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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Farooq Kathwari - Ethan Allen furniture CEO gives award to honor son who died in Afghan jihad

Farooq Kathwari - Ethan Allen furniture CEO gives award to honor son who died in Afghan jihad

September 23, 2005

PDF] 2004 ANNUAL REPORT
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Irfan Kathwari Foundation, Inc. Farooq Kathwari. FM Kirby Foundation, Inc. John S.
& James L. Knight Foundation. Estate of Leon Levy. Eli Lilly and Company ...
www.freedomhouse.org/research/specreports/ar2004.pdf - Similar pages ---------------

http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:WyrH-aLF4F0J:www.thejournalnews.com/newsroom/081902/19kathwari.html+irfan+kathwari+&hl=en

Leading the Revolution at Ethan Allen How Kathwari Ethan Allen KEA became Ethan Allen.


The company factory was in Larchmont which explains why the web domain registration and the address for the Kashmir Study Group is there as well. Though a son of a well-to-do family, Kathwari came to the United States seeking refuge rather than opportunity. An activist for Kashmir's liberation during college, Kathwari ran afoul of the authorities when he escorted an American journalist to the site of demonstrations. Just 20 years old when he arrived in America in 1965, Kathwari enrolled at New York University's graduate school of business. On the side, he began importing home decor accessories from Kashmir. After earning an MBA in international marketing, Kathwari took a job on Wall Street. But at heart, he was more merchant than financier. When a business associate introduced him to Ethan Allen Chairman Nathan Ancell, Kathwari proposed selling fabrics and accessories from Kashmir in the company's stores. Impressed with Kathwari's initiative, Ancell asked him to join Ethan Allen a short time later. The young entrepreneur countered with a proposal for a joint venture. In 1973, KEA International was formed to create accessories for Ethan Allen. Kathwari rented and then bought a defunct bowling alley in Larchmont for the headquarters of KEA (short for Kathwari Ethan Allen). During the 1970s, KEA shipped rugs, lighting and textiles across the United States from the Larchmont warehouse and distribution center. KEA merged with Ethan Allen in 1980. Five years later, Kathwari was promoted to company president. When Ancell retired in 1988, Kathwari took the top job. "...In 1999, Worth magazine named Kathwari one of the 50 best CEOs in America. Part of what's led to Kathwari's success is the balance provided by his work for peace in Kashmir..." "...People used to think I was somewhat conservative. They said, 'What will you do with this cash, why don't you have debt?' I said, 'I'll keep the cash in the bank until it makes sense to spend it.' " ----------------------------------------------------- http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:2lmMkGoTeJMJ:www.freedomhouse.org/research/specreports/ar2004.pdf+irfan+kathwari+&hl=e http://kasmirtimes.com/archive/0410/041010/jktoday.htm Tributes paid to Irfan Kathwari, Agha Shahid Ali
By Athar Parvez
SRINAGAR, Oct 9: JKLF chairman, Mohammed Yasin Malik today said that "some people utilise their talent against the nation and ignore the services of those who have contributed their talent for the good of the society and the dignity of the nation".
He was speaking during an Awards-giving function organised jointly by Agha Shahid Ali Foundation and Irfan Kathwari Foundation at B. Ed College here today. Rich tributes were paid to Irfan Kathwari and Agha Shahid Ali by the intelligentia who were present on the occasion.
It is in place to mention here that Irfan Kathwari, son of a US-based businessman Farooq Kathwari, was killed while fighting against Russian troops in Afghanistan in 1986. Agha Shahid Ali, who died in 2001 in USA, was a young poet whose collection of poems 'A Country Without Post Office' had won him international fame. It is said that this book is available in every library across the globe.
Paying homage to Agha Shahid Ali while delivering his presidential remarks, Malik said that he utilised his talent for the good of nation and pooled his talent to record the sufferings of the people for the entire world to comprehend. "Though we see a lot of talented people around us but many of these people use their talent against the nation by toadying the government officials. The real talent has exhausted to the extent that we feel orphaned... there is hardly any one available to write obituary for the martyrs", Malik regretted.
Recalling one of his meetings with Shahid, he said, "Once I asked him whether he had any regrets about writing `A Country Without Post Office' while he could have won honours from Delhi given his family connections with Fakhr-u-Din Ali Ahmad (former president of India) and Gandhi family. He said that such honours have no value for him when there is no one to appreciate the sacrifices of Kashmiri people".
"This occasion refreshes the memories of Irfan, Ishfaq, Nadeem, Dr Guroo, Dr Wani and Dr Asiya... all of them have sacrificed their lives for the honour of the nation... Irfan and Nadeem were belonging to the rich families but they shun the luxury and listened to the voice of their conscience", Malik remarked.
Ved Bhasin, chairman Kashmir Times Group of Publications, could not attend the function due to his pre-occupation with SAFMA conference in New Delhi. His message was read out at the function. In the message, Bhasin said,"I pay my respects to Agha Shahid Ali, a poet who infused humility with the pain and sufferings of the people of Kashmir and gave ex-pression to our innermost hopes, dreams and fears through his poignant words".
Prominent among others who paid their tributes to Shahid, include Professor G R Malik, Mian Abdul Qayoom, Professor Rehman Rahi and Akthar Murtaza. Professor G R Malik who teaches English in Kashmir university and directs one of the departments there said that Agha Shahid would use literature to create literature.
Mian Qayoom, Kashmir Bar association president commented that Shahid was able to record all the barbarism which was inflicted on Kashmiris. Professor Rahman Rahi remarked: "Agha's book opened a window for the world to see Kashmir and its plight, wishes and dreams".
On this occasion Khazir Mohammad Qasba (Wood carving), Grandson of Harday Nath Wanchoo (Social work) and Bashir Ahmad Bashir (Cartooning) were honoured with Irfan Kathwari Foundation awards. While as Khurram Parvez (Human Rights activist) and Mohammad Shafi Khan (teacher) were honoured with Agha Shahid award. Aasia Jeelani, a human rights activist who lost her life during the 2004 parliamentary elections in Lolab, was posthumously honoured with Agha Shahid award. ------------------------- http://saja.org/authorsnight2005.html Irfan Kathwari Foundation Scholarships CONTRIBUTORS TO SAJA REPORTING FELLOWSHIPS
of amounts ranging from $100 to $5,000
as of 2/15/2005

Irfan Kathwari Foundation
Gautam Sundaram Foundation
PacifiCare Health Systems
Verizon Foundation

Rimjhim Dey
Amrit & Bettina Kakaria
Suketu Mehta
Arthur & Betty Pais
Rosemary Ostmann - Your name here! saja@columbia.edu

http://www.wcsu.edu/sps/awards.asp

Irfan Kathwari Endowment Award
Established in December 1999 by M. Farooq Kathwari, President, Chairman & CEO of Ethan Allen, Inc., the annual income from the fund will be used to recruit promising students into WestConn's Teacher Education Programs. Preference is given to Danbury inner city minority high school seniors with an interest in pursuing careers in K-12 teaching in Danbury Public School District.

Dean's Committee

Award: Scholarship amount varies annually ----------------------

Criteria: Pursuit of Teacher Education

http://www.6thcolumnagainstjihad.com/Rublev_P4.htm

http://www.theislamproject.org/muhammad/muhammad_overview.htm It should be noted that the Al Hibri Foundation appears to fund the same projects as Kathwari. Al Hibri is the CEO of the company that makes the anthrax vaccine.
THE ISLAM PROJECT: LIBERAL ORGANIZATIONS FINANCING A PROFOUNDLY ILLIBERAL CAUSE Contemporary culture reels under the influence of a very bad set of ideas known as "postmodernism," and the deleterious roles of postmodernism in this "war on terror" cannot be underestimated. Postmodernism is the dominant philosophy in the liberal arts departments of nearly all of America's universities (Edward Said, Noam Chomsky), mainstream journalism (Terry Gross, Nicholas Kristof), and politics (all of the liberal left), and it has generated "political correctness," "multiculturalism," and widespread nihilism. Postmodernists often oppose Christianity, Judaism, capitalism, liberal democracy, and ignore or even endorse the worst features of Marxism and militant Islam. Consequently, many postmodernists now make an unholy alliance with Muslim supremacist organizations that use the pretext of promoting "tolerance" in order to make Americans more amenable to their intolerant beliefs and barbaric ideas of "justice." This is the war within the war, meaning that the war on terror has another, home-grown, component: postmodernism versus all of the positive values of America. This unholy alliance has infiltrated The Islam Project, along with so many other groups, institutions, and their activities. The Islam Project, with its close ties to PBS seems quite innocuous at first glance. But closer inspection reveals secondary school lesson plans designed to promote Sharia law and pre-empt all critical thinking about Islam and Islamic history with useless minutia, deceptive half-truths and mind-numbing propaganda 1. One might ask, how did Public Television, a venerable institution so accomplished in spreading education, culture, and in-depth news allow itself to become a tool for proselytizing Islamists? The answer is best understood when the Islam Project's supporters are classified according to their motives. The supporters of the Islam Project can be divided into at least five categories, these include Islamists (I), multiculturist fellow travelers (T), undifferentiated liberals (L), undifferentiated Muslim-American foundations (MA), and Saudi-linked groups (S). "Undifferentiated" means that not enough is known about their motives beyond an overt desire fight bigotry or present their religious beliefs in a positive light (which is not a crime). Also included in the list are funders of the two PBS specials that serve as teaching aids to most of the Islam Project's lesson plans: National Partners of the Islam Project 2 Council of Islamic Education (I) Islamic Society of North America (I)(S) Active Voice (T) Freedom Forum, First Amendment Center (T) Pluralism Project at Harvard University (T) The Georgetown Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (T)(S) Hope in the Cities, Initiatives of Change (L) North American Interfaith Network (L) National Conference for Community and Justice (L) Main Funders of the Islam Project 3, 4 Carnegie Corporation of New York (L) Chevron-Texaco Corporation (L)(S) Hasan Family Foundation (MA) The James Irvine Foundation (L) The Nathan Cummings Foundation (L) Surdna Foundation (L) Main Funders of "Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet" 5 The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (L) David and Lucile Packard Foundation (L) Arabian Bulk Trade (S) Sabadia Family Foundation (MA) Irfan Kathwari Foundation (MA) El Hibri Foundation (S) Qureishi Family Trust (*) Main Funders of Frontline's "Muslims" 6, 7 The Pew Charitable Trusts (L) The William and Mary Greve Foundation(L) Carnegie Corporation of New York (L) Fetzer Institute (L) The Lilly Auchincloss Foundation (L) * Address not found. ------------------------------- http://www.asiasociety.org/events/calendar.pl?rm=detail&eventid=15084
Crossing the Lines: Kashmir, Pakistan, India (Pervez Hoodboy and Zia Mian/2004/47 mins./video/Pakistan)
This film, a critical balanced look at the recurring violence in Kashmir, challenges viewers to look at the situation with new eyes. Made possible with generous support from Irfan Kathwari Foundation, Inc.

