PEP COLUMN: Evil that’s destabilizing the world
Question: What does the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Centre have in common with the ongoing military assault on the Gaddafi-led government and nation of Libya?
Answer: at the centre of both crimes are two groups of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists that were virtually created by the government of the United States.
A common thread runs through such seemingly unconnected events as the 9/11 tragedy in the United States and violent assaults on other nations from 1990 to 2011.
To make sense of this period, we have to go back to December 27, 1979, when some Soviet Union soldiers “marched” into the Muslim country of Afghanistan.
The response then United States National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski conceived of a plan to bring together militants from all over the Islamic world; to further radicalize them with an extreme ideology of Islamic nationalism; to train them in the techniques of terrorism; to arm them; and to direct them against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan.
Under the direction of the Central Intelligence Agency, training camps were set up along the Pakistan/Afghanistan border, and with the help of United States and Saudi money, more than 30 000 recruits were trained in these camps in the 1980s.
Approximately one-half of these recruits were from Saudi Arabia, including Osama bin Laden, but there were also significant numbers from virtually every single Islamic country, inclusive of Libya. The United States printed thousands of textbooks and training manuals that instructed these Muslim militants that it was their Islamic duty to destroy the infidel Russian invaders.
And so, the extreme Islamic fundamentalist terrorist was manufactured, and was inculcated with the idea that he had the God-given right to destroy and remove any perceived enemy of Islam.
By 1989, the Soviet Union was defeated in Afghanistan, and the tens of thousands of battle-hardened, United States-trained Mujahedeen fighters returned to their home countries. Osama bin Laden, for example, went back to Saudi Arabia, where he promptly accused the Saudi authorities of being traitors to Islam; established his al Qaeda organization; and ultimately declared war on the Saudi government and their United States allies.
This pattern was repeated all across the Middle East and North Africa.
By the late 1990s Libya’s moderate Islamic regime also fell victim to the insane extremist violence of their repatriated “Afghans”. In 1999, the Washington Post newspaper reported Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi as explaining that his government had been forced to repel a violent military assault by Libyan “Afghans”.
According to Gaddafi, “They returned desperate and destructive, and adopted killing and explosives as their profession, according to the training they received from the American intelligence.”
It is a core of these same “desperate and destructive” men – based in the city of Benghazi – that the United States, France and Britain have opportunistically used to construct a violent revolt against Gaddafi and the Libyan state.