By William Rivers Pitt,
They call it "The fog of war" for
a reason. A lot of things get lost in the fire and the smoke that should not be
forgotten, and yet they are, spent and cast aside like depleted uranium shell
casings left to roast on a dusty desert roadside. In this relatively quiet space
between war in
I have been giving a lot of talks
lately at colleges and for organizations about the
Every time I get blank stares,
and always a few sets of widened eyes, as if my question caused them to suddenly
realize that no such explanation has ever been put forward. The fact is that the
Bush administration has labored mightily and long to make sure no such answers
are coming. They fought the creation of an independent investigative body
because they wanted to be able to choose the chairman. Once they were gifted
this privilege, they abused it with the appalling nomination of Henry Kissinger.
If you want a fair and open examination of facts, regardless of shadowy
loyalties and compromising corporate connections, you do not choose Kissinger.
If you want the master of the black bag and the black op, the undisputed
heavyweight champion of
When I ask my question at these
talks, someone in the audience always demands an answer. More often than not, I
tell them about Zbigniew Brzezinski and the Afghan Trap. In 1979, Brzezinski was
serving as Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor, and he decided the time had
come to challenge the
The plan worked. The Soviets
invaded in 1979, and over the next ten years spent its blood and treasure trying
to defeat the Afghan warriors who banded together to defend their country. By
1989 millions of Afghan civilians had been killed, millions more had been
internally displaced, and hundreds of thousands of Soviet troops had been killed
or wounded. In the process, the nation of
Question: The former director of the CIA, Robert
Gates, stated in his memoirs ["From the Shadows"], that American intelligence
services began to aid the Mujahadeen in
Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of
history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the
Soviet army invaded
Question: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?
Brzezinski: It isn't quite that. We didn't push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.
Question: When the Soviets justified their
intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret
involvement of the
Brzezinski: Regret what? That secret operation was an
excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap
and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the
border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to
Question: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?
Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the
world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some
stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of
How innocent we were in 1998. How gravely we misjudged the dire ramifications of empowering the Taliban. How profoundly we underestimated the strength of the "stirred-up Moslems" we armed and trained with American tax dollars. What a price we have paid.
You see, the Afghan Trap led to
the incredibly vicious civil war in
How ironic that Brzezinski's desire to end one Cold War gave birth to another. Actions, I tell the listeners at these talks, have consequences. You stir up a hornet's nest, best you expect to get stung. Boy, did we ever get stung.
The actions of a Carter administration official in 1979 can hardly be laid at the feet of George W. Bush and his administration, of course. It is telling, however, that no one in that administration has made an effort to put 9/11 into the historical context to which it belongs. Why such an oversight? Perhaps the folks in the administration believe Americans too dull-witted to comprehend the complex Cold War motivations that gave birth to Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. Perhaps they are afraid to speak of such things, because it suggests that we inadvertently bought the trouble that came two Septembers ago to find us.
Then again, perhaps the administration was engaged in similar gamesmanship before 9/11. Perhaps they are afraid to address the issue at all. The nomination of Kissinger to the 9/11 committee certainly suggests a desire on the administration's part to never, ever, ever have the facts of that attack come fully to light. They do not want people to know that Brzezinski's actions in 1979, and the naiveté regarding the potential blowback from his decisions he displayed in 1998, was compounded by the actions of the Bush administration in 2001. Brzezinski asked in his interview what was more important in 1979: Ending the Cold War or creating the Taliban? In the early days of the Bush administration, a similar question was certainly asked-what is more important in 2001: Gaining access to an incredibly lucrative energy supply, or the dangers of threatening the Taliban?
A pipeline project, aimed at
exploiting massive natural gas reserves along the
After the Bush administration
came to power, reinvigorating the pipeline project became a high-priority matter
of policy. Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca was dispatched to
How does this pipeline relate to
September 11th? The main obstacle to the completion of the pipeline was the fact
that it had to pass through Taliban-controlled
The BBC of London reported on
The result was total disaster.
The Bush administration fundamentally misunderstood the Taliban regime, much the
way Brzezinski did in 1998. To bring back the King and hand bin Laden over to
the West would have been tantamount to suicide for the Taliban. The arrival of
Shah would shove them out of power, and handing bin Laden over to the West would
have been seen as a high crime to the Islamic world. Instead of acquiescing to
the hard-sell tactics of the Bush
administration, the Taliban unleashed Osama bin Laden upon
Actions do indeed have
consequences. The motivations behind 20 months of silence regarding the cause of
9/11, along with the appalling nomination of Kissinger as chief investigator,
become far more clear. The families of those slain on 9/11 have not taken all of
this lying down. They have sued the government of
Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, the
Saudi defense minister, is being represented in court by the prestigious
corporation The Carlyle Group,
owner of the arms manufacturer United Defense, which is making a gold-plated
mint off the war in
The war we have waged against
Albert Einstein, arguably the
most brilliant human being ever to draw breath on planet Earth, defined insanity
as "doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results."
In the meantime, though, we have silence about September. We have evildoers who hate our freedom, and we have war after war after war, instigated by an administration that has so very much to answer for. I tell the people at my talks about all this, and they leave the room quivering with rage. They have the answers, as do I, and God help the administration because of it. Secrets love to whisper.
William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times best-selling
author of two books - "War On Iraq" available now from Context Books, and "The
Greatest Sedition is Silence," now available at from Pluto Press. He teaches
high school in