Venue : Asia Society
725 Park Avenue at 70th Street
New York --------------------------------
http://www.breakthrough.tv/event_details.asp?eventID=13


Autumn's Final Country is the touching story of Indu, Zarina, Shahnaz and Anju, four women who suffer displacement in the conflict-ridden Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Recorded as testimonials for the South Asia Court of Women (Dacca, Aug.2003), the film explores the lives of each woman as she relates the circumstances leading to her rootlessness, and reveals an intimate dimension of the Kashmir conflict, raising questions about patriarchal values and power, communal identities, patriotism and war. Discussion follows after the screening with filmmaker, Sonia Jabbar who will be joined by: Farooq Kathwari, Chairman & CEO Ethan Allen Inc. and Chairman, Kashmir Study Group Maya Chadda, Professor of political science, William Paterson University of New Jersey Mallika Dutt, Executive Director, Breakthrough (Moderator) Made possible with generous support from Irfan Kathwari Foundation, Inc.


------------------------------------------------ Asia Society

The India-China Relationship:
What the United States Needs to Know


Conference Report
November 30, 2001
"...Asia Society and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for
Scholars also want to thank the Shanghai Center for International
Studies, the China Institute of International Studies in Beijing,
the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies in New Delhi, and the
Confederation of Indian Industries in Bangalore for hosting their
delegation during the summer of 2001.

The project could not have been possible without the generous
support of the C.V. Starr Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund,
the BGM Kumar Foundation, the GE Fund, and the Irfan Kathwari
Foundation.

This report is meant to reflect the range of the debate and the
general viewpoint of the conference participants without necessarily
implying endorsement of the recommendations by either the advisory
committee, the project authors, or the participants.

Nicholas Platt
President
Asia Society

Lee H. Hamilton
Director
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars --------------------------------------------------- Stock quotes on Irfan Kathwari Foundation

http://www.quote.net/qc/research/insider.aspx?datatype=Planned&symbols=NYSE:ETH

ANJSHIR VALLEY, Afghanistan — Muhammad Khaled Mihraban, a polite, soft-spoken 26- year-old Pakistani, thinks he has already killed at least 100 people. Maybe more; he isn't really sure.

"My goal was not to kill," he said. "But I had a line to follow, an Islamic ideal. I knew that Muslims needed their own country, a real Islamic country."

Mr. Mihraban found that country when he came to Afghanistan in 1992. Having decided "to consecrate my life to jihad" while studying Islamic law at Punjab University in Lahore, he said, he joined a Pakistani militant group that was fighting India in the disputed province of Kashmir. His training took place in Afghanistan.

"We learned how to plant mines, how to make bombs using dynamite and how to kill someone quietly," he recalled.

A gifted student, he was soon asked to train others in group camps near Khost. "But I wanted to act, not teach," he explained. So after a stint waging war in Kashmir, he returned to Kabul to fight alongside the Taliban forces that control most of the country.

Mr. Mihraban, who was captured by the rebels fighting the Taliban in northern Afghanistan, said in an interview in a bleak prison that if he were released, he would "stay right here and fight again for Kabul." If he were asked to do so, he said, he would go to London, Paris or New York and blow up women and children for Islam. "Yes, I would do it," he said quietly, without hesitation.

If the international terrorism that has haunted Americans for the last decade has a home, it is Afghanistan, the place that comes closest to the extremists' ideal of a state ruled by the strict code of Islamic law.

Afghanistan is an inspiration, an essential base of operations, a reservoir of potential suicide bombers and a battle front where crucial ties are forged. It is also, American officials say, where Osama bin Laden is experimenting with chemical weapons.

Participants in nearly every plot against the United States and its allies during the last decade have learned the arts of war and explosives in Afghan camps, authorities say, including the defendants in the 1998 bombings of two American Embassies in East Africa.

The Central Intelligence Agency estimates that as many as 50,000 to 70,000 militants from 55 countries have trained here in recent years. The agency says the Taliban permit a wide range of groups to operate in Afghan territory, from the Pakistani militants who trained Mr. Mihraban to Mr. bin Laden's organization Al Qaeda (Arabic for The Base). Middle East officials said that as many as 5,000 recruits have passed through Mr. bin Laden's camps.

American and Middle Eastern intelligence officials believe that Mr. bin Laden maintains a network of a dozen camps in Afghanistan that offer training in small arms and in explosives and logistics for terrorist attacks. The officials said the embassy bombings, which killed more than 200 people, were rehearsed on a model built to scale at one of Mr. bin Laden's Afghan camps.

One camp, according to those officials, is educating a new generation of recruits in the uses of chemicals, poisons and toxins.

Within the last year, trainees at the camp, which is called Abu Khabab, have experimented on dogs, rabbits and other animals with nerve gases, the officials said. Recruits have also fashioned bombs made from commercially available chemicals and poisons, which have been tried out on animals tethered to outdoor posts on the camp test range, according to surveillance photographs and informers' reports.

"The role of Afghanistan is now absolutely clear," said Michael A. Sheehan, the former coordinator of the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism, who in late December became assistant secretary general for peacekeeping operations for the United Nations. "Every Islamic militant we've looked at goes scurrying back there for sanctuary. Afghanistan, and to a lesser extent Iran, are the only major sanctuaries left."

The Training:

Where Recruits Study Tactics and Explosives

Middle Eastern officials estimate that in the last six months, more than 100 men recruited by Mr. bin Laden's and affiliated groups have been trained at the camp, which is named after the Egyptian militant who runs it, Midhat Mursi — whose nom de guerre is Abu Khabab.

The camp is part of a large complex of such training sites known as Darunta, about eight miles from Jalalabad, an Afghan eastern provincial capital, down a dusty road that runs atop an old stone dam of the same name. According to Western and Middle Eastern officials, a cache of chemicals is stored in the reinforced caves of nearby mountains and naturally protected underground tunnels.

Abu Khabab's graduates in the last year include Raed Hijazi, the Jordanian-American whom Jordan has convicted in absentia as a ringleader of the failed plot to attack tourists in Amman during the millennium celebrations.

Mr. Hijazi, whom the Syrians arrested in October and sent back to Jordan, has described his advanced training on explosives to Jordanian investigators, according to Western officials. He has told investigators that a key lieutenant of Mr. bin Laden helped arrange his trip to Afghanistan.

A rare reference to the explosives training at the Abu Khabab camp appears in the sealed indictment of Nabil abu Aukel, a Palestinian arrested last June by Israel.

Israel has accused Mr. Aukel of collaborating with Hamas, or the Party of God, the militant Palestinian organization, and several Arab-Israelis on plots aimed at military and civilian targets inside Israel. The indictment, a copy of which was provided by Steven Emerson, an American expert on Islamic terrorism, states that Mr. Aukel, a Palestinian, received advanced training in explosives using chemicals at the Abu Khabab camp in March 1998.

The camp leader warned Mr. Aukel "never to discuss the nature of the training," the indictment says. Israeli officials said Mr. Aukel's arrest marked first time Israel had uncovered an Al Qaeda cell inside its borders.

At the urging of the United States and Russia, which also sees a threat from Afghan training camps, the United Nations recently imposed the harshest economic sanctions on Afghanistan to press the Taliban not only to evict Mr. bin Laden and his senior entourage, but also to close down all the militant camps to foreigners.

The Taliban, or "students of Islam," who rule all but a sliver of Afghanistan, deny that they harbor terrorists or those who train them. Wakil Ahmad Mutawakil, the Taliban foreign minister, said the pressure to expel Mr. bin Laden was both "insulting and useless." Mr. Mutawakil denied in an interview in November that Mr. bin Laden was financing the Taliban, saying he had become a "very poor man." Mr. bin Laden, the foreign minister said, could not possibly be planning terrorist operations since his activities were "closely supervised by Afghan guards."

Mr. Mutawakil recently invited a New York Times reporter to visit any location in Afghanistan identified by Western officials as part of Mr. bin Laden's network.

