Sunday, September 11, 2022

Thoughts on 9/11

The Collapse of the

WTC Towers

February 15, 1989: The day when the last Soviet soldier left Afghanistan. The CIA had poured billions in arming and training the Afghan mujahideen who slaughtered about 28,000 Soviet soldiers and forced the Soviet Union to withdraw from the country. On this day, the CIA station in Islamabad sent a cable to Washington which had two words: “We won.” 

Pakistan’s dictator General Zia Ul-Haq credited the CIA for the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. But most Islamic theocrats in South Asia and the Middle East, and the Afghan mujahideen, armed and trained in urban warfare by the CIA, did not see America as an ally. For them, Allah was the only ally; they insisted that they had won because of Allah’s mercy. 

In retrospect, it is clear that the American political establishment, led by President Ronald Reagan, was clueless about the global ambitions of the Islamic groups that they were training and arming in South Asia. In the early 1980s, they could not have known that their policy of using Pakistan as a base for fomenting mujahideen-led anti-Soviet insurgency in Afghanistan would have an unintended consequence: worldwide Islamic terrorism.

If the Soviet Union had been allowed to rule Afghanistan, the communists might have succeeded in secularizing both Afghanistan and Pakistan. By ensuring the defeat of the Soviet Union, the Americans created political space for Islamic fundamentalism to grow and become a world power.

After 9/11, the Western media started covering Muslims as the perpetrators of terrorism. But for ten years, the CIA was in bed with the Afghan mujahideen—their unholy coupling led to the birth of the dangerous child called Al-Qaeda. 9/11 and other terror events, including those in Kashmir, were the unintended consequence of American policy in South Asia and the Middle East.

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