US would have had to invent him. I think the same could be said for ‘Peak Oil.’

    I also need to mention here that those who are selling ‘Peak Oil’ hysteria aren’t offering much in the way of alternatives, or solutions. Ruppert, for example, has stated flatly that “there is no effective replacement for what hydrocarbon energy provides today.” )

    The message is quite clear: “we’re running out of oil soon; there is no alternative; we’re all screwed.” And this isn’t, mind you, just an energy problem; as Ruppert has correctly noted, “Almost every current human endeavor from transportation, to manufacturing, to plastics, and especially food production is inextricably intertwined with oil and natural gas supplies.” )

    If we run out of oil, in other words, our entire way of life will come crashing down. One of Ruppert’s “unimpeachable sources,” Colin Campbell, describes an apocalyptic future, just around the corner, that will be characterized by “war, starvation, economic recession, possibly even the extinction of homo sapiens.”

    My question is: if Ruppert is not selling the necessity of war, then exactly what is the message that he is sending to readers with such doomsday forecasts?

    http://atheonews.blogspot.com/2009/08/how-michael-rupperts-peak-oil-pile-is.html

    By the way, new research has proven that oil can be produced from common elements under the conditions present in the Earth’s upper mantle:

    Hydrocarbons In The Deep Earth?
    Science Daily
    Tue, 28 Jul 2009

    http://atheonews.blogspot.com/2009/07/hydrocarbons-in-deep-earth.html

    It appears that oil and gas are not necessarily scarce after all. Wars have historically been fought for territory and dominance. A safe bet would be that the current wars in the M.E. are no different.

    • http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Atheo,you’re pointing to areas of cooperation to say no competition exists. This is a fallacy. I defer to my previous comments on that.

    • Paul Craig Roberts

      Cheap oil and gas are scarce, are being exhausted, and there is no
      comparably priced alternative to them. It is the low relative price
      of oil energy that is the basis of our way of life.

      There is not a lot the US could do about China as about half of US imports from China consists of the offshored production of US firms.
      A move against “Chinese imports” is a move against US corporations.

      China is also America’s biggest creditor and main banker. Without China, the US dollar would lose its reserve currency basis, the
      immediate effect of which would be a diminution of US power.

      The interview with Gen. Gul is very informative. It is not the kind of information that is available from the print and TV media.

  • http://www.scholarsandrogues.com/ Russ Wellen

    I agree with Professor Griffin that Gul is no nut job. (How cool is it that David Ray Griffin reads Foreign Policy Journal?

    Fairly astonishing interview, in fact. Gul echoes what many in the U.S. say about our policies and about 9/11. But his perspective from inside the chief intelligence agency of our frenemy Pakistan is priceless.

    Some of the passages that jumped out at me. . .

    “First, he says, the U.S. wanted to “reach out to the Central Asian oilfields” and “open the door there”, which “was a requirement of corporate America, because the Taliban had not complied with their desire to allow an oil and gas pipeline to pass through Afghanistan. UNOCAL is a case in point. They wanted to keep the Chinese out. They wanted to give a wider security shield to the state of Israel, and they wanted to include this region into that shield. And that’s why they were talking at that time very hotly about ‘greater Middle East’. They were redrawing the map.”

    “Second, the war “was to undo the Taliban regime because they had enforced Shariah”, or Islamic law, which, “in the spirit of that system, if it is implemented anywhere, would mean an alternative socio-monetary system. And that they would never approve.”

    Has anyone see through us more clearly?

    Then I just loved this part. . .

    “Besides, the American generals, I have a professional cudgel with them,” Gul added. “They lack character. They know that a job cannot be done, because they know — I cannot believe that they didn’t realize that the objectives are being mixed up here — they could not stand up to men like Rumsfeld and to Dick Cheney. They could not tell them. I think they cheated the American nation, the American people. This is where I have a problem with the American generals, because a general must show character. He must say that his job cannot be done. He must stand up to the politicians. But these generals did not stand up to them.”

    Finally, have to admit it cracked me up when he said of 9/ll, “why have no heads been rolled?”

    Great work, Jeremy!

  • http://atheonews.blogspot.com atheo

    Jeremy, the ‘competition’ from the Chinese would in one way or other serve the interests of global capitalism, whether the Chinese products become exports into the global marketplace or if the organizations themselves are publicly traded globally and simply Chinese managed. Chinese capitalism is thoroughly integrated with the global system.

    To manufacture an outlook that sees a struggle against Chinese economic expansion is simply ludicrous. AIG for one has been a major player in Chinese finance and insurance across the board for decades already. Any assault on Chinese access to trade or materials would be a direct attack on the New York moguls that dominate US politics.

    These types of redirection or distraction serve only to foster acquiescence to aggressive wars. Gul was simply repeating a harmful and baseless meme that he had not given much consideration to.

    • http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      What is ludicrous, atheo, is to keep arguing that the U.S. and China haven’t been in competition for energy resources. I again defer to my previous comments.

  • http://atheonews.blogspot.com atheo

    So Jeremy, do you truly think that the U.S. is occupying Afghanistan so that one day perhaps it could impede the Southward transit of Central Asian gas? Gas that is presently being piped directly east to China as it is? That’s ludicrous.