But Taliban officials in Afghanistan ultimately barred the reporter from visiting any of the locations. At Darunta, the reporter was stopped several miles from the gates of the complex. After five days in Kabul, Jalalabad and environs, the reporter and her Afghan- American interpreter were politely escorted to the border and told to leave Afghanistan.

The Inspiration:

Afghanistan's Appeal as a War Zone

The Afghan cause has inspired several generations of young men determined to wage holy war. Thousands came here in the 1980's to fight the Soviet forces in response to a fatwa, or religious order, from leading Islamic scholars. Thousands more have come since then to help the Taliban expand their power, or to be trained for jihads elsewhere.

Taliban officials boast that they have imposed true Islamic rule, cleansing Afghan society of Western influence. Since their capture of Kabul in 1996, they have among other things banned education for girls and most work for women, and instituted harsh punishments for blasphemy, playing cards, watching television, listening to music and trimming one's beard.

Mr. bin Laden arrived in Afghanistan in 1996 after he was expelled from Sudan. American officials and Afghan opponents of the Taliban say their loyalty to him has been well earned. The officials say Mr. bin Laden provided the Taliban with some of the cash they used to buy off local warlords in their march to power.

His financial support of the Taliban is said to continue. Several diplomats and aid workers in Afghanistan estimated that he had put up millions of dollars — one diplomat's estimate was $40 million — to rebuild roads destroyed in the war against the Soviets and the ensuing civil war.

Mr. bin Laden is also said to be providing the Taliban with military help.

Ahmed Shah Massoud, commander of a group of rebels in northern Afghanistan, said in an interview at his headquarters that he was fighting a unit of soldiers specially trained by Mr. bin Laden, the 55th Brigade, which includes some 700 Arabs and other militant Muslims. Mr. Massoud said he had captured brigade members, whom he called the most seasoned fighters.

Despite financial aid and weapons from Iran and Russia, Mr. Massoud's alliance lost ground to the Taliban last year. His forces are now confined largely to the northern region's impregnable Panjshir Valley with its soaring, snow-tipped mountains and dazzling vistas.

Mr. Massoud said his soldiers were holding some 1,200 Taliban prisoners, 122 of them foreign Muslims. There are Pakistanis, an immigrant to Pakistan from the Burmese province of Arakan, Yemenis, Britons and Chinese Uigurs, among others. Interviews with several of them illustrate the attraction that Afghanistan still has for militants around the world.

Mr. Mihraban, the young Pakistani, comes from the town of Chaghi, in the province of Baluchistan. His gentle eyes and polite manner gave no hint of the fervor that had led him to this stark prison in the harsh, craggy mountains of the Hindu Kush.

His trip to Afghanistan began when he joined Harakat ul Mujahedeen, a group whose dedication to unlocking India's grip on Kashmir has landed it on the State Department's list of terror groups. He trained first in 1992 at the Salman i Farsi camp in Baktiah, Afghanistan, which was run by Harakat. He said he also fought in Tajikistan.

Obeida Rahman, 21, a Yemeni from Sana from a poor family of 10 children, had his living and training expenses in Afghanistan paid for by the teachers at his madrassa, or religious academy. They had urged him to fight in Afghanistan against his family's wishes, he said. He had relished his training. "When you have a gun, you're free," he said. "You feel as if you can do anything."

Abdul Jalil, 21, from Kashgar in Xingiang Province, China, said that despite his capture, he was glad that he had come and fought in Afghanistan on the $1,000 his father, a farmer, gave him to study. "I still want to create an Islamic state all over the world, God willing," he said. When he is released, he said, "I will go fight a jihad in China."

The goal of returning home to continue the jihad is common among the prisoners. Julie Sirrs, a former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst who has interviewed many of the non-Afghan prisoners held by Mr. Massoud, said nearly half belonged to groups that the State Department has designated as terrorist. None had ever met Mr. bin Laden, they said, but he was their hero. Ms. Sirrs, now an independent consultant, financed her own studies of the prisoners.

In an interview at one of his camps in the Panjshir Valley in late summer, Mr. Massoud said his prisoners had been deluded into believing that they were fighting a jihad in Afghanistan by helping the Taliban.

The prisoners, he said, are in fact "sinners" for conducting terrorism and violating Islam's injunction against fomenting division within Muslim ranks. "My message to those fighting in Afghanistan now is that they will never get God's blessing for what they are doing in my country," he declared.

The Enablers:

How Islamic Schools Urge Students On

American officials acknowledge that they have limited influence over the Taliban, who they say have a powerful regional ally in Pakistan.

Relief officials and Afghans said they saw soldiers in Pakistan Army uniforms fighting for the Taliban last summer and fall. The witnesses reported that Pakistani Army buses with blackened windows and burlap-covered trucks filled with weapons and supplies routinely crossed into Afghanistan heading for the front near Taliqan, a northern town that the government captured last fall.

Mr. Massoud and relief officials in Afghanistan said the Taliban were finding it ever harder to recruit fighters for the civil war and had even encountered armed resistance to their recruitment missions in different towns and villages. The Taliban forces, he asserted, are increasingly dependent on Pakistani soldiers and students sent to the front to fight for the Islamic cause.

Pakistan denies that it has sent soldiers to fight alongside the Taliban. But diplomats, relief workers and Afghans interviewed in Kabul and Jalalabad insist that Pakistan has provided not only weapons, logistical and other assistance, but soldiers as well.

"Some soldiers apparently came to fight; others for just a look-see at real fighting," said a United Nations official who visited areas near the front during the offensive. "The Taliban were doing quite badly at first. But there is no doubt that Pakistani support gradually turned the tide."

There are also suggestions that Pakistani authorities have pressed students to fight for the Taliban. One relief worker who visited the Indira Gandhi Children's Hospital in Kabul in late June said that all of its 400 beds were filled by Pakistanis wounded at the front, some as young as 15. Several patients said that they had been sent to fight by their religious academies, many of which closed for the summer battle season, leaving impoverished students with no place else to go. A doctor at the hospital said Chechens, Yemenis and Saudis were among the patients.

American officials say they have little leverage over Pakistan. The United States cut off military aid in 1990 after the Pakistanis detonated a nuclear bomb.

With no ally in the region to help, the Clinton administration has mounted a wide- ranging diplomatic campaign to isolate the Taliban militia from the world community. The effort bore fruit late last year when the United Nations, prodded by the United States and Russia, expanded economic sanctions on Afghanistan — a change that will take effect on Jan. 19.

Senior American officials said that for all their concern about the threat of terrorism, the administration never explicitly offered the Taliban what they most want: formal diplomatic recognition. In its dealing with the Taliban, officials said, the administration promised only that relations would dramatically improve if they expelled Mr. bin Laden and Al Qaeda's leaders and barred foreigners from the camps.

Officials said they decided against directly offering recognition, because, they said, the administration had profound reservations about the Taliban's abuses of human rights, particularly of women.

Senior officials also felt that they could not trust the Taliban to deliver on their promises, citing what they called repeated "lies" from the Afghan leadership about Mr. bin Laden's status.

In late December, President Clinton's top national security advisers gathered in Washington to consider the next steps against the Taliban, including possible military action.

A senior C.I.A. official told the group that the bombing of the destroyer Cole in Yemen in October 2000 appeared to have been organized by Muhammad Omar al-Harazi, a longtime member of Al Qaeda also involved in an earlier attempt to destroy an American warship, The Sullivans, as it passed through Aden in January 2000. Mr. Harazi founded the first Al Qaeda cell in Saudi Arabia and was arrested in 1997, accused oftrying to smuggle antitank missiles into the kingdom. Between the failed attack on The Sullivans and the bombing of the Cole, officials said, Mr. Harazi fled to an Al Qaeda guest house in Kandahar, a Taliban stronghold. The C.I.A. said this evidence did not conclusively establish that the group ordered the attack.

Several officials at the meeting opposed military action on the ground that it would achieve little and would make Americans targets of further terrorist attacks. And officials said a military strike could even be counterproductive, enhancing Mr. bin Laden's public standing among militants. "Making him a hero is the last thing we want to do," said one senior American

His followers first gained attention by throwing acid in the faces
of women who refused to wear the veil. CIA and State Department
officials I have spoken with call him "scary," "vicious," "a fascist,"
"definite dictatorship material".{1}

This did not prevent the United States government from showering the man with large amounts of aid to fight against the Soviet- supported government of Afghanistan. His name was Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. He was the head of the Islamic Party and he hated the United States almost as much as he hated the Russians. His followers screamed "Death to America" along with "Death to the Soviet Union", only the Russians were not showering him with large amounts of aid.{2}
The United States began supporting Afghan Islamic fundamentalists in 1979 despite the fact that in February of that year some of them had kidnapped the American ambassador in the capital city of Kabul, leading to his death in the rescue attempt. The support continued even after their brother Islamic fundamentalists in next-door Iran seized the US Embassy in Teheran in November and held 55 Americans hostage for over a year. Hekmatyar and his colleagues were, after all, in battle against the Soviet Evil Empire; he was thus an important member of those forces Ronald Reagan called "freedom fighters".

