Our Letter from 2001
This letter was printed in the "New Haven Advocate" December 6, 2001. The paper is no longer in business. On 8/31/2021 Stanley Heller added comments below the letter.
We shouldn't be satisfied with Zbignew Brzezinski's refusal to comment on his 1998 statement that the U.S. helped the Afghan Islamic extremists even before the Soviets invaded. In light of the Sept. 11 massacre, the decisions by U.S. policy makers to arm and train the Muslim extremists network was a massive foreign policy blunder. Brzezinski, Carter and Reagan-era officials should be compelled to testify on what they did. For 10 years they poured money into Pakistan, which was used by its intelligence agency to create an extremist Muslim "International." Men were trained not only to fight the Soviet invasion, but for "Muslim" causes in India, Central Asia and elsewhere. The CIA and our presidents just looked the other way. Until late 1997 even the Taliban were perceived favorably by Washington. Officials closed their eyes to Taliban fanaticism because they saw them as a force for "stability," which was especially desired so a U.S. company (Unocal) could build oil and gas pipelines in Afghanistan.
After Pearl Harbor there were several serious investigations of [what] went wrong. They culminated in full congressional investigation. Witnesses were compelled to testify, and every relevant document was examined. We deserve no less today, a full congressional investigation of Washington's romance with fanaticism. Every document and every dirty deal must come to light.
We can't bring back the people who died on Sept. 11, but we can make damn sure that the cover-up of Washington's Afghan disasters won't continue. [The] Middle East Crisis Committee has started an on-line petition campaign calling for a congressional investigation of Afghan policy. People can see it at: www.petitionon-line.com/subpoena/petition.html
Middle East Crisis Committee
2021 Comments by Stanley Heller
1. In 1998 the former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, said that U.S. support for the mujahadeen started before the Soviet invasion. A French magazine interviewed Jimmy Carter's Director of National Security, Zbignew Brzezinski and he confirmed that happened and said, "What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? " Click here for the Counterpunch translation of the French article.
[No one has disputed the accuracy of the article. Brezezinski died in 2017.]
2. If I recall many of the facts about Pakistan came from the book Taliban, by Ahmed Rashid. He may have even understated things. On Democracy Now! Sarah Cheyes said the Taliban was not formed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, but by the Pakistani Intelligence
3. The Saudis were pouring money to the Taliban, too, without U.S. objection.
4. Needless to say there was no congressional investigation into U.S. ties with hardline Islamic extremists. U.S. ties with Saudi Arabia increased under Trump and as of 2021 barely changed under Biden. We need a people's investigation along the lines of Bertrand Russell's Vietnam War Crimes Panel.
5. The petition company site no longer exists. We didn't get a good response. This was just three months after the World Trade Center was destroyed.
6. As per the last paragraph of the letter Washington's Afghan disasters did continue until the latest rout in August 2021.
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