    • http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      “So Jeremy, do you truly think that the U.S. is occupying Afghanistan so that one day perhaps it could impede the Southward transit of Central Asian gas? Gas that is presently being piped directly east to China as it is? That’s ludicrous.”

      atheo, you’re arguing a strawman. None of this follows what I actually said.

  • Webber

    atheo,

    It’s too early in the game (re: U.S. vs. China) for the U.S. to start leaning on China and undermining it.

    The CIA has been funneling money to the Tibetan government in exile since the 1970s.

    The clashes between China’s Han and Uighur populations this year are directly related to U.S./China relations. How? The U.S. was behind the Uighur ‘uprising’.

    In geopolitics, things move at a slow pace. Analysts and governments think in terms of decades.

    Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the trend has been to divide and conquer the Middle East, mainly for oil and gas. Then came Iraq, and now Pakistan and Afghanistan are the “playing ground” for the time being. Iran is on the target list, too.

    But, the funding of the Dalai Lama’s government and the connection with the Uighurs, shows that the U.S. plans to eventually use minorities within China to bring about regime change there. The U.S. is merely keeping these small groups around as clients, or as junkies, if you will. Keep them hooked on the money and aid and when the right time comes, use them for your own interests.

    As for your skepticism regarding China’s investments in the US and vice versa, the simple explanation is that it’s like a grand chess game. It’s played slowly, thoughtfully while treating your opponent with respect. On the surface things seem civil, polite and cordial, but each of these powers (U.S./China) is on constant alert, watching the other side’s every move.

    Why? Because for the time being, the U.S. needs China’s financing, and China needs the U.S. market. It’s win-win for both parties.

    One last thing, try to think in terms of grand strategies, not specific tactics. One country may acquiescence to another’s demands and that may seem like a weakness in the eyes of an outside observer, but if you consider the grand strategy, that “loser”, can very well be the end winner if he plays his pieces right. Two steps backward, one step forward.

    That’s geopolitics. And the General is actually very credible. The only point he seems weak on was the flight maneuvers of the so-called hijackers. He clearly read that information from secondary sources and did not have the inside information or even experience which he presented regarding the Af-Pak India subject.

    Some people tend to dismiss things they don’t understand as “conspiracy theories”. I’m referring to criticism by some posters who do not believe the information presented here by the General, namely regarding the drug trade and U.S. involvement.

    If they learned history and political science, these things would make sense – or better yet – seem obvious.

    • vimal

      China is mother of all evils, despite of their prosperity. North Korea, Pakistan, Mayanmar, Sudan, their role is negative everywhere.

  • Webber

    atheo,

    From your response to Jeremy, you seem to have overlooked the fact that the U.S. has been in the process of empire building for about two decades now.

    The reasoning was that with the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States was the only remaining – and perhaps last – superpower. Advocates on both sides (Democrats and Republicans) as well as key figures within the CIA and Pentagon rationalize this as an opportunity that is too good to miss.

    Obama has recently requested and was granted close to $1 Billion for the construction of another embassy in the region, this time in Islamabad, Pakistan. It is said to be bigger than the super-embassy in Baghdad.

    The same has been taking place in Latin American over the last 10 years. The U.S. has been supporting Colombia’s government and anti-Venezuelan guerrillas. The recent coup in Honduras where Zelaya was ousted was carried out by the same military force that the U.S. trained. Meanwhile, the U.S. through its spokespeople (Hillary) pretends as if it prefers to stay out of other nation’s internal affairs.

    That is occupation and empire building. The evidence is there. To pretend otherwise, is to aid and abet the perpetrators.

    In other words, what is your personal stake in all this?

    • vimal

      Webber

      whom you wish to have led new Empire after demise of USA? India would support, if she can to help USA maintain it pre-eminant role in world politics. Others would, even collectively, mean disater for humanity.

  • http://atheonews.blogspot.com atheo

    Weber,

    Overlooked empire building? Not at all. Just trying to accurately track it.

    The meme that is widely disseminated is simple and plain:

    “The US occupied Afghanistan to secure the TAPI pipeline.”

    Jeremy obviously bought into it or he would not have written what he did or responded to my first comment as he did.

    The meme is flat out preposterous on any of many levels and has no merit whatsoever. Weber, do you truly think that the US is just hanging out in Afghanistan waiting for an opportunity to deny energy transit to China? If you can’t support such a ridiculous claim then why keep promulgating it?

    The article clearly buys into the nonsensical distraction:

    …the U.S. wanted to “reach out to the Central Asian oilfields” and “open the door there”, which “was a requirement of corporate America”… They wanted to keep the Chinese out.

    As an explanation for the US occupation of Afghanistan this is simply risible. Perhaps the intent is to make a laughing stock out of the anti-war movement.

    • http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      The meme that is widely disseminated is simple and plain: “The US occupied Afghanistan to secure the TAPI pipeline.” Jeremy obviously bought into it or he would not have written what he did or responded to my first comment as he did. The meme is flat out preposterous on any of many levels and has no merit whatsoever.

