Andy Mueller-Maguhn on Tue, 9 Oct 2001 20:29:17 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Brzezinski: Taliban made in U.S.A.

[the interview is just so brilliant compact, I didnīt want you to miss]

Ex-National Security Chief Brzezinski admits: Afghan Islamism Was Made in

Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter's National
Security Adviser in 'Le Nouvel Observateur' (France), Jan 15-21, 1998, p.

Translated by Bill Blum


A couple of thoughts about the Brzezinski interview below. First, it flatly
contradicts the common justification for U.S. actions in Afghanistan during
the 1980s: that the U.S. simply aided forces resisting Soviet imperialism.
Brzezinski makes clear that the Soviets were baited into sending forces to
Afghanistan; thus their actions were defensive. Moreover, the U.S. used the
violent Wahhabi (Saudi Arabian) form of Islam to create a monster-movement
which plagues the world today. For more on this, see 'Articles Documenting
U.S. Creation of Taliban and bin Laden's Terrorist Network' at

A reader wrote: "Similarly just because Brzezinski (among others) likes to
claim that he personally overthrew the Soviet Union doesn't mean that you
or the rest of us have to take him seriously. Nobody in 1979 had any reason
to think that the Afghan war would bring down the USSR. Nor have we any
real reason to think that it did bring it down."

The point is well taken at least as regards Brzezinski's claim that his
Afghan strategy destroyed the Soviet Union. But the issue here is a
different one: what role did the U.S. government play in the creation of
Islamist terrorism? In that regard, Brzezinski's assertion that the U.S.
provoked Soviet actions and that Islamism was deliberately fostered is
backed up by sources on all sides of the Afghan issue.

Here's the interview.

-- Emperor's Clothes


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 Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention.
In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter.
You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?

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 Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until
now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President
Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the
pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the
president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going
to induce a Soviet military intervention.

Q: 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?

B: It isn't quite that. We didn't push the Russians to intervene, but we
knowingly increased the probability that they would.

Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they
intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in
Afghanistan, people didn't believe them. However, there was a basis of
truth. You don't regret anything today?

B: 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 the USSR its
Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war
unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the
demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism,
having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

B: 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
Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated: Islamic
fundamentalism represents a world menace today.

B: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to
Islam. That is stupid. There isn't a global Islam. Look at Islam in a
rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading
religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in
common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan
militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more
than what unites the Christian countries.


Note: There are at least two editions of 'Le Nouvel Observateur.' With
apparently the sole exception of the Library of Congress, the version sent
to the United States is shorter than the French version. The Brzezinski
interview was not included in the shorter version. *

Translated from the French by Bill Blum, author of "Killing Hope: US
Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II" and "Rogue State: A
Guide to the World's Only Superpower" Portions of the books can be read at: 

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