How American and Cold war warriors helped in corrupting "Jihad"

Discussion in 'Americas' started by ejazr, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Jihad actually stands for a positive struggle and may also include an armed component. Although just like everything, it has also been misused by opportunists.
    The thread Real Meaning of Jihad - DFI discusses in more detail so I won't go into that.

    The current usage of Jihad evokes apprehension and negative connotations because of what it has been invoked for in the past 30 years in particular. In this thread, I wanted to highlight how post 70s and 80s extremists and religious nationalists were funded and trained by the US and west and other cold war players like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. It was mainly because of these actions that a major source of so called "Jihadis" have become so prominent. Without the training of western agencies including Mossad in FATA and Afghanistan, these disparate groups of extremists and religious nationalists would have no where near the chaos making ability they have today.
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    From U.S., the ABC's of Jihad
    Saturday, March 23, 2002; Page A01

    In the twilight of the Cold War, the United States spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings, part of covert attempts to spur resistance to the Soviet occupation.

    The primers, which were filled with talk of jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, have served since then as the Afghan school system's core curriculum. Even the Taliban used the American-produced books, though the radical movement scratched out human faces in keeping with its strict fundamentalist code.

    As Afghan schools reopen today, the United States is back in the business of providing schoolbooks. But now it is wrestling with the unintended consequences of its successful strategy of stirring Islamic fervor to fight communism. What seemed like a good idea in the context of the Cold War is being criticized by humanitarian workers as a crude tool that steeped a generation in violence.

    Last month, a U.S. foreign aid official said, workers launched a "scrubbing" operation in neighboring Pakistan to purge from the books all references to rifles and killing. Many of the 4 million texts being trucked into Afghanistan, and millions more on the way, still feature Koranic verses and teach Muslim tenets.

    The White House defends the religious content, saying that Islamic principles permeate Afghan culture and that the books "are fully in compliance with U.S. law and policy." Legal experts, however, question whether the books violate a constitutional ban on using tax dollars to promote religion.

    Organizations accepting funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development must certify that tax dollars will not be used to advance religion. The certification states that AID "will finance only programs that have a secular purpose. . . . AID-financed activities cannot result in religious indoctrination of the ultimate beneficiaries."

    The issue of textbook content reflects growing concern among U.S. policymakers about school teachings in some Muslim countries in which Islamic militancy and anti-Americanism are on the rise. A number of government agencies are discussing what can be done to counter these trends.

    President Bush and first lady Laura Bush have repeatedly spotlighted the Afghan textbooks in recent weeks. Last Saturday, Bush announced during his weekly radio address that the 10 million U.S.-supplied books being trucked to Afghan schools would teach "respect for human dignity, instead of indoctrinating students with fanaticism and bigotry."

    The first lady stood alongside Afghan interim leader Hamid Karzai on Jan. 29 to announce that AID would give the University of Nebraska at Omaha $6.5 million to provide textbooks and teacher training kits.

    AID officials said in interviews that they left the Islamic materials intact because they feared Afghan educators would reject books lacking a strong dose of Muslim thought. The agency removed its logo and any mention of the U.S. government from the religious texts, AID spokeswoman Kathryn Stratos said.

    "It's not AID's policy to support religious instruction," Stratos said. "But we went ahead with this project because the primary purpose . . . is to educate children, which is predominantly a secular activity."

    Some legal experts disagreed. A 1991 federal appeals court ruling against AID's former director established that taxpayers' funds may not pay for religious instruction overseas, said Herman Schwartz, a constitutional law expert at American University, who litigated the case for the American Civil Liberties Union.

    Ayesha Khan, legal director of the nonprofit Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the White House has "not a legal leg to stand on" in distributing the books.

    "Taxpayer dollars cannot be used to supply materials that are religious," she said.

    Published in the dominant Afghan languages of Dari and Pashtu, the textbooks were developed in the early 1980s under an AID grant to the University of Nebraska-Omaha and its Center for Afghanistan Studies. The agency spent $51 million on the university's education programs in Afghanistan from 1984 to 1994.