      1) There are a number of reasons for the war. Energy is only one of them.
      2) Your argument for why this is “preposterous” rests on the assertion that the U.S. is not competing with China for energy resources, which is what is preposterous. I defer once again to my previous comments and the study I linked to.

  • http://atheonews.blogspot.com atheo

    Weber, in case you hadn’t noticed, control of colonies through direct occupation was shown to be uneconomic and the practice was abandoned half a century ago. Contemporary imperial power is exercised through access to finance and trade, a much more advanced and profitable method.

    Military occupation around the world to sequester energy? Ridiculous!

    There is no reason to presume that the Taliban were not as susceptible to exploitation by transnational interests as any other national leadership. Zip. One failed negotiation over what turns out to be a totally inconsequential pipeline does not explain a decades long occupation. Get your thinking cap on.

  • http://atheonews.blogspot.com atheo

    Jeremy you have failed absolutely in substantiating your silly belief that energy constitutes a motive for the occupation of Afghanistan.

    You have also failed to cite one single example ever of the US depriving China access to energy or indeed what would possibly be a rational motivation to do so.

    Perhaps you should simply admit that you accepted a meme without critical analysis.

    • http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Jeremy you have failed absolutely in substantiating your silly belief that energy constitutes a motive for the occupation of Afghanistan.

      I’ll remind you that UNOCAL led an American consortium that was competing with an Argentine company in wooing the Taliban. The U.S. had no problem with the Taliban until two things happened: 1) a women’s rights movement arose pressuring the Clinton administration to get tough with them, a cause Madeleine Albright took up, and 2) UNOCAL informed the Congress that no pipeline deal could go forward unless the Taliban regime was replaced. Plans were in place before 9/11 to overthrow their rule.

      I recommend you read Zbigniew Brzezinski’s The Grand Chessboard. Of course energy is a major factor in policy makers’ decisions. The U.S. is establishing military bases to exercise hegemony over energy-rich regions. This is a no-brainer, really, atheo. The Iraq war is a further example, needless to say.

      You have also failed to cite one single example ever of the US depriving China access to energy or indeed what would possibly be a rational motivation to do so.

      You have failed to look at the examples I gave you in the following study (there is of course no shortage of others, but this single study suffices to demonstrate your error): “Managing China-U.S. Energy Competition in the Middle East” http://www.cfr.org/publication/9569/

  • Webber

    The US is not “waiting” in Afghanistan to interfere with energy flow to China, it is there to ensure that the natural resources – oil and gas – flow uninterrupted through Turkmenistan and Tajikistan out to Europe.

    The U.S. will control the pipelines while selling the oil and gas to Europe, thus containing Europe’s growth, as well as China’s. That was precisly why Iraq was invaded and occupied and why Iran is next. Just look at a map of global oil reserves per country and you’ll see a direct correlation between those figures and US invasions.

    The US consumes 20% of the world’s oil supplies. The rational is that it is as essential for the US economy as air is to humans. With peak oil approaching in 2050, why is it so difficult for you to put two and two together and reach a sound conclusion on your own?

    As for the evidence, it’s there. A simple Google search will bring up plenty of sources.

    Finally, I find it interesting that you chose to isolate one aspect (the TAPI pipeline) while ignoring the bigger picture. Trends matter. For crying out loud, the writing is on the wall, just open your eyes.

    That alone, tells me you have an agenda.

    How do you explain the mega sized embassies in Iraq and Pakistan?
    Are you prepared to talk about those facts, or will you continue to pretend that everything else is irrelevant while obsessing over a pipeline?

    And yes, Bush invaded Afghanistan over the TAPI pipeline. The Taliban in 2001 refused to allow the US access to carry out repairs and so the US used 9/11 as an excuse to invade.

  • http://atheonews.blogspot.com atheo

    Webber, your comment is utterly nonsensical. The US does not need to occupy Afghanistan to guarantee uninterrupted oil and gas flow through Turkmenistan Tajikistan. Furthermore the east-west pipelines, servicing Europe and China, which have been recently built, as well as those under construction, primarily service Chinese and Russian corporate interests although G.E. and Haliburton are contracted to supply pumping stations. Installation of pumping stations hardly contributes to control either though, so your theory seems to be a complete washout.

    Throwing in the fact that the US consumes 20% of global production fails to contribute to your argument. The US consumes 20% of most products, shall we then infer that it is the beef that is the motive or perhaps it’s about Chinese silk exports?

    If you want to adhere to all these bizarre theories you should study the basics and apply logic to what you uncover, then see if what you find supports the popular meme.

    Take off your blinders. ‘Peak Oil” is a hoax. I have already provided good links on the subject earlier in the thread but here is yet another:

    Is There an Oil Shortage?

    By ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH

    http://atheonews.blogspot.com/2009/08/is-there-oil-shortage.html

    Start with that Weber, then we can address your other questions.

    • http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Atheo says: 1) The U.S. and China are not competing for energy resources, and 2) “‘Peak Oil’ is a hoax” (in other words, there will always be a plentiful supply of cheap energy).

      I think that about sums up the merits of his argument.

  • http://atheonews.blogspot.com atheo

    Brzezinki’s The Grand Chessboard is straight out of a different era. A bi-polar, cold war world.