On 27 April 1978, a coup staged by the People's Democratic Party (PDP) overthrew the government of Mohammad Daoud. Daoud, five years earlier, had overthrown the monarchy and established a republic, although he himself was a member of the royal family. He had been supported by the left in this endeavor, but it turned out that Daoud's royal blood was thicker than his progressive water. When the Daoud regime had a PDP leader killed, arrested the rest of the leadership, and purged hundreds of suspected party sympathizers from government posts, the PDP, aided by its supporters in the army, revolted and took power.
Afghanistan was a backward nation: a life expectancy of about 40, infant mortality of at least 25 percent, absolutely primitive sanitation, widespread malnutrition, illiteracy of more than 90 percent, very few highways, not one mile of railway, most people living in nomadic tribes or as impoverished farmers in mud villages, identifying more with ethnic groups than with a larger political concept, a life scarcely different from many centuries earlier.
Reform with a socialist bent was the new government's ambition: land reform (while still retaining private property), controls on prices and profits, and strengthening of the public sector, as well as separation of church and state, eradication of illiteracy, legalization of trade unions, and the emancipation of women in a land almost entirely Muslim.
Afghanistan's thousand-mile border with the Soviet Union had always produced a special relationship. Even while it was a monarchy, the country had been under the strong influence of its powerful northern neighbor which had long been its largest trading partner, aid donor, and military supplier. But the country had never been gobbled up by the Soviets, a fact that perhaps lends credence to the oft-repeated Soviet claim that their hegemony over Eastern Europe was only to create a buffer between themselves and the frequently-invading West.
Nevertheless, for decades Washington and the Shah of Iran tried to pressure and bribe Afghanistan in order to roll back Russian influence in the country. During the Daoud regime, Iran, encouraged by the United States, sought to replace the Soviet Union as Kabul's biggest donor with a $2 billion economic aid agreement, and urged Afghanistan to join the Regional Cooperation for Development, which consisted of Iran, Pakistan and Turkey. (This organization was attacked by the Soviet Union and its friends in Afghanistan as being a "branch of CENTO" the 1950s regional security pact that was part of the US policy of "containment" of the Soviet Union.) At the same time, Iran's infamous secret police, SAVAK, was busy fingering suspected Communist sympathizers in the Afghan government and military. In September 1975, prodded by Iran which was conditioning its aid on such policies, Daoud dismissed 40 Soviet-trained military officers and moved to reduce future Afghan dependence on officer training in the USSR by initiating training arrangements with India and Egypt. Most important, in Soviet eyes, Daoud gradually broke off his alliance with the PDP, announcing that he would start his own party and ban all other political activity under a projected new constitution.{3}
Selig Harrison, the Washington Post's South Asia specialist, wrote an article in 1979 entitled "The Shah, Not the Kremlin, Touched off Afghan Coup", concluding:

The Communist takeover in Kabul [April 1978] came about when it did,
and in the way that it did, because the Shah disturbed the tenuous
equilibrium that had existed in Afghanistan between the Soviet
Union and the West for nearly three decades. In Iranian and American
eyes, Teheran's offensive was merely designed to make Kabul more
truly nonaligned, but it went far beyond that. Given the unusually
long frontier with Afghanistan, the Soviet Union would clearly go to
great lengths to prevent Kabul from moving once again toward a
pro-western stance.{4}

When the Shah was overthrown in January 1979, the United States lost its chief ally and outpost in the Soviet-border region, as well as its military installations and electronic monitoring stations aimed at the Soviet Union. Washington's cold warriors could only eye Afghanistan even more covetously than before.
After the April revolution, the new government under President Noor Mohammed Taraki declared a commitment to Islam within a secular state, and to non-alignment in foreign affairs. It maintained that the coup had not been foreign inspired, that it was not a "Communist takeover", and that they were not "Communists" but rather nationalists and revolutionaries. (No official or traditional Communist Party had ever existed in Afghanistan.){5} But because of its radical reform program, its class-struggle and anti-imperialist-type rhetoric, its support of all the usual suspects (Cuba, North Korea, etc.), its signing of a friends hip treaty and other cooperative agreements with the Soviet Union, and an increased presence in the country of Soviet civilian and military advisers (though probably less than the US had in Iran at the time), it was labeled "communist" by the world's media and by its domestic opponents.
Whether or not the new government in Afghanistan should properly have been called communist, whether or not it made any difference what it was called, the lines were now drawn for political, military, and propaganda battle: a jihad (holy war) between fundamentalist Muslims and "godless atheistic communists"; Afghan nationalism vs. a "Soviet-run" government; large landowners, tribal chiefs, businessmen, the extended royal family, and others vs. the government's economic reforms. Said the new prime minister about this elite, who were needed to keep the country running, "every effort will be made to attract them. But we want to re-educate them in such a manner that they should think about the people, and not, as previously, just about themselves -- to have a good house and a nice car while other people die of hunger."{6}
The Afghan government was trying to drag the country into the 20th century. In May 1979, British political scientist Fred Halliday observed that "probably more has changed in the countryside over the last year than in the two centuries since the state was established." Peasant debts to landlords had been canceled, the system of usury (by which peasants, who were forced to borrow money against future crops, were left in perpetual debt to money-lenders) was abolished, and hundreds of schools and medical clinics were being built in the countryside. Halliday also reported that a substantial land-redistribution program was underway, with many of the 200,000 rural families scheduled to receive land under this reform already having done so. But this last claim must be approached with caution. Revolutionary land reform is always an extremely complex and precarious undertaking even under the best of conditions, and ultra-backward, tradition-bound Afghanistan in the midst of nascent civil war hardly offered the best of conditions for social experiments.
The reforms also encroached into the sensitive area of Islamic subjugation of women by outlawing child marriage and the giving of a woman in marriage in exchange for money or commodities, and teaching women to read, at a time when certain Islamic sectors were openly calling for the reinforcement of purdah, the seclusion of women from public observation. Halliday noted that the People's Democratic Party saw the Soviet Union as the only realistic source of support for the long-overdue modernization.{7} The illiterate Afghan peasant's ethnic cousins across the border in the Soviet Union were, after all, often university graduates and professionals.
The argument of the Moujahedeen ("holy warriors") rebels that the "communist" government would curtail their religious freedom was never borne out in practice. A year and a half after the change in government, the conservative British magazine The Economist reported that "no restrictions had been imposed on religious practice".{8} Earlier, the New York Times stated that the religious issue "is being used by some Afghans who actually object more to President Taraki's plans for land reforms and other changes in this feudal society."{9} Many of the Muslim clergy were in fact rich landowners.{10} The rebels, concluded a BBC reporter who spent four months with them, are "fighting to retain their feudal system and stop the Kabul government's left-wing reforms which [are] considered anti-Islamic".{11}
The two other nations which shared a long border with Afghanistan, and were closely allied to the United States, expressed their fears of the new government. To the west, Iran, still under the Shah, worried about "threats to oil-passage routes in the Persian Gulf". Pakistan, to t he south, spoke of "threats from a hostile and expansionist Afghanistan"{12} A former US ambassador to Afghanistan saw it as part of a "gradually closing pincer movement aimed at Iran and the oil regions of the Middle East."{13} None of these alleged fears turned out to have any substance or evidence to back them up, but to the anti-communist mind this might prove only that the Russians and their Afghan puppets had been stopped in time.
Two months after the April 1978 coup, an alliance formed by a number of conservative Islamic factions was waging guerrilla war against the government.{14} By spring 1979, fighting was taking place on many fronts, and the State Department was cautioning the Soviet Union that its advisers in Afghanistan should not interfere militarily in the civil strife. One such warning in the summer by State Department spokesman Hodding Carter was another of those Washington monuments to chutzpah: "We expect the principle of nonintervention to be respected by all parties in the area, including the Soviet Union."{15} This while the Soviets were charging the CIA with arming Afghan exiles in Pakistan; and the Afghanistan government was accusing Pakistan and Iran of also aiding the guerrillas and even of crossing the border to take part in the fighting. Pakistan had recently taken its own sharp turn toward strict Muslim orthodoxy, which the Afghan government deplored as "fanatic";{16} while in January, Iran had established a Muslim state after overthrowing the Shah. (As opposed to the Afghan fundamentalist freedom fighters, the Iranian Islamic fundamentalists were regularly described in the West as terrorists, ultra-conservatives, and anti-democratic.)
A "favorite tactic" of the Afghan freedom fighters was "to torture victims [often Russians] by first cutting off their noses, ears, and genitals, then removing one slice of skin after another", producing "a slow, very painful death".{17} The Moujahedeen also killed a Canadian tourist and six West Germans, including two children, and a U.S. military attaché was dragged from his car and beaten; all due to the rebels' apparent inability to distinguish Russians from other Europeans.{18}
In March 1979, Taraki went to Moscow to press the Soviets to send ground troops to help the Afghan army put down the Moujahedeen. He was promised military assistance, but ground troops could not be committed. Soviet Prime Minister Kosygin told the Afghan leader:

The entry of our troops into Afghanistan would outrage the international
community, triggering a string of extremely negative consequences in
many different areas. Our common enemies are just waiting for the moment
when Soviet troops appear in Afghanistan. This will give them the excuse
they need to send armed bands into the country.{19}

