In the third hour of Adam Curtis’ The Power of Nightmares, British journalist Jason Burke explains that Osama bin Ladin had no organization, and that the fiction of a worldwide terrorist organization called al-Qaeda was invented, with the assistance of a paid witness named Jamal al-Fadl, to enable the U.S. Government to charge Osama bin Ladin under the RICO statute. Osama bin Ladin was instantly blamed for the 9-11 attacks because the myth of his being the terrorist mastermind had already been created.
Jim Giles has been in frequent contact with an embedded war-reporter and former special-forces man named Michael Yon. Yon says that the war is going badly and he tells Giles that if it becomes apparent to him that the Afghan war is unwinnable, he will begin public opposition to it.
This represents the pre-eminence of pragmatism over idealism, a typical feature of the US mentality. It is a kind of opportunism. Yon is concerned about whether the US forces are winning or losing, and whether they can win, but he has taken no great care about whether the cause was right in the first place.
The USA certainly did not know immediately after the 9-11 attacks that Osama bin Ladin was responsible. He was blamed because he had become a favorite scapegoat in the several years since the 1998 embassy bombings, but the evidence blaming OBL for that is also very shaky.
The USA also did not have the slightest evidence that the Taliban had any involvement in the 9-11 attacks. The Taliban had told Osama bin Ladin after the embassy bombings to keep a distance from all such activities because they didn’t want any trouble.
There was a report in the New York Times that OBL wasn’t even in Afghanistan on September 11 but was undergoing dialysis in Pakistan.*
The German intelligence agency, BND, says that the 9-11 attacks were not done by al-Qaeda. There are scholars who say that al-Qaeda doesn’t even exist.
From the perspective of the average American we invaded Afghanistan just because we wanted to retaliate against somebody, and those backward towelheads, stoning to death homosexuals and demolishing Buddhist idols and keeping their women at home, seemed to need an ass-whuppin’. None of that was any of our business, but we could feel justified in killing them anyway because we had been told that they were monsters.
The anti-Taliban propaganda also included the outrageously false imputation that removing the Taliban would somehow adversely affect opium production. This lie was propagated from the mouth of President George W. Bush and from the BBC World Service, but it was the opposite of the truth, since the Taliban had successfully eradicated poppy-growing as un-Islamic in the 90% of Afghanistan that they controlled, while poppy-cultivation continued in the 10% of the country controlled by the USA’s newly adopted proxy, the Northern Alliance.
Allegedly the USA invaded Afghanistan in order to find the accused master conspirator Osama bin Ladin, but ten years later he has not been found and the US forces are still there, engaged in an attempt at “nation-building” that seems doomed to failure because most of the upright and honorable people of Afghanistan are on the other side.
Who knows what the real reason for invading Afghanistan was? I think the fact that they were setting an example of incorruptibility and insusceptibility to US-Jewish pressure had a lot to do with it.
The Taliban have paid a high price for not being corrupt, but corruption has an ultimate price that is higher still. ____________________ * On 2 May 2011 when, according to reports, Osama bin Laden finally was found, he was not in Afghanistan but in Abbottabad, Pakistan, near the Indian border. He was captured unarmed, but instead of being put on trial as a conspirator in the 1998 African embassy bombings (where his defense would most likely have been, as the Manchester Guardian’s reporter Jason Burke has explained, that there was no organization called al-Qaeda) he was extra-judicially killed, and his remains were dumped in the ocean.