    Iran is the target here, not China or Russia. If anything Russia and China are natural allies in the suppression of Islamic militancy, repression of national movements by NATO is serving to improve Russian and Chinese state power relative to their minority communities.

    It is an expression of Western supremacism though, but not a struggle with China.

    Outside of bringing up a Carter era wonk you simply repeat the same TAPI story that we already dealt with. The fact that plans for invasion were in place before 9/11 is a straw man argument. I never claimed that the invasion was a response to 9/11, however it exposes your inability to imagine any other possible motive besides your silly little pipeline agreement. Let’s see, they were tens of millions apart in the last go round of the negotiation, yet the US has spent hundreds of billions occupying the nation for going on a decade. A decade later the opportunity has been eclipsed by alternative developments. Does that seem like what its all about to you Jeremy? Really???

    You have still failed to cite one example of the US depriving China access to oil. So you are presenting an entirely imaginary scenario.Outside of total war, oil embargoes don’t work, oil is fungible. That’s why the 70′s Arab oil embargo failed.

    The US has expended vastly more in the invasion and ongoing occupation of Iraq than it could possibly ever gain even if it were somehow to amazingly be able to exploit Iraq’s oil. That’s the no-brainer Jeremy. The facts just don’t square with your allegation.

    • http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Atheo, the war has nothing to do with “suppression of Islamic militancy”. No more than Iraq was about WMD. The fact that there were plans to overthrow the Taliban before 9/11 is not a “strawman”, it serves to demonstrate a) that 9/11 was merely a pretext but the war was fought for other motives, and b) the U.S. wanted the Taliban gone. Why? If you think it had nothing to do with the region’s energy resources (despite the fact that UNOCAL had told the Congress that no deal could go forward under the Taliban regime), then why did the U.S. want to overthrow the Taliban before 9/11? What was the point?

      The Grand Chessboard is not from the Cold War era. It’s from 1997. And its highly relevant as it reveals the mindset of policymakers towards the region. Needles to say, energy has everything to do with it.

      Now, you asked if I think it was “all about” the energy. No. I told you before that was only one reason. The greater reason is global hegemony. We now have military bases in the region from which to exercise hegemony.

      Finally, you continue to deny that the U.S. competes with China for energy. Yes, there is cooperation in some areas, but to deny that two major powers compete in this area is asinine. Does this study deal with reality, or an “imaginary scenario? “Managing China-U.S. Energy Competition in the Middle East” http://www.cfr.org/publication/9569/. There’s nothing “imaginary” about. Read the study.

      And now you’re arguing that the Iraq was was also not about oil? Really? So, I suppose if Iraq’s main export was broccoli, we’d still be there, right? Again, the larger goal was hegemony. But we needn’t speculate as to the reasons for the war. Policy makers stated explicitly beforehand that the reasons for wanting regime change in Iraq were a) to reestablish U.S. “credibility” and b) to ensure access to Iraq’s oil resources (typically “U.S. strategic interests” in policy papers, but sometimes the euphemism was dropped, as in the 1992 Defense Planning Guidance document).

  • http://atheonews.blogspot.com atheo

    “Jeremy R. Hammond says:
    August 16, 2009 at 1:55 am

    Atheo says: 1) The U.S. and China are not competing for energy resources, and 2) “‘Peak Oil’ is a hoax” (in other words, there will always be a plentiful supply of cheap energy).

    I think that about sums up the merits of his argument.”

    I’m truly embarrassed for you Jeremy, the cited comment could only come from someone that is patently closed minded or an adherent of some blind faith. You are so wrapped up in your absolutely baseless fantasy that there is some energy crisis that is responsible for our foreign policy that you simply shut out the fact that there is no evidence of any of your suppositions. The US has never ever once molested Chinese or Russian oil shipping anywhere throughout the globe. Furthermore, there are many times more proven hydrocarbon fuels than all hydrocarbons used to date. These are historical facts Jeremy.

  • CHENGHEZ KHAN

    Gen Hamid Gul is the brilliant person since he had worked with CIA during Soviet invasion in Afghanistan therefore he knows all the tricks in the CIA /Mossad bag.
    The problem with Americans are that they like to learn the lesson the hard way and they forget it very soon…for example vietnam..now Iraq and Afghanistan.
    If American-Indian-and Israeli nexus don’t stop supporting insurgents in pakistan from Afghanistan then it will be in the best intrest of Pakistan to entangle America,Britain and Nato in prolonged war with Afghan Taliban with the support of other regional player China and Iran…current Economic depression and prolonged war,rising causualties among the foreign troops and the support of regional players are the right ingredients for Afghan Taliban to defeat the western invaders…The history has proved that Afghanistan is slaughterhouse for the foreign invaders.

  • http://atheonews.blogspot.com atheo

    Jeremy,

    Your belief that “energy has something to do with it” is entirely your unsubstantiated intuitive feeling.

    Brzezinski is just a Russophobic Polish octagenarian crank that has a cold war view.

    The West has done everything it can to integrate its economy with China’s. To the point that open hostility would be economically unthinkable. This has been a long deliberate process.