In September, the question became completely academic for Noor Mohammed Taraki, for he was ousted (and his death soon announced) in an intra-party struggle and replaced by his own deputy prime minister, Hafizullah Amin. Although Taraki had sometimes been heavy-handed in implementing the reform program, and had created opposition even amongst the intended beneficiaries, he turned out to be a moderate compared to Amin who tried to institute social change by riding roughshod over tradition and tribal and ethnic autonomy.
The Kremlin was unhappy with Amin. The fact that he had been involved in the overthrow and death of the much-favored Taraki was bad enough. But the Soviets also regarded him as thoroughly unsuitable for the task that was Moscow's sine qua non: preventing an anti-communist Islamic state for arising in Afghanistan. Amin gave reform an exceedingly bad name. The KGB station in Kabul, in pressing for Amin's removal, stated that his usurpation of power would lead to "harsh repressions and, as a reaction, the activation and consolidation of the opposition"{20} Moreover, as we shall see, the Soviets were highly suspicious a bout Amin's ideological convictions.
Thus it was, that what in March had been unthinkable, in December became a reality. Soviet troops began to arrive in Afghanistan around the 8th of the month -- to what extent at Amin's request or with his approval, and, consequently, whether to call the action an "invasion" or not, has been the subject of much discussion and controversy.
On the 23rd the Washington Post commented "There was no charge [by the State Department] that the Soviets have invaded Afghanistan, since the troops apparently were invited"{21} However, at a meeting with Soviet-bloc ambassadors in October, Amin's foreign minister had openly criticized the Soviet Union for interfering in Afghan affairs. Amin himself insisted that Moscow replace its ambassador.{22} Yet, on 26 December, while the main body of Soviet troops was arriving in Afghanistan, Amin gave "a relaxed interview" to an Arab journalist. "The Soviets," he said, "supply my country with economic and military aid, but at the same time they respect our independence and our sovereignty. They do not interfere in our domestic affairs." He also spoke approvingly of the USSR's willingness to accept his veto on military bases.{23}
The very next day, a Soviet military force stormed the presidential palace and shot Amin dead.{24}
He was replaced by Babrak Karmal, who had been vice president and deputy prime minister in the 1978 revolutionary government.
Moscow denied any part in Amin's death, though they didn't pretend to be sorry about it, as Brezhnev made clear:

The actions of the aggressors against Afghanistan were facilitated
by Amin who, on seizing power, started cruelly repressing broad
sections of Afghan society, party and military cadres, members of
the intelligentsia and of the Moslem clergy, that is, the very
sections on which the April revolution relied. And the people
under the leadership of the People's Democratic Party, headed by
Babrak Karmal, rose against Amin's tyranny and put an end to it.
Now in Washington and some other capitals they are mourning Amin.
This exposes their hypocrisy with particular clarity. Where were
these mourners when Amin was conducting mass repressions, when
he forcibly removed and unlawfully killed Taraki, the founder of
the new Afghan state?{25}

After Amin's ouster and execution, the public thronged the streets in "a holiday spirit". "If Karmal could have overthrown Amin without the Russians," observed a Western diplomat, "he would have been seen as a hero of the people."{26} The Soviet government and press repeatedly referred to Amin as a "CIA agent", a charge which was greeted with great skepticism in the United States and elsewhere.{27} However, enough circumstantial evidence supporting the charge exists so that it perhaps should not be dismissed entirely out of hand.
During the late 1950s and early 60s, Ami n had attended Columbia University Teachers College and the University of Wisconsin.{28} This was a heyday period for the CIA -- using impressive bribes and threats -- to regularly try to recruit foreign students in the United States to act as agents for them when they returned home. During this period, at least one president of the Afghanistan Students Association (ASA), Zia H. Noorzay, was working with the CIA in the United States and later became president of the Afghanistan state treasury. One of the Afghan students whom Noorzay and the CIA tried in vain to recruit, Abdul Latif Hotaki, declared in 1967 that a good number of the key officials in the Afghanistan government who studied in the United States "are either CIA trained or indoctrinated. Some are cabinet level people."{29} It has been reported that in 1963 Amin became head of the ASA, but this has not been corroborated.{30} However, it is known that the ASA received part of its funding from the Asia Foundation, the CIA's principal front in Asia for many years, and that at one time Amin was associated with this organization.{31}
In September 1979, the month that Amin took power, the American chargé d'affaires in Kabul, Bruce Amstutz, began to hold friendly meetings with him to reassure him that he need not worry about his unhappy Soviet allies as long as the US maintained a strong presence in Afghanistan. The strategy may have worked, for later in the month, Amin made a special appeal to Amstutz for improved relations with the United States. Two days later in New York, the Afghan Foreign Minister quietly expressed the same sentiments to State Department officials. And at the end of October, the US Embassy in Kabul reported that Amin was "painfully aware of the exiled leadership the Soviets [were] keeping on the shelf" (a reference to Karmal who was living in Czechoslovakia).{32} Under normal circumstances, the Amin-US meetings might be regarded as routine and innocent diplomatic contact, but these were hardly normal circumstances -- the Afghan government was engaged in a civil war, and the United States was supporting the other side.
Moreover, it can be said that Amin, by his ruthlessness, was doing just what an American agent would be expected to do: discrediting the People's Democratic Party, the party's reforms, the idea of socialism or communism, and the Soviet Union, all associated in one package. Amin also conducted purges in the army officer corps which seriously undermined the army's combat capabilities.
But why would Amin, if he were actually plotting with the Americans, request Soviet military forces on several occasions? The main reason appears to be that he was being pressed to do so by high levels of the PDP and he had to comply for the sake of appearances. Babrak Karmal has suggested other, more Machiavellian, scenarios.{33}
The Carter administration jumped on the issue of the Soviet "invasion" and soon launched a campaign of righteous indignation, imposing what President Carter called "penalties" -- from halting the delivery of grain to the Soviet Union to keeping the US team out of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.
The Russians countered that the US was enraged by the intervention because Washington had been plotting to turn the country into an American base to replace the loss of Iran.{34}
Unsurprisingly, on this seemingly clear-cut anti-communist issue, the American public and media easily fell in line with the president. The Wall Street Journal called for a "military" reaction, the establishment of US bases in the Middle East, "reinstatement of draft registration", development of a new missile, and giving the CIA more leeway, adding: "Clearly we ought to keep open the chance of covert aid to Afghan rebels."{35} The last, whether the newspaper knew it or not, had actually been going on for some time.
For some period prior to the Soviet invasion, the CIA had been beaming radio propaganda into Afghanistan and cultivating alliances with exiled Afghan guerrilla leaders by donating medicine and communications equipment.{36}
US foreign service officers had been meeting with Moujahedeen leaders to determine their needs at least as early as April 1979.{37}
And in July, President Carter had signed a "finding" to aid the rebels covertly, which led to the United States providing them with cash, weapons, equipment and supplies, and engaging in propaganda and other psychological operations in Afghanistan on their behalf. {38}
Intervention in the Afghan civil war by the United States, Iran, Pakistan, China and others gave the Russians grave concern about who was going to wield power next door. They consistently cited these "aggressive imperialist forces" to rationalize their own intervention into Afghanistan, which was the first time Soviet ground troops had engaged in military action anywhere in the world outside its post-World War II Eastern European borders. The potential establishment of an anti-communist Islamic state on the borders of the Soviet Union's own republics in Soviet Central Asia that were home to some 40 million Muslims could not be regarded with equanimity by the Kremlin any more than Washington could be unruffled about a communist takeover in Mexico.
As we have seen repeatedly, the United States did not limit its defense perimeter to its immediate neighbors, or even to Western Europe, but to the entire globe. President Carter declared that the Persian Gulf area was "now threatened by Soviet troops in Afghanistan", that this area was synonymous with US interests, and that the United States would "defend" it against any threat by all means necessary. He called the Soviet action "the greatest threat to peace since the Second World War", a statement that required overlooking a great deal of post-war history. But 1980 was an election year.
Brezhnev, on the other hand, declared that "the national interests or security of the United States of America and other states are in no way affected by the events in Afghanistan. All attempts to portray matters otherwise are sheer nonsense."{39}
The Carter administration was equally dismissive of Soviet concerns. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski later stated that "the issue was not what might have been Brezhnev's subjective motives in going into Afghanistan but the objective consequences of a Soviet military presence so much closer to the Persian Gulf."{40}
The stage was now set for 12 long years of the most horrific kind of warfare, a daily atrocity for the vast majority of the Afghan people who never asked for or wanted this war. But the Soviet Union was determined that its borders must be unthreatening. The Afghan government was committed to its goal of a secular, reformed Afghanistan. And the United States was intent upon making this the Soviets' Vietnam, slowly bleeding as the Americans had.
At the same time, American policymakers could not fail to understand -- though they dared not say it publicly and explicitly -- that support of the Moujahedeen (many of whom carried pictures of the Ayatollah Khomeini with them) could lead to a fundamentalist Islamic state being established in Afghanistan every bit as repressive as in next-door Iran, which in the 1980s was Public Enemy Number One in America. Neither could the word "terrorist" cross the lips of Washington officials in speaking of their new allies/clients, though these same people shot down civilian airliners and planted bombs at the airport. In 1986, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, whose emotional invectives against "terrorists" were second to none, welcomed Abdul Haq, an Afghan rebel leader who admitted that he had ordered the planting of a bomb at Kabul airport in 1984 which killed at least 28 people. Such, then, were the scruples of cold-war anti-communists in late 20th century. As Anastasio Somoza had been "our son of a bitch", the Moujahedeen were now "our fanatic terrorists".
At the beginning there had been some thought given to the morality of the policy. "The question here," a senior official in the Carter administration said, "was whether it was morally acceptable that, in order to keep the Soviets off balance, which was the reason for the operation, it was permissible to use other lives for our geopolitical interests."{42}
But such sentiments could not survive. Afghanistan was a cold-warrior's dream: The CIA and the Pentagon, finally, had one of their proxy armies in direct confrontation with the forces of the Evil Empire. There was no price too high to pay for this Super Nintendo game, neither the hundreds of thousands of Afghan lives, nor the destruction of Afghan society, nor three billion (sic) dollars of American taxpayer money poured into a bottomless hole, much of it going only to make a few Afghans and Pakistanis rich. Congress was equally enthused -- without even the moral uncertainty that made them cautious about arming the Nicaraguan contras -- and became a veritable bipartisan horn of plenty as it allocated more and more money for the effort each year. Rep. Charles Wilson of Texas expressed a not-atypical sentiment of official Washington when he declared:

There were 58,000 dead in Vietnam and we owe the Russians one ...
I have a slight obsession with it, because of Vietnam. I thought
the Soviets ought to get a dose of it ... I've been of the opinion
that this money was better spent to hurt our adversaries than other
money in the Defense Department budget.{43}

The CIA became the grand coordinator: purchasing or arranging the manufacture of Soviet-style weapons from Egypt, China, Poland, Israel and elsewhere, or supplying their own; arranging for military training by Americans, Egyptians, Chinese and Iranians; hitting up Middle-Eastern countries for donations, notably Saudi Arabia which gave many hundreds of millions of dollars in aid each year, totaling probably more than a billion; pressuring and bribing Pakistan -- with whom recent American relations had been very poor -- to rent out its country as a military staging area and sanctuary; putting the Pakistani Director of Military Operations, Brigadier Mian Mohammad Afzal, onto the CIA payroll to ensure Pakistani cooperation.{44} Military and economic aid which had been cut off would be restored, Pakistan was told by the United States, if they would join the great crusade. Only a month before the Soviet intervention, anti-American mobs had burned and ransacked the US embassy in Islamabad and American cultural centers in two other Pakistani cities.{45}
The American ambassador in Libya reported that Muammar Qaddafi was sending the rebels $250,000 as well, but this, presumably, w as not at the request of the CIA.{46}
Washington left it to the Pakistanis to decide which of the various Afghan guerrilla groups should be the beneficiaries of much of this largesse. As one observer put it: "According to conventional wisdom at the time, the United States would not repeat the mistake of Vietnam -- micro-managing a war in a culture it did not understand."{47}
Not everyone in Pakistan was bought out. The independent Islamabad daily newspaper, The Muslim, more than once accused the United States of being ready to "fight to the last Afghan" ... "We are not flattered to be termed a `frontline state' by Washington." ... "Washington does not seem to be in any mood to seek an early settlement of a war whose benefits it is reaping at no cost of American manpower."{48}
It's not actually clear whether there was any loss of American lives in the war. On several occasions in the late '80s, the Kabul government announced that Americans had been killed in the fighting,{49} and in 1985 a London newspaper reported that some two dozen American Black Muslims were in Afghanistan, fighting alongside the Moujahedeen in a jihad that a fundamentalist interpretation of the Koran says all believers in Islam must do at least once in their lives.{50} Several of the Black Muslims returned to the United States after being wounded.


Soviet aggression ... Soviet invasion ... Soviet swallowing up another innocent state as part of their plan to conquer the world, or at least the Middle East ... this was the predominant and lasting lesson taught by Washington official pronouncements and the mainstream US media about the war, and the sum total of knowledge for the average American, although Afghanistan had retained its independence during 60 years of living in peace next door to the Soviet Union. Zbigniew Brzezinski, albeit unrelentingly anti-Soviet, repeatedly speaks of the fact of Afghanistan's "neutrality" in his memoirs.{51} The country had been neutral even during the Second World War.
One would have to look long and hard at the information and rhetoric offered to the American public following the Soviet intervention to derive even a hint that the civil war was essentially a struggle over deep-seated social reform; while an actual discussion of the issue was virtually non-existent. Prior to the intervention, one could get a taste of this, such as the following from the New York Times:

Land reform attempts undermined their village chiefs. Portraits of
Lenin threatened their religious leaders. But it was the Kabul
revolutionary Government's granting of new rights to women that
pushed orthodox Moslem men in the Pashtoon villages of eastern
Afghanistan into picking up their guns. ... "The government said our
women had to attend meetings and our children had to go to schools.
This threatens our religion. We had to fight" ... "The government
imposed various ordinances allowing women freedom to marry anyone
they chose without their parents' consent."{52}

Throughout the 1980s, the Karmal, and then the Najibullah regimes, despite the exigencies of the war, pursued a program of modernization and broadening of their base: bringing electricity to villages, along with health clinics, a measure of land reform, and literacy; releasing numerous prisoners unlawfully incarcerated by Amin; bringing mullahs and other non-party people into the government; trying to carry it all out with moderation and sensitivity instead of confronting the traditional structures head on; reiterating its commitment to Islam, rebuilding and constructing mosques, exempting land owned by religious dignitaries and their institutions from land reform; trying, in short, to avoid the gross mistakes of the Amin government with its rush to force changes down people's throats.{53} Selig Harrison, writing in 1988, stated:

The Afghan Communists see themselves as nationalists and modernizers ...
They rationalize their collaboration with the Russians as the only way
available to consolidate their revolution in the face of foreign
"interference". ... the commitment of the Communists to rapid
modernization enables them to win a grudging tolerance from many
members of the modern-minded middle class, who feel trapped between
two fires: the Russians and fanatic Muslims opposed to social reforms.{54}

The program of the Kabul government eventually encouraged many volunteers to take up arms in its name. But it was a decidedly uphill fight, for it was relatively easy for the native anti-reformists and their foreign backers to convince large numbers of ordinary peasants that the government had ill intentions by blurring the distinction between the present government and its detested and dogmatic predecessor, particularly since the government was fond of stressing the continuity of the April 1978 revolution.{55} One thing the peasants, as well as the anti-reformists, were undoubtedly not told of was the US connection to the selfsame detested predecessor, Hafizullah Amin.
Another problem faced by the Kabul government in winning the hearts and minds of the people was of course the continuing Soviet armed presence, although it must be remembered that Islamic opposition to the leftist government began well before the Soviet forces arrived; indeed, the most militant of the Moujahedeen leaders, Hekmatyar, had led a serious uprising against the previous (non-leftist) government as well, in 1975, declaring that a "godless, communist-dominated regime" ruled in Kabul.{56}
As long as Soviet troops remained, the conflict in Afghanistan could be presented to the American mind as little more than a battle between Russian invaders and Afghanistan resistance/freedom fighters; as if the Afghanistan army and government didn't exist, or certainly not with a large following of people who favored reforms and didn't want to live under a fundamentalist Islamic government, probably a majority of the population.
"Maybe the people really don't like us, either," said Mohammed Hakim, Mayor of Kabul, a general in the Afghan army who was trained in the 1970s at military bases in the United States, and who thought that America was "the best country", "but they like us better than the extremists. This is what the Western countries do not understand. We only hope that Mr. Bush and the people of the United States take a good look at us. They think we are very fanatic Communists, that we are not human beings. We are not fanatics. We are not even Communists."{57}
They were in the American media. Any official of the Afghan government, or the government as a whole, was typically referred to, a priori, as "Communist", or "Marxist", or "pro-Communist", or "pro-Marxist", etc., without explanation or definition. Najibullah, who took over when Karmal stepped down in 1986, was confirmed in his position in 1987 under a new Islamized constitution that was stripped of all socialist rhetoric and brimming with references to Islam and the holy Koran. "This is not a socialist revolutionary country," he said in his acceptance speech. "We do not want to build a Communist society."{58}
Could the United States see beyond cold war ideology and consider the needs of the Afghan people? In August 1979, three months before the Soviet intervention, a classified State Department Report stated:

the United States's larger interests ... would be served by the
demise of the Taraki-Amin regime, despite whatever setbacks this
might mean for future social and economic reforms in Afghanistan.
... the overthrow of the D.R.A. [Democratic Republic of Afghanistan]
would show the rest of the world, particularly the Third World, that
the Soviets' view of the socialist course of history as being
inevitable is not accurate.{59}

Repeatedly, in the 1980s, as earlier, the Soviet Union contended that no solution to the conflict could be found until the United States and other nations ceased their support of the Moujahedeen. The United States, in turn, insisted that the Soviets must first withdraw their troops from Afghanistan.
Finally, after several years of UN-supported negotiations, an accord was signed in Geneva on 14 April 1988, under which the Kremlin committed itself to begin pulling out its estimated 115,000 troops on 15 May, and to complete the process by 15 February of the next year. Afghanistan, said Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, had become "a bleeding wound".
In February, after the last Soviet forces had left Afghanistan, Gorbachev urged the United States to support an embargo on arms shipments into Afghanistan and a cease-fire between the two warring sides. Both proposals were turned down by the new Bush administration, which claimed that the Afghan government had been left with a massive stockpile of military equipment. It is unclear why Washington felt that the rebels who had fought the government to a standstill despite the powerful presence of the Soviet armed forces with all their equipment, would now be at a dangerous disadvantage with the Russians gone. The key to the American response may lie in the State Department statement of the prior week that the United States believed that the Kabul government on its own would not last more than six months.{60}
By raising the question of an arms gap (whether it was for real or not), Washington was assuring the continuation of the arms race in Afghanistan -- a microcosm of the cold war. At the same time, the Bush administration called upon the Soviets to support "an independent, nonaligned Afghanistan", although this was precisely what the United States had worked for decades to thwart.
Two days later, President Najibullah criticized the American rejection of Gorbachev's proposal, offering to return the Soviet weapons if the rebels agreed to lay down their weapons and negotiate. There was no reported response to this offer from the US, or from the rebels, who in the past had refused such offers.
It would appear that Washington was thinking longer term than cease-fires and negotiations. On the same day as Najibullah's offer, the United States announced that it had delivered 500,000 made-in-America textbooks to Afghanistan which were being used to teach Grades one through four. The books, which "critics say bordered on propaganda", told of the rebels' fight against the Soviet Union and contained drawings of guerrillas killing Russian soldiers.{61} Since the beginning of the war, the Moujahedeen had reserved its worst treatment for Russians. Washington possessed confirmed reports that the rebels had drugged and tortured 50 to 200 Soviet prisoners and imprisoned them like animals in cages, "living lives of indescribable horror".{62} Another account, by a reporter from the conservative Far Eastern Economic Review, relates that:

