Blowback:Before Osama Bin Laden, There Was Gulbuddin Hekmatyar

June 26, 2010

“Blowback”:  A metaphor for the unintended consequences of the US government’s international activities that have been kept secret from the American people.

Osama bin Laden

Every sentient being in the US has heard the infamous name, Osama bin Laden, notorious as mastermind of the horrific events of September 11, 2001.  Everyone has heard the oft repeated explanation for the attack from the lips of George W. Bush and Co.:  The plane hijackers were evil terrorists simply bent on the destruction of  America’s freedom, democracy and civilization. Everyone also knows that 15 of the 9-11 airline hijackers were Saudi Arabians, as is Osama bin Laden.  Yet the US chose to fly the  Saudi royal family to safety when all other American aviation was grounded.  The US chose to throw its military might against Iraq, not Saudi Arabia.  Why did this happen?

The notion that history began on September 11, 2001 was an appealing one. The truth behind the river of lies and half-truths that followed the 9-11 attack is much more complex. Immediately following the 9-11 attack the US invaded Afghanistan, allegedly for harboring 9-11 mastermind bin Laden.  Then the US supposedly ousted the Taliban fighters hiding bin Laden in the caves of Tora Bora.  Victorious in Afghanistan, the US then turned its wrath against Saddam Hussein, dictator of Iraq, another alleged sponsor of bin Laden’s al Qaeda thugs.  Well then, what was President Obama’s justification for taking the fight, yet again, to Afghanistan’s “al Qaeda” and the resurgent Taliban, as if al Qaeda and the Taliban were the same entity? This brief reading of available information on the Afghan imbroglio exposes decades of lies perpetrated on the American electorate by the White house and its clandestine services. The roots of the continuing Afghan military debacle and September 11 began in the Cold War, the post WWII struggle between Western and Russian Soviet imperialism.  Here is a brief overview of events:

In 1973 Afghan Prince Muhammad Daoud oust(ed) the Afghan king with help from the Soviet Union, and establishe(d) a Soviet  friendly Afghan republic.

USSR Invades Afghanistan

Prince Daoud was eventually assisted in this effort by the Soviets, who invaded the country in 1979.  As a result, the US, with the participation of Iran’s secret police, SAVAK , and Pakistan military intelligence, ISI, began funneling weapons and resources to the Islamist resistance.  The Islamist resistance was a collection of warlord factions, most ethnically Pashtun tribesmen, with strongholds in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul and spreading through Peshawar province, Pakistan.  From the same article:

After the pro-Soviet coup in April 1978, the Islamic militants (including ISI loyalist Gubbudin Hekmatyar) with the support of the ISI carr(ied) out a massive campaign of terrorism, assassinating hundreds of teachers and civil servants. [Dreyfuss, 2005, pp. 260 – 263]

Warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar

In 1979, the CIA selected … Gulbuddin Hekmatyar as its primary operative within the Islamist resistance and for the next decade funneled half of all Afghan aid through his group.  The fact that Hekmatyar was a brutal drug dealer known for skinning his victims alive was considered a plus for anti-Russian ruthlessness.   By 1984 it is believed that CIA director William Casey enlisted Hekmatyar to carry the anti-Russian campaign into the southern Soviet republics, such as Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

At the same time, Osama bin Laden was developing a close working relationship with Saudi intelligence, the GID.  The Saudis had ideological and strategic interests in supporting the Afghan Islamist resistance.  Bin Laden began acting as intermediary between Saudi intelligence and the Islamist warlords.  Hekmatyar and bin Laden developed a close working relationship.  Contrary to the wishes of the Afghan fighters, William Casey decided to bring Arabs into the fight against the Soviets.  Osama bin Laden became a primary recruiter for foreign, mostly Arab, jihadists.  According to “A Legacy Of Ashes” (author Tim Weiner), “white robed Saudis” began to appear in war ravaged Afghanistan, declaring themselves emirs. “They were emissaries  of a new force abroad in the world that came to be called al Qaeda.”  in 1996, the Taliban, the anti-government  islamist faction prevailed and took power in Kabul.  Hakmatyar sought safe haven in Iran and was held there under virtual house arrest until early 2002 when he was returned to Afghanistan in retaliation for George Bush’s anti-Iranian “axis of Evil” speech.