    During that time of Soviet occupation, regional military leaders in Afghanistan helped the U.S. smuggle books into the country. They demanded that the primers contain anti-Soviet passages. Children were taught to count with illustrations showing tanks, missiles and land mines, agency officials said. They acknowledged that at the time it also suited U.S. interests to stoke hatred of foreign invaders.

    "I think we were perfectly happy to see these books trashing the Soviet Union," said Chris Brown, head of book revision for AID's Central Asia Task Force.

    AID dropped funding of Afghan programs in 1994. But the textbooks continued to circulate in various versions, even after the Taliban seized power in 1996.

    Officials said private humanitarian groups paid for continued reprintings during the Taliban years. Today, the books remain widely available in schools and shops, to the chagrin of international aid workers.

    "The pictures [in] the texts are horrendous to school students, but the texts are even much worse," said Ahmad Fahim Hakim, an Afghan educator who is a program coordinator for Cooperation for Peace and Unity, a Pakistan-based nonprofit.

    An aid worker in the region reviewed an unrevised 100-page book and counted 43 pages containing violent images or passages.

    The military content was included to "stimulate resistance against invasion," explained Yaquib Roshan of Nebraska's Afghanistan center. "Even in January, the books were absolutely the same . . . pictures of bullets and Kalashnikovs and you name it."

    During the Taliban era, censors purged human images from the books. One page from the texts of that period shows a resistance fighter with a bandolier and a Kalashnikov slung from his shoulder. The soldier's head is missing.

    Above the soldier is a verse from the Koran. Below is a Pashtu tribute to the mujaheddin, who are described as obedient to Allah. Such men will sacrifice their wealth and life itself to impose Islamic law on the government, the text says.

    "We were quite shocked," said Doug Pritchard, who reviewed the primers in December while visiting Pakistan on behalf of a Canada-based Christian nonprofit group. "The constant image of Afghans being natural warriors is wrong. Warriors are created. If you want a different kind of society, you have to create it."

    After the United States launched a military campaign last year, the United Nations' education agency, UNICEF, began preparing to reopen Afghanistan's schools, using new books developed with 70 Afghan educators and 24 private aid groups. In early January, UNICEF began printing new texts for many subjects but arranged to supply copies of the old, unrevised U.S. books for other subjects, including Islamic instruction.

    Within days, the Afghan interim government announced that it would use the old AID-produced texts for its core school curriculum. UNICEF's new texts could be used only as supplements.

    Earlier this year, the United States tapped into its $296 million aid package for rebuilding Afghanistan to reprint the old books, but decided to purge the violent references.

    About 18 of the 200 titles the United States is republishing are primarily Islamic instructional books, which agency officials refer to as "civics" courses. Some books teach how to live according to the Koran, Brown said, and "how to be a good Muslim."

    UNICEF is left with 500,000 copies of the old "militarized" books, a $200,000 investment that it has decided to destroy, according to U.N. officials.

    On Feb. 4, Brown arrived in Peshawar, the Pakistani border town in which the textbooks were to be printed, to oversee hasty revisions to the printing plates. Ten Afghan educators labored night and day, scrambling to replace rough drawings of weapons with sketches of pomegranates and oranges, Brown said.

    "We turned it from a wartime curriculum to a peacetime curriculum," he said.
     
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  3. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    CIA worked with Pakistan to create Taliban
    [(C) 'Times of India', 2001
    LONDON: The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) worked in tandem with Pakistan to create the "monster" that is today Afghanistan's ruling Taliban, a leading US expert on South Asia said here.

    "I warned them that we were creating a monster," Selig Harrison from the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars said at the conference here last week on "Terrorism and Regional Security: Managing the Challenges in Asia."

    Harrison said: "The CIA made a historic mistake in encouraging Islamic groups from all over the world to come to Afghanistan." The US provided $3 billion for building up these Islamic groups, and it accepted Pakistan's demand that they should decide how this money should be spent, Harrison said.

    Harrison, who spoke before the Taliban assault on the Buddha statues was launched, told the gathering of security experts that he had meetings with CIA leaders at the time when Islamic forces were being strengthened in Afghanistan. "They told me these people were fanatical, and the more fierce they were the more fiercely they would fight the Soviets," he said. "I warned them that we were creating a monster."