    Your contention that the US needed bases in the region is undermined by the fact that the US indeed has had many bases in the region, Qatar, Turkey, Diego Garcia, Azerbaijan, Krgyzstan to name just a few. The US has always had global naval dominance and could always have easily interdicted Chinese oil shipments at sea if the TAPI line had been developed. Indeed, as we may soon witness in aggression toward Iran, naval power is what the US would use in impeding trade.

    As to an alternative motive, why not read Oded Yinon’s scheme:

    The Prophecy of Oded Yinon
    Is the US Waging Israel’s Wars?
    By LINDA S. HEARD
    April 25, 2006

    http://www.counterpunch.org/heard04252006.html

    I find it hilarious that you can’t find anything at the link you posted that you can cite in backing up your bizarre claim that the US has sought to deny China access to energy.

    Your childish notion of the Iraq occupation being about oil is evidence that you have never taken a look at the fact that the occupation has been costing over ten times the total oil revenues through most of the period of occupation. Imperialism just doesn’t work that way. Another risible conclusion that you have drawn with not a shred of hard evidence to confirm it. By contrast the evidence that the Israel-first architects of US policy have been pursuing the goals of Zionist expansion is abundant, in fact overwhelming.

    • http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Atheo, you don’t seem interested in a serious, honest discussion, evidenced by remarks like, “Your belief that “energy has something to do with it” is entirely your unsubstantiated intuitive feeling.” Again, I refer you to sources I’ve mentioned. What I already gave you is perfectly sufficient, but there’s no shortage of other sources I can point to.

      The Grand Chessboard offers many insights into the mind of policy makers, and energy has everything to do with the case he makes there. I’ve given you that; you dismissed it on the grounds that it was a Cold-War era book when in fact it was published in 1997.

      I’ve given you the draft 1992 Defense Planning Guidance, which stated that the U.S. would use force to protect its “interests” in the region; “interests” are later defined therein as “primarily Persian Gulf Oil”. I didn’t author that; it’s hardly my “unsubstantiated intuitive feeling”. Yet you simply dismissed this with precisely zero consideration.

      PNAC’s Rebuilding America’s Defenses manifesto clearly outlines the desired role of the U.S. as the hegemonic power in the region to “protect” U.S. “interests” as so defined.

      Or check out the study, “Strategic Energy Policy Challenges for the 21st Century” from the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy of Rice University and the CFR, April 2001, stating that the “report’s central dilemma” is that “the American people continue to demand plentiful and cheap energy without sacrifice or inconvenience. But emerging technologies are not yet commercially viable to fill shortages and will not be for some times.” It states that “U.S. international oil policy has relied on maintenance of free access to Middle East Gulf oil and free access for Gulf exports to world markets”, but that the U.S.’s “Gulf allies are finding their domestic and foreign policy interests” and the “resulting tight markets have increased U.S. global vulnerability to disruption and provided adversaries undue potential influence over the price of oil. Iraq has become a key ‘swing’ producer, posing a difficult situation for the U.S. government. It noted that “Both Russia and the Caspian Basin countries show promise as key future suppliers of hydrocarbons…. But, bureaucratic, logistical, and political obstacles remain a hindrance to both the timely development of currently exploitable reserves and new discoveries.” The task force recommended a “supply-side approach” that “would aim to increase the amount of land available in the United States and around the world for resource exploration and exploitation” and stated that “an immediate policy review toward Iraq” should be undertaken, “including military” options. Moreover, “the exports from some oil discoveries in the Caspian Basin could be hastened if a secure, economical export route could be identified swiftly…. To this end, the administration should review policies toward this region. The option exists to downplay diplomatic activities that dictate certain geopolitical goals for specific transportation routes for Caspian oil in favor of immediate commercial solutions that may be sought by individual oil companies for short-term exports of ‘early’ oil, including exports through Iran. These geopolitical goals can later be articulated for longer-term pipeline routing questions into the next decade.” The report recommended an investigation into “whether any changes in U.S. policy would rapidly facilitate higher Caspian Basin oil exports.”

      Oh, and on your assertion that the concept of Peak Oil is “a hoax”, the Rice/CFR task force report also noted, In fact, the world is currently precariously close to utilizing all of its available global oil production capacity, raising the chances of an oil-supply crisis with more substantial consequences than seen in three decades.” “A crisis could erupt at any time from any number of factors and would inevitably affect every country in today’s globalized world. While the origins of a crisis are hard to pinpoint, it is clear that energy disruptions could have a potentially enormous impact on the U.S. and the world economy, and would affect U.S. national security and foreign policy in dramatic ways.”

      Surely, you’re familiar with the Bush administration energy task force headed up by Cheney, documents from which, obtained by Judicial Watch by lawsuit, include maps of Iraqi oil fields and potential contract bidders.

      Look at National Security Directives from multiple presidents declaring that the U.S. will use force to protect its access to the region’s energy. NSD 26 under President George H. W. Bush, for example, states plainly, “Access to Persian Gulf oil and the security of key friendly states in the area are vital to U.S. national security. The United States remains committed to defend its vital interests in the region, if necessary and appropriate through the use of U.S. military force, against the Soviet Union or any other regional power with interests inimical to our own.” This was repeated in NSD 45: “U.S. interests in the Persian Gulf are vital to the national security. These interests include access to oil and the security and stability of key friendly states in the region. The United States will defend its vital interests in the area, through the use of U.S. military force if necessary and appropriate, against any power with interests inimical to our own.” And NSD 54: “Access to Persian Gulf oil and the security of key friendly states in the area are vital to U.S. national security.”

