Tuesday, September 9, 2008


By James Cogan

The propaganda used to justify the US-led occupation in Afghanistan typically leaves out any explanation of the origins of tendencies such as Al Qaeda, the Taliban movement and other Islamist groups resisting American and NATO troops. The spin merchants of the so-called “war on terror” would have people believe that the US and its allies are fighting religious fanatics who have no support in the country and are motivated by an inexplicable and irrational hatred of Western civilisation.

On rare occasions, however, someone deviates from the script and draws attention to historical facts regarding present-day Islamic extremism that Washington and its allies prefer to leave unmentioned. One occasion was an interview on August 19 with Time magazine with a very close American ally—Hamid Karzai, the man who was installed by the Bush administration as President of Afghanistan in 2002.

Challenged by Time to answer how an enemy could be fought that “only has annihilation as its goal”, Karzai felt compelled to note the current situation was a by-product of US support in the 1980s for the creation of an Islamic fundamentalist army to wage a jihad or holy war against a pro-Soviet regime in Afghanistan and embroil the Soviet military itself in a decade-long guerilla conflict.

Karzai told Time: “In order to fix terrorism at large, we need to remedy the wrongs of the past 30 years. Remedy means to undo. The world pushed us [Afghan jihadists] to fight the Soviets. And those who did walked away and left all the mess spread around. September 11 is a consequence of this ...


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