One [Soviet] group was killed, skinned and hung up in a butcher's
shop. One captive found himself the centre of attraction in a game of
buzkashi, that rough and tumble form of Afghan polo in which a
headless goat is usually the ball. The captive was used instead.
Alive. He was literally torn to pieces.{63}

Meanwhile, much to the surprise of the United States and everyone else, the Kabul government showed no sign of collapsing. The good news for Washington was that since the Soviet troops were gone (though some military advisers remained), the "cost-benefit ratio" had improved,{64} the cost being measured entirely in non-American deaths and suffering, as the rebels regularly exploded car bombs and sent rockets smashing into residential areas of Kabul, and destroyed government-built schools and clinics and murdered literacy teachers (just as the US-backed Nicaraguan contras had been doing on the other side of the world, and for the same reason: these were symbols of governmental benevolence).
The death and destruction caused by the Soviets and their Afghan allies was also extensive, such as the many bombings of villages. But individual atrocity stories must be approached with caution, for, as we have seen repeatedly, the propensity and the ability of the CIA to disseminate anti-communist disinformation -- often of the most far-fetched variety -- was virtually unlimited. With the Soviet Union the direct adversary, the creativity lamp must have burning all night at Langley.
Amnesty International, with its usual careful collection methods, reported in the mid-'80s on the frequent use of torture and arbitrary detention by the authorities in Kabul.{65} But what are we to make, for example, of the report, without attribution, by syndicated columnist Jack Anderson -- who had ties to the American Afghan lobby -- that Soviet troops often marched into unfriendly villages in Afghanistan and "massacred every man, woman and child"?{66} Or the New York Times recounting a story told them by an Afghan citizen of how Afghan soldiers had intentionally blinded five children with pieces of metal and then strangled them, as a government supporter he was with just laughed. To the newspaper's credit, it added that "There is no way of confirming this story. It is possible that the man who told it was acting and trying to discredit the regime here. His eyes, however, looked like they had seen horror."{67} Or a US congressman's charge in 1985 that the Soviets had used booby-trapped toys to maim Afghan children,{68} the identical story told before about leftists elsewhere in the world during the cold war, and repeated again in 1987 by CBS News, with pictures. The New York Post later reported the claim of a BBC producer that the bomb-toy had been created for the CBS cameraman.{69}
Then there was the Afghan Mercy Fund, ostensibly a relief agency, but primarily in the propaganda business, which reported that the Soviets had burned a baby alive, that they were disguising mines as candy bars and leaving other mines disguised as butterflies to also attract children. The butterfly mines, it turned out, were copies of a US-designed mine used in the Vietnam war.{70}
There was also the shooting down of a Pakistan fighter plane over Afghanistan in May 1987 that was reported by Pakistan and Washington -- knowing with certainty that their claim was untrue -- to be the result of a Soviet-made missile. It turned out that the plane had been shot down by a companion Pakistani plane in error.{71}
Throughout the early and mid-'80s, the Reagan administration declared that the Russians were spraying toxic chemicals over Laos, Cambodia and Afghanistan -- the so-called "yellow rain" -- and had caused more than ten thousand deaths by 1982 alone, (including, in Afghanistan, 3,042 deaths attributed to 47 separate incidents between the summer of 1979 and the summer of 1981, so precise was the information). Secretary of State Alexander Haig was a prime dispenser of such stories, and President Reagan himself denounced the Soviet Union thusly more than 15 times in documents and speeches.{72} The "yellow rain", it turned out, was pollen-laden feces dropped by huge swarms of honeybees flying far overhead. Then, in 1987, it was disclosed that the Reagan administration had made its accusations even though government scientists at the time had been unable to confirm any of them, and considered the evidence to be flimsy and misleading.{73} Even more suspicious: the major scientific studies that later examined Washington's claims spoke only of Laos, Cambodia and Thailand; no mention at all was made of Afghanistan. It was as if the administration -- perhaps honestly mistaken at first about Indochina -- had added Afghanistan to the list with full knowledge of the falsity of its allegation.
Such disinformation campaigns are often designed to serve a domestic political need. Consider Senator Robert Dole's contribution to the discussion when he spoke in 1980 on the floor of Congress of "convincing evidence" he had been provided "that the Soviets had developed a chemical capability that extends far beyond our greatest fears ... [a gas that] is unaffected by ... our gas masks and leaves our military defenseless." He then added: "To even suggest a leveling off of defense spending for our nation by the Carter administration at such a critical time in our history is unfathomable."{74} And in March 1982, when the Reagan administration made its claim about the 3,042 Afghan deaths, the New York Times noted that: "President Reagan has just decided that the United States will resume production of chemical weapons and has asked for a substantial increase in the military budget for such weapons."{75}
The money needed to extend American propaganda campaigns internationally flowed from the congressional horn of plenty as smoothly as for military desires -- $500,000 in one moment's flow to train Afghan journalists to use television, radio and newspapers to advance their cause.{76}
It should be noted that in June 1980, before any of the "yellow rain" charges had been made against the Soviet Union, the Kabul government had accused the rebels and their foreign backers of employing poison gas, citing an incident in which 500 pupils and teachers at several secondary schools had been poisoned with noxious gases; none were reported to have died.{77}


One reason victory continued to elude the Moujahedeen was that they were terribly split by centuries-old ethnic and tribal divisions, as well as the relatively recent rise of Islamic fundamentalism in conflict with more traditional, but still orthodox, Islam. The differences often led to violence. In one incident, in 1989, seven top Moujahedeen commanders and more than 20 other rebels were murdered by a rival guerrilla group. This was neither the first nor the last of such occurrences.{78} By April 1990, 14 months after the Soviet withdrawal, the Los Angeles Times described the state of the rebels thusly:

they have in recent weeks killed more of their own than the enemy. ...
Rival resistance commanders have been gunned down gangland-style here
in the border town of Peshawar [Pakistan], the staging area for the
war. There are persistent reports of large- scale political killings
in the refugee camps ... A recent execution ... had as much to do
with drugs as with politics. ... Other commanders, in Afghanistan and
in the border camps, are simply refusing to fight. They say privately
that they prefer [Afghan President] Najibullah to the hard-line
Moujahedeen fundamentalists led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.{79}

The rebel cause was also corrupted by the huge amounts of arms flooding in. Investigative reporter Tim Weiner reported the following:

The CIA's pipeline leaked. It leaked badly. It spilled huge quantities
of weapons all over one of the world's most anarchic areas. First the
Pakistani armed forces took what they wanted from the weapons shipments.
Then corrupt Afghan guerrilla leaders stole and sold hundreds of millions
of dollars' worth of anti-aircraft guns, missiles, rocket-propelled
grenades, AK-47 automatic rifles, ammunition and mines from the CIA's
arsenal. Some of the weapons fell into the hands of criminal gangs,
heroin kingpins and the most radical faction of the Iranian military. ...
While their troops eked out hard lives in Afghanistan's mountains and
deserts, the guerrillas' political leaders maintained fine villas in
Peshawar and fleets of vehicles at their command. The CIA kept silent as
the Afghan politicos converted the Agency's weapons into cash.{80}

Amongst the weapons the Moujahedeen sold to the Iranians were highly sophisticated Stinger heat-seeking anti-aircraft missiles, with which the rebels had shot down many hundreds of Soviet military aircraft, as well as at least eight passenger planes. On 8 October 1987, Revolutionary Guards on an Iranian gunboat fired one of the Stingers at American helicopters patrolling the Persian Gulf, but missed their target.{81}
Earlier the same year, the CIA told Congress that at least 20 percent of its military aid to the Moujahedeen had been skimmed off by the rebels and Pakistani officials. Columnist Jack Anderson stated at the same time that his conservative estimate was that the diversion was around 60 percent, while one rebel leader told Anderson's assistant on his visit to the border that he doubted that even 25 percent of the arms got through. By other accounts, as little as 20 percent was making it the intended recipients. If indeed there was a deficiency of arms available to the Moujahedeen compared to the government forces, as George Bush implied, this was clearly a major reason for it. Yet the CIA and other administration officials simply looked upon it as part of doing business in that part of the world.{82}
Like many other CIA clients, the rebels were financed as well through drug trafficking, and the Agency was apparently as little concerned about it as ever as long as it kept their boys happy Moujahedeen commanders inside Afghanistan personally controlled huge fields of opium poppies, the raw material from which heroin is refined. CIA-supplied trucks and mules, which had carried arms into Afghanistan, were used to transport some of the opium to the numerous laboratories along the Afghan-Pakistan border, whence many tons of heroin were processed with the cooperation of the Pakistani military. The output provided an estimated one-third to one-half of the heroin used annually in the United States and three-quarters of that used in Western Europe. US officials admitted in 1990 that they had failed to investigate or take action against t he drug operation because of a desire not to offend their Pakistani and Afghan allies.{83} In 1993, an official of the US Drug Enforcement Administration called Afghanistan the new Colombia of the drug world.{84}