      I would additionally direct your attention once again (I’ve referenced it several times already) to the “U.S. Interests in the Central Asian Republics” hearing before the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific of the Committee on International Relations, in the House of Representatives, February 12, 1998, in which Doug Bereuter (Nebraska) opened by saying “the collapse of the Soviet Union has unleashed a new great game, where the interests of the East India Trading Company have been replaced by those of Unocal and Total, and many other organizations and firms. Today the Subcommittee examines the interests of a new contestant in this new great game, the United States…. Stated U.S. policy goals regarding energy resources in this region include fostering the independence of the States and their ties to the West; breaking Russia’s monopoly over oil and gas transport routes; promoting Western energy security through diversified suppliers; encouraging the construction of east-west pipelines that do not transit Iran; and denying Iran dangerous leverage over the Central Asian economies.”

      Robert W. Gee, Assistant Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Energy testified that “The U.S. Government’s position is that we support multiple pipelines with the exception of the southern pipeline that would transit Iran. The Unocal pipeline is among those pipelines that would receive our support under that policy. I would caution that while we do support the project, the U.S. Government has not at this point recognized any governing regime of the transit country, one of the transit countries, Afghanistan, through which that pipeline would be routed. But we do support the project.”

      John Maresca, vice president fore international relations of UNOCAL, argued “the need for U.S. support for international and regional efforts to achieve balanced and lasting political settlements to the conflicts in the region, including Afghanistan…. Mr. Chairman, the Caspian region contains tremendous untapped hydrocarbon reserves. Just to give an idea of the scale, proven natural gas reserves equal more than 236 trillion cubic feet. The region’s total oil reserves may well reach more than 60 billion barrels of oil. Some estimates are as high as 200 billion barrels…. Because the region’s pipelines were constructed during the Moscow-centered Soviet period, they tend to head north and west toward Russia. There are no connections to the south and east…. At Unocal, we believe that the central factor in planning these pipelines should be the location of the future energy markets that are most likely to need these new supplies [read India and China, among others]…. One option is to go east across China, but this would mean constructing a pipeline of more than 3,000 kilometers just to reach Central China…. The second option is to build a pipeline south from Central Asia to the Indian Ocean. One obvious route south would cross Iran, but this is foreclosed for American companies because of U.S. sanctions legislation. The only other possible route is across Afghanistan, which has of course its own unique challenges. The country has been involved in bitter warfare for almost two decades, and is still divided by civil war. From the outset, we have made it clear that construction of the pipeline we have proposed across Afghanistan could not begin until a recognized government is in place that has the confidence of governments, lenders, and our company…. It’s not going to be built until there is a single Afghan Government. That’s the simple answer…. In any case, because of the financing situation, credits are not going to be available until there is a recognized government of Afghanistan.

      But energy has nothing to do with it, Peak Oil is “a hoax”, the U.S. doesn’t compete with China for access to energy resources, and everything I’ve said to the contrary is just my “unsubstantiated intuitive feeling”. Just let me know, atheo, if you change your mind and want to engage in a seriousdiscussion of the issue. Otherwise, count me out. I’ve no time to further humor such asinine remarks.

    • http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Now, atheo as to “As to an alternative motive, why not read Oded Yinon’s scheme:” We’ve had this discussion, atheo, 2 years ago. I authored this piece in response to your assertions: http://hammond.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2009/07/28/the-reasons-for-regime-change-in-iraq/

      Last thing, “I find it hilarious that you can’t find anything at the link you posted that you can cite in backing up your bizarre claim that the US has sought to deny China access to energy.” What I said is that the U.S. competes with China for energy resources. I find it hilarious that you say a report entitled ““Managing China-U.S. Energy Competition in the Middle East” (http://www.cfr.org/publication/9569/) offers nothing to support the “claim” that the U.S. competes with China for energy resources.

      Again, atheo, let me know if you change your mind and want to engage in a serious discussion.

  • CHENGHEZ KHAN

    There is so much hatred against America in Islamic world because of its policies..that it will not be easy to get friendly response from muslims…I am talking about the muslim masses not their puppet leaders.Instead of containment of China America wasted its resources on anti lslamic ventures and identyfting Islam with terror……provoking muslims and labling them as terrorists……now the genie called China got bigger and powerful then it was few decades before…and this is the right time for China-Russia nexus to exlploit the anti-west sentiments in the Islamic worlds and turn the tide agianst west….now it is too late for Brzezinki to pit the Islamic forces against China or Russia even muslim friendly Obama will not make any difference.Brzezinki is checkmated on the Grand chessbaord.

  • Rehmat

    In her recent interview on the Mike Malloy Show – the former FBI translator, Sibel Deniz Edmonds (b.1970), who was fired for her objections to some secret dirty work being carried out by the Zionist Administration in the name of US citizens – reveals that the successive Zionist Aministrations under Clinton and Bush have kept intimate relations with Osama Bin Laden until September 11, 2001.