Osama bin Laden remained active in the fight against foreign occupation in the middle east.  He found(ed) the Al-Kifah Refugee Center, also known in Arabic as “services center” or “struggle”, along with several banks with a primary office in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Brooklyn office recruit(ed) Arab immigrants and Arab-Americans to go fight in Afghanistan, even after the Soviets withdraw in early 1989. As many as 200 are sent there from the office. Before they go, the office arranges training in the use of rifles, assault weapons, and handguns, and then helps them with visas, plane tickets, and contacts. They are generally sent to the MAK/Al-Kifah office in Peshawar, Pakistan, and then connected to either the radical Afghan faction led by Abdul Rasul Sayyaf or the equally radical one led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. [New York Times, 4/11/1993]

Hekmatyar…  returned after the U.S. invasion to wage jihad against the Americans, and in 2006 he publicly declared an alliance with Al Qaeda: “They hold the banner”, he said.

We couldn’t catch bin Laden, and apparently, we can’t “catch” Hekmatyar, who is inflicting a bloody toll on American and NATO (what’s left of them) forces in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province.  The Islamists cry that they are doing to America what they did to the British and the Soviets before them.  Hekmatyar has stated that he wants an end to foreign occupation, and a place at the negotiating table as the price for “peace”.

Officials in Washington express mixed reactions to the idea of negotiating with Hekmatyar. His fighters are thought to have led assaults that nearly overran two small American bases in Nuristan province last October, killing eight American soldiers and wounding 24. Many national-security professionals, especially in the intelligence field, say they’re disgusted to think of cutting deals with someone who has so much blood on his hands. On the other hand, as Gen. David Petraeus likes to say, you make peace with your enemies, not your friends. People at the Pentagon are speaking more cautiously, mostly echoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s recent assertion that it’s too soon to begin discussing peace in Afghanistan.

Evidently, General Stanley McCrystal’s plan for military conquest of the Taliban was a failure.  it would require more blood and treasure than the US dares to commit in order to have any hope for success.  The new Afghan operations commander, General Patraeus, favors negotiated settlements such as the one in Iraq. So perhaps the McCrystal insults printed in Rolling Stone magazine were meant to give Obama an “out” with new leadership, an honorable way to change course in Afghanistan before the 2012 election cycle.

Once we declare victory and limp away from Afghanistan, who will repay the American people for the blood and treasure expended in pursuit of the Afghan falsehood.

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Obama’s Gay Problem And The Religious Right

May 29, 2009

Writer Maya Angelou famously said : “If someone tells you who he is, believe him.”

This  common sense observation is  usually ignored in the arenas of  love and politics. It applies to no one more  than political chameleon and all-around love god, Barack Obama. BHObamania

We should believe Barack Obama because he has resoundingly  informed us  of what he is: bully, cheater, liar, misogynist, homophobe, manipulator, deceiver, opportunist, cynic, torturer, war-monger, corporatist, globalist.

He also has shouted  through a bullhorn what he is not: progressive, inclusive, liberal, committed, decent, principled, honest, christian, muslim, socialist, feminist, LGBT friendly, environmental activist.

Obama and the democratic party want to break up the social issues constituencies of the fragmented 1960s and settle them into a homogenized, vaguely moderate, hopey-dopey sing-a-long chorus concerned with main stream economic issues and suburban consumerism.  Ain’t gonna happen.

No on Prop 8 protest

No on Prop 8 protest

Since the California Supreme Court upheld the marriage rights busting constitutional amendment, Proposition 8, Obama’s Obamachatter propaganda site, The Huffington Post, has rushed to defend Dear Leader from his critics, repeating the false meme that Obama and Co. are interested in championing their constituents’ rights or fulfilling their campaign promises.

Lincoln Mitchell has hurried to place the blame for Proposition 8 squarely where it doesn’t belong, on 6 of 7 of the court’s Republican gubernatorial appointees. On its face this apologia is absurd as the same court, by a simple majority, recently overturned the marriage equality restrictions of Proposition 22.  The difference in the two outcomes probably has more to do with the religious right’s vocal threat to oust the jurists if they overturned the proposition, than any ideological stand on the issue.

This week, California showed us the judicial past where courts dominated by conservatives, unrepresentative of the people for whom they are determining laws, restrict constitutional rights. Judge Sotomayor and President Obama showed us the future. The Republicans must be aware of this too, but their desperation to try to stop this progress is already showing.

Oy!

