In a few short weeks, Americans will have a solid indicator on the actual results of their November 7th repudiation of the Iraq war through the voting process. It will be clear whether the wishes of the American people will be taken seriously by the politicians of either party, or whether it will be business as usual in Babylon on the Potomac.
Just exactly how Senate Democratic members Reid, Clinton, Feinstein, Boxer, Schumer, Kerry, Republican presidential hopeful, John McCain, and others handle the upcoming confirmation hearing of Robert Gates, who as assistant CIA director in the late 1970’s was responsible for administering a 500 million dollar dose of growth-hormone to the then fledgling Militant Muslim movement will be insightful. Gates readily admitted his support of this effort in his 1996 memoir, From The Shadows.
Will we finally hear Washington criticism of the Pakistani Inter-Services-Intelligence (ISI) operations? ISI has been linked to training and funding of the perpetrators of 9/11, the London, Madrid, Bali, and Delhi bombers, and was the alleged conduit for monetary support from Gates and the CIA to what would become al-Qaeda, even before the Russian invasion of Afghanistan.
Although a pretty face can be painted on this intrusion into the affairs of other nations by claiming it led to the downfall of the Soviet Union (using the language of the CIA), the "blow-back" from this event has evolved into an F5 tornado.
That those in Washington believed, and possibly still believe, giving aid and support to Militant Muslims was the right thing to do is revealed in this excerpt from a 1998 interview of Zbigniew Brezezinski, President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor.
"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 break-up 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.
Obviously, the initial funding of Militant Islam by the CIA under the leadership of Robert Gates, and the idiocy of the unprovoked invasion of Iraq have united these "stirred up Moslems" into a force that Bush, Cheney, et al., say requires a never ending pre-emptive wars, as well as the removal of all of our liberties guaranteed in the Bill-of-Rights in our Constitution.
The immediate announcement of Rumsfeld’s departure as Secdef and Gates’ appointment to succeed him after the Democratic victory was a well-planned event. Bush wanted to get the Gates confirmation secured in the lame duck session while the Republicans still controlled the Senate.
During this confirmation hearing we will see if the politicians have learned anything from the election of November 7. My guess is there will be no change; our so-called representatives owe their soul and their financial futures to the Military/Industrial Complex and care nothing for the American Citizen. George Wallace was right in 1968 when he told us there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties; and Carroll Quigley was right when he said in his book Tragedy and Hope,
“The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one perhaps of the Right, and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can ‘throw the rascals out’ at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy…. [E]ither party in office becomes in time corrupt, tired, unenterprising, and vigorless. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party, which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same policies” Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope: a History of the World in Our Time (New York : MacMillan, 1966), p.1248. (emphasis added)
Michael Gaddy [send him mail], an Army veteran of Vietnam, Grenada, and Beirut, lives in the Four Corners area of the American Southwest.