Most people in the world remember the September 11, 2001 attacks very clearly.
It was a day when the world changed for the worse, when the world was terrorized and outraged by one of the single worst events in world history. Twelve years later no one has been prosecuted for the event and the world now knows that those events served as a catalyst and pretext for endless wars of aggression and domination against any country not under control of the United States.
By attempting to convince the public that every independent, and even Russian leaning country, is somehow connected to terrorism the US has managed to launch wars of aggression against countries that never posed it a threat. The world has grown weary of American aggression. One man who has fought the military expansion of NATO and the US for decades, Voice of Russia regular Rick Rozoff, helped put the events into perspective as the US attempts to engage in yet another war of aggression.
Hello this is John Robles, I am speaking with Rick Rozoff, a regular contributor with the Voice of Russia World Service. We are speaking on the 12 year anniversary of the events of 9/11.
Robles: Hello Rick, how are you?
Rozoff: Very good, John, and you?
Robles: I’m very well. It is 9/11 2013. In retrospect can you give us your views regarding those events and how they’ve changed the world and brought us to where we are today?
Rozoff: Sure. It is worth recalling that the initial report that many of us heard [on the morning of 9/11] was that somebody in a phone booth in the Persian Gulf claimed responsibility for the attacks and attributed them to the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which is one of the three groups in the Palestine Liberation Organization, but one that has never employed hijacking of airplanes, much less terrorist activity.
So, I think that put things into perspective immediately for me. And then as the emotions started to die down a bit, and the sense of being stunned, I mean the spectacle, and the monstrous loss of life, and then the immediate fear, of course, that the wounded beast that was the Pentagon – Donald Rumsfeld at that time – would really wreak vengeance, not only on the alleged perpetrators of the attacks in Washington and New York, but on any number of other countries and in short order, if you recall, some of your listeners recall, that Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld identified, as I recollect, no fewer than 63 countries who he accused of either harboring terrorists or supporting terrorism.
In the words of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld and other members of the administration at that time, that to harbor terrorists was the same as to be a terrorist and you would be dealt with accordingly, and sweeping statements like “you are either with us or with the terrorists.” So, what we all feared I think shortly after the events of 9/11, even as they were occurring in fact, was that the US might exploit this as excuse to settle scores around the world, which in fact happened in short order to the point where even though those accused of perpetrating the attacks – largely Saudi nationals, we should mention, with a Yemeni or Egyptian thrown in for good measure – but ones who had lived for years in Germany and the United States, had gone to flight school in Florida, here, and so forth, apparently with complete impunity without any doubts arising in the mind of law enforcement agencies, if we are to believe the official account.
But even though they did not come from Iraq or Afghanistan or any of the other countries that have been attacked in the interim, under the pretext that we were combating the terrorism that led to the events of 9/11, we also have to remember that immediately the Bush administration started identifying as terrorists their political and ideological enemies during the Cold War.
So, there was everything from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the FARC rebels, in Colombia, to the New People’s Army in the Philippines, to the Kurdistan Workers Party in Turkey. These are left-wing, secular movements that were immediately identified as being terrorists, as though they had some connection with Al-Qaeda, which was ludicrous. But what was ignored from the very beginning was the fact that, if in fact there was a connection with Osama bin Laden, that the US bore direct responsibility for his arising to the level of the terrorist commando or chieftain they accused him of being, because he was one of an estimated 10,000 ethnic Arabs that with US and Saudi connivance, in the first place, were brought to northwestern Pakistan in the 1980s.
Robles: I’d like to just underline the fact that Osama bin Laden also went by the CIA code name of Tom Osman, he was actually a CIA agent.
Rozoff: That doesn’t surprise me in the least. He was one of 10,000 alleged Afghan Arabs, as the term was, training in US-supported training camps in northwestern Pakistan to be used against Soviet forces inside Afghanistan, but particularly against the government of the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan, which was a party of long standing, which had members in parliament for decades, prior to their coming to power in the April revolution of 1978.