HB fundraiser

BH fundraiser

However, in the same issue, an article by Jason Linkins, revealed in New York Times coverage, the real Obama, at a Beverly Hills fundraiser, last night:

a gaggle of sign-waving protesters milled around outside The Beverly Hilton, the sprawling hotel on Wilshire Boulevard. They must have caught the president’s eye when he arrived at the hotel from an earlier stop in Las Vegas because he relayed one of their messages to the crowd.

The Obareporter seemed here to titter along with Dear Leader,

“One of them said, “Obama keep your promise,’ ” the president said. “I thought that’s fair. I don’t know which promise he was talking about.

Hehehe.  Yeah, all politicians are cynical and two-faced but the calculation and public nature of Obama’s falsehoods must be unprecedented in modern politics.

The people in the audience (“gay friendly” fauxgressives?) – who paid $30,400 per couple to attend – laughed as they ate a dinner of roasted tenderloin, grilled organic chicken and sun choke rosemary mashed potatoes.

It’s easy to forget that as recently as June 28, 2008, while campaigning for candidate Obama, his wife Michelle said this in front of a large group of enthusiastic and well off gays:

….she used the phrase, “from Selma to Stonewall,” to connect the gay and civil rights movements.

Oy! Oy! OY!

continuing with the article:

….and his call as a U.S. Senator for a complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriages and relieves states of any obligation to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

If elected, Obama said that her husband would reverse laws such as DOMA, end the prohibition against gays and lesbians serving openly in the military, advance stalled legislation to protect the LGBT community against hate crimes and workplace discrimination, and work to achieve equal rights for gay and lesbian families.

“Barack has made crystal clear his commitment to ensuring full equality for LGBT couples,” she said. “That’s why he supports robust civil unions. That is why he has said that the federal government should not stand in the way of the states that want to decide for themselves how best to pursue equality for gay and lesbian couples, whether that means domestic partnerships, civil unions or civil marriage.” She noted his opposition to the November ballot initiative in California that would overturn the recent court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in the state.

No applause now.  No need here to go into the depravity of Obama’s painfully “nuanced” sell-out  positions on choice, (abortion), women’s rights, LGBT rights, but evidently, the desire to be in Obie’s inner circle obviates all rational assessment of of his no position positions and cynical duplicity.

One must be vigilent 24/7 to keep up with the Obie cynicism machine.

It’s no secret that Obama made deals with the right wing Christian oligarchy to get elected.  It’s also no secret that he courted the same groups and placed them in positions of power and influence, appointing, James Dobson (Focus on the Family) follower Joshua DuBois to head a revitalized Bush era religious council with his new Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.  He also hired John DiIulio, as second in command, and a top professional in Bush’s religious outreach.  But this ugly scheme was way worse than it seemed although the Obie religious spokesmen were gushing

“In President Obama, you have somebody who is not only religiously knowledgeable, thoughtful, open and sensitive himself,” said Rabbi David Saperstein, head of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and a critic of the Bush faith-based office. “You also have somebody who understands constitutional law….”

OK.  He knows about constitutional law, he just doesn’t care about it.

Obama and Warren

Obama and Warren

The really interesting insight into Obama’s unprincipled nature comes from Max Blumenthal (the same Blumenthal who outed Rick Warren’s Africa HIV/AIDS scam in The Daily Beast) writing July 8, 2008, this time for The Nation:

Obama has made a major effort to woo evangelicals, but at what cost to church-state separation?

On June 10, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama convened a meeting in a law office in downtown Chicago with a wide array of about thirty evangelical leaders, in an unprecedented effort to win their support. Obama insisted that the meeting remain entirely off the record, forbidding participants from disclosing his statements to the press. His campaign has kept the names of attendees a closely guarded secret. But through interviews with participants and overlooked statements in obscure publications of the Christian press, a first-hand picture of the meeting emerges, starkly at odds with the news reports that accepted the formal version at face value.

Where was the MSM on this coverage?  From the article:

Franklin Graham, son of the evangelical icon Billy Graham and head of the international Christian aid organization Samaritan’s Purse, was seated next to Obama at the meeting. He peppered Obama with pointed questions, repeatedly demanding to know if the senator believed that “Jesus was the way to God or merely a way.” Graham, who once incited an international controversy by calling Islam a “very evil and wicked religion,” proceeded to inquire about the Muslim faith of Obama’s father, suggesting that Obama himself may be a Muslim.