    Harrison, who has written five books on Asian affairs and US relations with Asia, has had extensive contact with the CIA and political leaders in South Asia. Harrison was a senior associate of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace between 1974 and 1996.

    Harrison who is now senior fellow with The Century Foundation recalled a conversation he had with the late Gen Zia-ul Haq of Pakistan. "Gen Zia spoke to me about expanding Pakistan's sphere of influence to control Afghanistan, then Uzbekistan and Tajikstan and then Iran and Turkey," Harrison said. That design continues, he said. Gen.Mohammed Aziz who was involved in that Zia plan has been elevated now to a key position by Chief Executive, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Harrison said.

    The old associations between the intelligence agencies continue, Harrison said. "The CIA still has close links with the ISI (Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence)."

    Today that money and those weapons have helped build up the Taliban, Harrison said. "The Taliban are not just recruits from 'madrassas' (Muslim theological schools) but are on the payroll of the ISI (Inter Services Intelligence, the intelligence wing of the Pakistani government)." The Taliban are now "making a living out of terrorism."

    Harrison said the UN Security Council resolution number 1333 calls for an embargo on arms to the Taliban. "But it is a resolution without teeth because it does not provide sanctions for non-compliance," he said. "The US is not backing the Russians who want to give more teeth to the resolution."

    Now it is Pakistan that "holds the key to the future of Afghanistan," Harrison said. The creation of the Taliban was central to Pakistan's "pan-Islamic vision," Harrison said.

    It came after "the CIA made the historic mistake of encouraging Islamic groups from all over the world to come to Afghanistan," he said. The creation of the Taliban had been "actively encouraged by the ISI and the CIA," he said. "Pakistan has been building up Afghan collaborators who will sustain Pakistan," he said. (1)
     
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  4. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Afghan Taliban Camps Were Built by NATO


    [(c) 'N.Y.Times', 1998,

    Throughout the 1980's, the Soviet Union threw almost every weapon it had, short of nuclear bombs, at the Afghan camps attacked by the United States last week.

    During their nine-year occupation of Afghanistan, the Soviets attacked the camps outside the town of Khost with Scud missiles, 500-pound bombs dropped from jets, barrages of artillery, flights of helicopter gunships and their crack special forces. The toughest Soviet commander in Afghanistan, Lieut. Gen. Boris Gromov, personally led the last assault.

    But neither carpet bombing nor commandos drove the Afghan holy warriors from the mountains. Afghanistan has a long history of repelling superpowers. Its terrain favors defenders as well as any in the world, whether their opponents, like the Soviets, are trying to defeat them on the ground or whether, like the United States, they are trying to disperse, deter and disrupt them. It is uncertain that the United States, which fired dozens of million-dollar cruise missiles at those same camps on Thursday, can do better than the Soviets.

    The camps, hidden in the steep mountains and mile-deep valleys of Paktia province, were the place where all seven ranking Afghan resistance leaders maintained underground headquarters, mountain redoubts and clandestine weapons stocks during their bitter and ultimately successful war against Soviet troops from December 1979 to February 1989, according to American intelligence veterans.

    The Afghan resistance was backed by the intelligence services of the United States and Saudi Arabia with nearly $6 billion worth of weapons. And the territory targeted last week, a set of six encampments around Khost, where the Saudi exile Osama bin Laden has financed a kind of "terrorist university," in the words of a senior United States intelligence official, is well known to the Central Intelligence Agency.

    The C.I.A.'s military and financial support for the Afghan rebels indirectly helped build the camps that the United States attacked. And some of the same warriors who fought the Soviets with the C.I.A.'s help are now fighting under Mr. bin Laden's banner.

    From those same camps, the Afghan rebels, known as mujahedeen, or holy warriors, kept up a decadelong siege on the Soviet-supported garrison town of Khost.

    Thousands of mujahedeen were dug into the mountains around Khost. Soviet accounts of the siege of Khost during 1988 referred to the rebel camps as "the last word in NATO engineering techniques." After a decade of fighting during which each side claimed to have killed thousands of the enemy, the Afghan rebels poured out of their encampments and took Khost.

    "This was the most fiercely contested piece of real estate in the 10-year Afghan war," said Milt Bearden, who ran the C.I.A.'s side of the war from 1986 to 1989.