    “Washington’s claim that since the fall of Soviet Union it cancelled all its intimate relationship with Bin Laden and Taliban – all those things can be proven lies, very easily, based on the information they classified in my case, because we did carry very intimate relationship with these people and it involves Central Asia, all the way up to September 11, 2001….”

    Sibel Deniz Edmonds also believes that there is a close relation between Turkish Jewish Deep State and American neocon Jewish Deep State. She has accused several Pentagon officials working as “mole” for Israel and Turkey….. Lawrence Franklin (a former Pentagon analyst, who was jailed in 2006 for passing US defence information to Israel Lobby and sharing classified information with the Israeli diplomat) was “one of the top people providing information and packages during 2000 and 2001 (Chris Gourlay in TimesOnline, January 6, 2008)”.

    Sibel’s testimony to the 9/11 Commission has entirely been suppressed as she explained in her article titled open letter to the 9/11 panel (Anti-War com, August 2, 2004).

    Canadian Jewish academic, Henry Makow PhD in his July 23, 2004 article titled 9/11 Traitors Absolve Themselves wrote: “The independent 9/11 investigation is no more independent than Warren Commission. Essentially the perpetrators investigated themselves…..Its chairman Thomas H. Kean, former NJ Governor, is a grandson of Hamilton Fish Kean, who was a banker with JP Morgan (a Jewish investment group)…..The government appropriates $25 billion for Homeland Security but appears incapable of doing more than issue face-saving warnings about the inevitability of another attack. I could provide this service for much less. They are not there to prevent the terror but to administer it…..”

    Last year, Leslie Hughes, a veteran journalist from Winnepeg, was honored with the ”anti-Semite” title by the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) for her article written in 2003, Get the Truth, claiming that since Israeli government owned Zim shipping company broke its lease and moved its 200 employees from WTC just one week before 9/11 – proved that Israel had foreknowledge of 9/11. Liberal Party leader Stephane Dion refused to issue party ticket to Leslie for the election.

    Sibel’s father, Dr. Rasim Deniz (d. 2000), was born in Tebriz (Iran). He spoke in Persian, Turkish and Azerbaijani – the native languages of the part of Iran. He was head of Burn Centre in Tehran’s central hospital. Dr. Deniz was a frequent target of Shah’s secret police SAVAK for his secular and anti-government views. After Islamic Revolution (1979), the family fearing the strict religious agenda of Revolutionary Guards – it fled to Turkey.

    Sibel’s high-school competition paper on ‘Turkey’s Censorship Law’ – criticizing Kemalist laws against freedom of speech and literature – outraged her Principal, who asked her father to get her to write on some other topic. At that her uncle, Baykal Deniz, Mayor of Istanbul. The family decided to sent her to the United States based on country’s false image of being a “nation of freedom and democracy”. After her experience at the hands of Zionist mafia, she was quoted as saying: “Now I wonder was it just an illusion?”

    Sibel got her Bachelor’s degree at George Washington University in criminal justice and psychology. In 1992, she married Matthew Edmonds, a divorced retail-technology consultant. After September 11, 2001 – she was the first Turkish language translator hired by FBI. Her job was to listen to the wire-taped intelligence information which comes in foreign languages – filter them and decide which one is important (”pertinent” in FBI terms).

    After being fired – Sibel did what other earlier whistleblowers (Mike German, John Cole, etc.) had done – she appealed to the Congress. Later Attorney General John Ashcroft tried to wipe out Edmond’s legal action by invoking the state secrets privilege. Sibel’s lawyer has filed a US$10 million suit citing threat to Edmonds’ family, unable to look after her real-state and business interests in Turkey and her vilification in Turkish press.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2009/08/04/sibel-bin-laden-worked-for-the-us-untill-911/

  • http://niqnaq.wordpress.com Rowan Berkeley

    i always enjoy Hamid Gul’s interviews. He has wonderful verve. Also, living in the messy real world (unlike you, atheo) he is aware that things occur for multiple simultaneous reasons which get combined opportunistically. It is simply meaningless to ask which comes first in US mid-east policy formulation, Israel or the oil. they are alternately piggy-backed onto one another depending on the intended audience. This is why outcomes in international relations are often so undesired by all parties concerned, I think: each policy is trying to serve multiple goals simultaneously.

  • http://www.sohnidhurti.com taukeer

    Atheo so what do you think is the grand design? If the objective was encirclement of Iran surely the US would have cut a deal with Taliban.

  • http://neufneuf.blogspot.com 99

    It’s all capitalism boyz. Peak oil or no peak oil, the current makeup of our oligarchy consists heavily of oil interests and industries that rely heavily on it. Israel provides the perfect excuse for much of the aggression aimed at bringing recalcitrant natives of other countries to agreement that we should have their resources, that they should quit impeding us in our claims to their wealth. It’s all a win/win/win/win/win/… for Western plutocrats because they make pots of money with all this carnage that secures all those resources. The ONLY thing that keeps them from just doing it openly, with no excuses but the basic profit motive, is that the masses can still turn against them if they can’t be put to sleep with righteous-sounding excuses.