“They focused on abortion, gay marriage, and then Franklin Graham tried to get Senator Obama saved,” said Rev. Eugene Rivers, an African-American pastor from Boston who attended the meeting. Rivers told the Religion News Service that Graham pointedly questioned Obama’s “father’s connections to Islam.” Obama reportedly said of his father, “The least of things he was was Islamic.

Stephen Strang, a right-wing Pentecostal, was among those invited to Obama’s meeting. He is the multimillionaire publisher of Charisma, an evangelical magazine, and a signatory of the World Evangelical Alliance statement urging evangelization of Jews. In naming him one of the twenty-five “most influential evangelicals in America,” Time called Strang “a Bush favorite ever since his homegrown Christian publishing house, Strang Communications, released The Faith of George W. Bush, the first spiritual biography of the President, in 2003.” “We didn’t write it to help Bush, but it no doubt helped elect him,” declares Strang. He is also a close associate of controversial End Times theology proponent Pastor John Hagee….

T.D. Jakes Church

T.D. Jakes Church

Obama also moved to convince T.D. Jakes to get the African-American fauxchristians on board.  From the article:

Besides Strang, Graham and Rivers, attendees at the meeting included conservative Christianity Today editor David Neff, Evangelical Lutheran Church President Mark Hanson, conservative legal scholar and Reagan Justice Department official Doug Kmiec — who has been denied communion for his support for Obama — and T.D. Jakes, the Dallas-based African-American Pentecostal mega-church pastor who has supplanted the black church’s traditional social justice teachings with “prosperity gospel” theology, preaching faith as the way to the promised land of wealth and status.

Billy and Franklin Graham

Billy and Franklin Graham

Another influential African-American prosperity gospel pastor, Kirbyjon Caldwell, attended the June 10 meeting with Obama…. Caldwell, a former bond dealer who founded the country’s largest Methodist congregation, the Houston-based Windsor Village, has been among George W. Bush’s most vocal and visible black backers. He introduced Bush at the 2000 Republican National Convention, delivered the benedictions at his 2001 and 2005 inaugural ceremonies and presided over the wedding ceremony of Jenna Bush. Bush has rewarded Caldwell’s good works by lavishing his missions with federal faith-based grants….

But almost as soon as Obama declared his campaign for the presidency, Caldwell broke from the GOP, delivering a roaring endorsement for the Democrat from Illinois, hailing him for his “character, confidence and courage.” …Just days after Obama delivered a speech criticizing homophobia in the black church, some gay bloggers revealed that Caldwell’s own Windsor Village church hosted a ministry that, according to its website, was “created to provide Christ centered instruction for those seeking freedom from homosexuality.”

Caldwell’s congregation scrubbed all mention of it from its website.

Mara Vanderslice has been called the “faith guru” by The Hill in Washington, DC. Her consulting firm, Common Good Strategies, recently formed a political action committee, the Matthew 25 Network, to advocate on Obama’s behalf. In the past, Vanderslice has advised her clients not only to downplay their support for abortion rights and gay rights but also never to use the phrase “separation of church and state.” Hired by Sen. John Kerry’s presidential campaign in 2004, she ultimately found herself sidelined.

J. Dobson Focus on the Family

J. Dobson Focus on the Family

James Dobson stepped up to say that Obama was dragging Biblical teaching through the mud. He didn’t like McCain, either.  Here’s a snippet.

Even Charles Colson, and Watergate burglar in chief, G. Gordon Liddy have gotten in on the gay hate act with their Prison Ministries.  Murphy at Pumapac.org. outed him on his issues.

Meanwhile, candidate McCain got busy flogging the chiristian imperium for votes.

Washington Post/ABC News poll taken in June is any indication, McCain has cause for confidence; he trounced Obama among white evangelical voters by a margin of 68 to 22 percent. But there remains a question of turnout for McCain .

Of course, we know now that the Christian turnout for McCain was unusually tepid and Obama was able to make great and continuing inroads into the religious community.  The question is, how far can he go in that direction before he’s of no further use to the other constituencies that elected him?

“McCain won’t have any trouble convincing evangelicals he’s on their side,” Warren Smith, the editor of Evangelical Press News Service, says. “The only reason they’re holding back their support is to see how much they can get out of him.”

We know how it turned out.  Obama must have been a better sugar daddy.