    United States officials said their attack was intended to deter Mr. bin Laden, whom they call the financier and intellectual author of this month's bombings of two American embassies in Africa, which killed 263 people, including 12 Americans. They said the damage inflicted on the Khost camps was moderate to heavy.

    But the communications infrastructure used by Mr. bin Laden is based on portable satellite telephones, not a centralized command-and-control system that can be destroyed with a missile, intelligence officials said. The strongest power that binds his loose-knit network of confederates is his money, which is hidden inside a thus-far impenetrable global maze.

    And history does not favor superpowers trying to subdue men dug into the mountains of Afghanistan.

    Mr. bin Laden has said he spent the 1980's supporting the mujahedeen from their political base in Peshawar, Pakistan, near the foot of the Khyber Pass. He was most strongly allied with the most fundamentalist leaders of the Afghan resistance, particularly Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the head of the group called the Islamic Party. After the fall of the Soviet-backed Government, Mr. Hekmatyar spent most of his brief tenure as Prime Minister hurling missiles and mortars at Kabul, trying to dislodge more moderate rebel leaders from power.

    The more militant Afghan rebels, like Mr. Hekmatyar, denounced the United States and backed Iraq during the Persian Gulf war in 1991, as did Mr. bin Laden. A year after the Persian Gulf war, posters throughout eastern Afghanistan displayed heroic, if imaginary, portraits of Saddam Hussein and Mr. Hekmatyar standing side by side.

    No amount of money or moral support could keep the veterans of the Afghan resistance from killing one another after the fall of Kabul. The chaos that their infighting created led to the rise of the Taliban, the militant armed religious party that now controls most of Afghanistan and harbors Mr. bin Laden.

    In the nine years since the Soviet withdrawal, Afghan resistance veterans have hoarded the remaining weapons sent by the C.I.A. and set up military training centers at resistance camps like the one near Khost, according to United States officials. In those years, thousands of Islamic outcasts, radicals and visionaries from around the world came to the borderlands of Afghanistan to learn the lessons of war from the mujahedeen. Mr. bin Laden sponsored many of those foreigners.

    In a 1994 interview, a commander loyal to Mr. Hekmatyar, Noor Amin, said that "the whole country is a university for jihad," or holy war.

    "There are many formal training centers," Mr. Amin said. "We have had Egyptians, Sudanese, Arabs and other foreigners trained here as assassins." United States officials said the former mujahedeen camps it attacked on Thursday were precisely that kind of "university for jihad."

    Mr. bin Laden, stripped of his Saudi citizenship and formally stateless, returned to the anarchy of Afghanistan in 1996 from the Sudan, where United States intelligence analysts believe he built at least three training camps for veterans of the Afghan war.

    He said in an interview with CNN last year that one of his main missions during the war, which he helped finance with millions of dollars of his own money, was to transport bulldozers, front-end loaders and other heavy equipment to Pakistan to help build tunnels, military depots and roads inside Afghanistan for the mujahedeen.

    It is unclear whether Mr. bin Laden, who inherited about $250 million from a fortune his father made building mosques, palaces and public works for the Saudi royal family, personally helped build the Khost camps during the war against the Soviets, or has substantially upgraded them since returning to the mountains of Afghanistan.
     
  5. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Isnt that true all were willing partners in Jihad ie The nationalist/terror groups,military/dictator regimes of muslim world,usa and west's intel agencies.Its just that the Word Jihad was waiting to be misused by the regimes and the terror groups by usa in the muslim world.
     
  6. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Taliban were out and out Pakistan's product.Its when usa left afghanistan after ussr withdrawal in order to control waring warlord mujahideens taliban were created in pakistani madarssas under benazir bhutto's PMship.....she and gen.Mirza aslam beg gets the full credit of creation of talibans.
     
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  7. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    The Taliban were not a NEW group, there were the remnants of the "mujahideen" who fought in the Soviet-Afghan war. They used the same infrastructure, the same training and the same methods taught to them by American, Pakistani and other agencies. Later Pakistan helped build up the Taliban as a new group but as long as OBL was not in the picture, Americans turned a blind eye to this. It was only post 1998 that Americans started being more critical. The Saudis broke of their official diplomatic relations from the Taliban post 98 as well.
     

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