    And, obviously, it’s NOT ridiculous to try to occupy some countries to sequester energy, because some countries will NOT stay bought off without the barrel of a gun pointed directly at their heads of state and their parliaments. Iraq wasn’t going to budge and Iran isn’t going to budge and Afghanistan under the Taliban wasn’t going to budge either. Why would the Taliban be susceptible to our pecuniary inducements? They had plenty of others eager to do business with them at much greater profit to Afghanistan. The Taliban cut off our drug money. They cut off our access to pipeline building. They only made the classic mistake of brutalizing their people to give us our in. That much is abundantly clear.

    Add to this the complete uncertainty of maintaining the wherewithal to be top bidder for control of resources, and it makes the idea of force, and all the lovely profits in it, even more alluring. You gotta have bases shoved up every ass or they WILL get away from you.

    We ceded our financial dominance when we ceded our industrial base. What we did not cede was our military dominance. THAT is obviously the thing upon which the American… no, we can’t even call them “American” anymore… better to call them “Western”… oligarchs have relied to keep access to a monopoly on resources.

    It doesn’t matter that Israel and pro-Israeli Americans have been avid participants: Israel is precisely the gift that never stops giving, the EXCUSE, the ever-ready excuse. That some Zionists have been power movers all along does not mean all this is Israel’s gig and America is its proxy. It just means some of them try to maneuver it that way, and we hate them for it because we hate their slaughter of innocents and freedom fighters.

    And, anyway, all this is the oligarch’s gig and America is their proxy.

    I repeat. This is capitalism. This is oligarchy. This is fascism. Globalizing.

    And I’m glad to get General Gul’s input. Thanks.

  • http://neufneuf.blogspot.com 99

    Dammit. The phone rang and a bunch of emails all bonged while I was going to go flesh out a thought and correct a typo, and I zigged then instead of zagging.

    I wanted to also point out that use of force and occupation, while killingly expensive for taxpayers, is really not a concern for the oligarchy because that force obviates the need to be the highest bidder. It ensures you have the highest profit margin. We’re not talking about the United States anymore. We’re talking about who runs it.

    And the typo was in the line that should read: And, anyway, all this is the oligarchy’s gig and America is their proxy.

    Sorry.

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  • Dennis

    The ISI and the Pakistani military are perhaps the most paranoid organization outside of Burma and North Korea. Their only goal is to continue to engage in some vague survivalist game against the great threat from India.

    General Gul’s sentiments simple illustrate the impotent rage the ISI feels at losing their pets in Afghanistan and the “strategic depth” that the Taleban provided in the face of an increasingly powerful India. See back in the 60s the Pakistani Army imagined that being the “martial race” they will easily conquer the Hindu-farmers and whatnot. 40 years of failure later, Pakistan is a basket case and India is on the verge of taking of. What does this do to an elite cradled with a belief that they are the true masters? Well it scares the shit out of them.

    See, here we go “the Indians, despite a shrinking economy, have continued to raise their defense budget, by 20 percent last year and an additional 34 percent this year.”
    I guess what the General really meant so say is “India, showing 6% growth last year was able to increase its military budget and expand its military arsenal by adding carriers and long range balistic missiles that will provide ultimate deterence to Beijing, thus neutralizing our greatest ally.

    Pakistan in the mean time is in the middle of a civil war, incapable of upgrading its weapons because of the total collapse of the economy and not permitted to purchase the kind of weapons we want to face India with — advanced fighter jets and tanks. Instead the Americans might, and I emphasize might, permit us to buy cointer insurgency weaponry that is useless to us against the Hindus”

    So yes, of course it is America’s fault and it is America’s ‘devious intent’ to ‘rob’ Pakistan of its rightful place in the sun as ‘the greatest military power in South Asia.’

    Kissinger made a huge mistake in backing such an incomptent people just because Nixon hated Indira. Fortunately the US establishment has finally realized, at least in some parts of the third world, America might want to back a winner.

    as to the paranoid ranters about 9/11 being an inside job, America destabalizing Pakistan for Israel or this being a replay of the “Great Game” please kindly go back to the comptuer strategy game forums you inhibit to replay your wet dreams of re-creating the 19th century with modern weapons.

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  • Gulzar Khan

    Very illuminating article and subsequent discussion. This is an eye opener to possible grand designs behind 9/11, Invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. What we discuss daily, what we are fed daily by our media and what w demand and get from our Government is far from what goes or has gone behind closed curtains. Control of oil, and regional hegemony are the real interests of the US and the west which dtermine US policies towards this region. And so long as there is oil and there is resistance to US presence here the wars will continue.

  • Shah

    Gen Hamid Gul is a terrorist ring leader. He has killed thousands of innocent Afghans and coalition forces in Afghsnistan, all the cuicide baming and terrorist attacks in Afghanistan are work of ISI which is the main driver of Pakistani government and he is the veteran terrorist. The west has now realised that Taliban is just a covering and main enemy is Pskistan government. The west must take military action against Pskistan before it is too late. NATO, US and Afghan givernment influence the Pashtuns across the Durand line to cripple the terrorist state of Pskistan.