But there would be no al-Qaeda, there would be no international movement, extremist terrorist network if the US had not connived with their two major military allies in the Islamic world – Pakistan and Saudi Arabia – that set it up; and to arm them, to train them, to put them into contact with each other in a global network. And even the name of the Islamic extremists armed group in the Philippines, the Abu Sayyaf group, has an Afghan connection as well.
So, the US is really at the genesis, was at the genesis of the creation of this international terrorist network. But another point that struck me at the time of 9/11 of 2001 was that there were only three countries at that time that recognized the originally Taliban government, I mean they didn’t have…weren’t represented at the United Nations, but the Taliban governing entity, whatever you want to call it, was only recognized by three governments.
Robles: That never stopped the United States, regarding being recognized in the United Nations. I’d like to recall Kosovo again.
Rozoff: Had they chosen to recognize them, when the rest of the world didn’t, that wouldn’t have been an impediment for the United States. But the three nations that in fact did recognize it, and had embassies in Kabul, were Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, the two nations that worked most closely with the United States to foster the entire Mujahidin organization and movement and war, which in turn spawned the Taliban as surely as night follows day. And the United Arab Emirates.
So, what we have seen in the interim? That Pakistan is our major military ally in fighting terrorism in Afghanistan – I mean, please – that Saudi Arabia recently signed with the United States the largest bilateral arms deal in history, and that the United Arab Emirates has troops serving under NATO in Afghanistan. The United Arab Emirates has troops serving under NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. They supplied dozens of war planes two and a half years ago for the six-month air war against Libya, a secular Arab government.
And these again – Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Pakistan – are the three US military allies – pronounced – in the Islamic world, whereas they were the only three governments to formally recognize the Taliban in Afghanistan, but again I suppose people, assume Americans aren’t informed about international affairs and, if they are, that they quickly forget yesterday’s news.
So that the entire story about 9/11 has not properly been explored, and instead what we have heard I think are two alternate red herrings, one of them was the Donald Rumsfeld “we’ve got to drain the swamp.” We’ve got to eliminate terrorists bases throughout the world including in 63 countries and that led by the way to Rumsfeld setting up a train and equip program in the nation of Georgia where terrorists aided and abetted by the United States and its NATO allies were launching attacks into the Russian North Caucasus across the Pankisi Gorge and the Kodori Gorge. And that the Russian government was lodging complaint after complaint with the Georgian government about them, so Rumsfeld says: Well, in fact, yes, there are terrorists operating in North Georgia and attacking Russia, so we are going to set up at first with the Green Berets, and then with the US Marine Corps, what is now a permanent US military presence in Georgia, which was there of course during the five-day war, five years ago last month, when Georgia attacked South Ossetia and dragged Russia into the conflict.
But the other thing, I think, too, just to put it in perspective, 9/11 led to the US and NATO invasion of Afghanistan and spreading throughout the South and Central Asian region. And what we now have of course is the longest war in the history of the United States; it will be 12-years-old very shortly; its actually the thirteenth calendar year, which is longer than the war in Vietnam.
Robles: Let’s not forget Iraq and all the other humanitarian interventions.
Rozoff: Yes, then gave rise to subsequent wars, their drone missile campaigns in Yemen and Somali and Libya and Iraq and now Syria of course, and the invasion of Afghanistan was the opening salvo in that effort. too.
Really to put into practice, as we remembered 12 years ago, blueprints elaborated by organizations, like the Project for the New American Century, and others who had plotted to remake a New Middle East, a Broader Greater Middle East which would extend from Mauritania on the Atlantic Ocean to Kazakhstan on the Chinese border, and that is in fact what has happened. But as a result, we’ve seen the US and NATO bring over 150,000 troops into Afghanistan at the extreme under NATO command, under ISAF, International Security Assistance Force, which is substantially larger than the peak strength of Soviet troops during the 1980s.
And this is then of course is the longest war in the history of Afghanistan as well, and has led to the expansion of US and NATO military bases and presence in countries like Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan for a while. The effort by the United States and its NATO allies to ensconce themselves squarely in the convergence ground , if you will, of major powers in the area, especially those gathered under the umbrella of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization – Russia, China and the Central Asian Republics as well as observers like Iran, Turkey and India.
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