The war, with all its torment, continued until the spring of 1992, three years after the last Soviet troops had gone. An agreement on ending the arms supply, which had been reached between the United States and the Soviet Union, was now in effect. The two superpowers had abandoned the war. The Soviet Union no longer existed. And the Afghan people could count more than a million dead, three million disabled, and five million made refugees, in total about half the population.
At the same time, a UN-brokered truce was to transfer power to a transitional coalition government pending elections. But this was not to be. The Kabul government, amidst food riots and army revolts, virtually disintegrated, and the guerrillas stormed into t he capital and established the first Islamic regime in Afghanistan since it had become a separate and independent country in the mid-18th century.
A key event in the downfall of the government was the eleventh-hour defection to the guerrillas of General Abdul Rashid Dostum. Dostum, who previously had been referred to in the US media as a "Communist general", now metamorphosed into an "ex-Communist general"
The Moujahedeen had won. Now they turned against each other with all their fury. Rockets and artillery shells wiped out entire neighborhoods in Kabul. By August at least 1,500 people had been killed or wounded, mostly civilians. (By 1994, the body count in this second civil war would reach 10,000.) Of all the rebel leaders, none was less compromising or more insistent upon a military solution than Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.
Robert Neumann, a former US ambassador to Afghanistan, observed at this time:

Hekmatyar is a nut, an extremist and a very violent man. He was built
up by the Pakistanis. Unfortunately, our government went along with
the Pakistanis. We were supplying the money and the weapons but they
[Pakistani officials] were making the policy.

Washington was now very concerned that Hekmatyar would take power. Ironically, they were afraid that if he did, his brand of extremism would spread to and destabilize the former Soviet republics of large Moslem populations, the same fear which had been one of the motivations behind the Soviets intervening in the civil war in the first place.{85} It was to the forces of Hekmatyar that the "Communist general" Dostum eventually aligned himself.
Suleiman Layeq, a leftist and a poet, and the fallen regime's "ideologue", watched from his window as the Moujahedeen swarmed through the city, claiming building after building. "Without exception," he said of them, "they follow the way of the fundamentalist aims and goals of Islam. And it is not Islam. It is a kind of theory against civilization -- against modern civilization."{86}
Even before taking power, the Moujahedeen had banned all non-Muslim groups. Now more of the new law was laid down: All alcohol was banned in the Islamic republic; women could not venture out in the streets without veils, and violations would be punished by floggings, amputations and public executions. And this from the more "moderate" Islamics, not Hekmatyar. By September, the first public hangings were carried out. Before a cheering crowd of 10,000 people, three men were hung. They had been tried behind closed doors, and no one would say what crimes they had committed.{87}
In February 1993, a group of Middle Easterners blew up the World Trade Center in New York City. Most of them were veterans of the Moujahedeen. Other veterans were carrying out assassinations in Cairo, bombings in Bombay, and bloody uprisings in the mountains of Kashmir.
This, then, was the power and the glory of President Reagan's "freedom fighters", who had become yet more anti-American in recent years, many of them backing Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in the Persian Gulf conflict of 1990-91. Surely even Ronald Reagan and George Bush would have preferred the company of "communist" reformers like President Noor Mohammed Taraki, Mayor Mohammed Hakim or poet Suleiman Layeq.
But the Soviet Union had bled. They had bled profusely. For the United States it had also been a holy war.

NOTES

1. Tim Weiner, Blank Check: The Pentagon's Black Budget (Warner Books, New York, 1990), p. 149.

2. Ibid., pp. 149-50.

3. a) Selig Harrison, "The Shah, Not the Kremlin, Touched off Afghan Coup", Washington Post, 13 May 1979, p. C1; contains other examples of the Shah/US campaign.
b) Hannah Negaran, "Afghanistan: A Marxist Regime in a Muslim Society", Current History (Philadelphia), April 1979, p. 173.
c) New York Times, 3 February 1975, p. 4.
d) For a brief summary, from the Soviet point of view, of the West's attempts to lure Afghanistan into its fold during the 1950s and 60s, see The Truth About Afghanistan: Documents, Facts, Eyewitness Reports (Novosti Press Agency Publishing House, Moscow, 1981, second edition) pp. 60-65.
e) Dwight D. Eisenhower, The White House Years: Waging Peace, 1956-1961 (New York, 1965) pp. 493, 495, 498 discusses his concern about Soviet influence in Afghanistan.

4. Selig Harrison, op. cit.

5. New York Times, 4 May 1978, p. 11; Louis Dupree, "A Communist Label is Unjustified", letter to New York Times, 20 May 1978, p. 18. Dupree had been an anthropologist who lived in Afghanistan for many years; he was also at one time a consultant to the U.S. National Security Council, and an activist, both in Pakistan and in the United States, against the leftist Afghan government, which declared him persona non grata in 1978.

6. New York Times Magazine, 4 June 1978, p. 52 (prime minister's quote).

7. New York Times, 18 May 1979, p. 29, article by Fred Halliday, a Fellow at the liberal Transnational Institute, Amsterdam, and author of several books on South Asia.

8. The Economist (London), 11 September 1979, p. 44.

9. New York Times, 13 April 1979, p. 8.

10. Newsweek, 16 April 1979, p. 64.

11. CIA's Foreign Broadcast Information Service, 31 December 1979, p. S-13, cited in CounterSpy magazine (Washington, DC), No. 4-2, Spring 1980, p. 36, article by Konrad Ege.

12. New York Times, 16 June 1978, p. 11

13. Robert Neumann, in Washington Review of Strategic and International Studies, July 1978, p. 117.

14. New York Times, 1 July 1978, p. 4.

15 San Francisco Chronicle, 4 August 1979, p. 9.

16. New York Times, 24 March 1979, p. 4; 13 April 1979, p. 8.

17. Washington Post, 11 May 1979, p. 23. U.S. intelligence officials confirmed that Islamic rebels killed Soviet male and female civilians and mutilated their bodies, New York Times, 13 April 1979, p. 8.

18. New York Times, 11 September 1979, p. 12.

19. Washington Post, 15 November 1992, p. 32, from the official minutes of the conversation, amongst declassified Politburo documents obtained by the newspaper.

20. Ibid., citing an article published in 1992 by the former KGB deputy station chief in Kabul.

21. Ibid., 23 December 1979, p. A8.

22. Selig Harrison, "Did Moscow Fear An Afghan Tito?", New York Times, 13 January 1980, p. E23.

23. The Sunday Times (London), 6 January 1980, reporting the interview with Amin by the newspaper Al Sharq Al Awast ("The Middle East") published in London and Mecca.

24. Washington Post, 15 November 1992, p. 32, citing a "recent" account in the Moscow newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda.

25. The Truth About Afghanistan, op. cit., p. 15, taken from Pravda, 13 January 1980.

26. The Times (London), 5 January 1980.

27. New York Times, 15 January 1980, p. 6. The newspaper stated that the CIA-accusations appeared to have been dropped by the Soviets at this time, perhaps because they were embarrassed by the incredulous reaction to it from around the world. But it was soon picked up again, conceivably in reaction to the Times' story.

28. Phillip Bonosky, Washington's Secret War Against Afghanistan (International Publishers, New York, 1985), pp. 33-4. The Washington Post, 23 December 1979, p. A8, also mentions Amin being a student at Columbia teachers college.

29. "How the CIA turns foreign students into traitors", Ramparts magazine (San Francisco), April 1967, pp. 23-4. This was a month after the magazine printed its famous exposé of the extensive CIA connection to the National Student Association, the leading organization of American students.

30. Bonosky, p. 34. When I spoke to Mr. Bonosky in 1994 about this claim, he said that he couldn't remember its source, but that it may have been something he was informed of in Afghanistan when he was there in 1981.

31. Charles G. Cogan, "Partners in Time: The CIA and Afghanistan since 1979", World Policy Journal (New York), Summer 1993, p. 76. Cogan was chief of the Near East and South Asia Division of the CIA's Directorate of Operations (Clandestine Services) from 1979 to 1984. He refers to Amin's connection to the Asia Foundation as "some sort of loose association", and says nothing further about it, but given his past position, Cogan may well know more than he's willing to reveal about a key point of the Afghanistan question, or else the article was censored by the CIA when Cogan submitted it for review, which he would have had to do.

32. Classified State Department cables, 11, 22, 23, 27, 29 September 1979, 28, 30 October 1979, among the documents found in the takeover of the US Embassy in Teheran on 4 November 1979 and gradually published in many volumes over the following years under the title: Documents from the Den of Espionage; hereafter referred to as "Embassy Documents". The cables referred to in this note come from vol. 30. These embassy documents and those which follow are cited in Covert Action Information Bulletin, No. 30, Summer 1988, article by Steve Galster, pp. 52-4. Except where quotations are used, the language summarizing the documents' content is that of Galster. Amin's party knew of these covert activities long before the documents were published. On 16 January 1980, a PDP spokesperson told the Afghan News Agency (Bakhtar): "In September 1979, Amin began preparing the ground for a rapprochement with the United States. He conducted confidential meetings with U.S. officials, sent emissaries to the United States, conveyed his personal oral messages to President Carter." (cited in Bonosky, p. 52)


33. Interview with Karmal in World Marxist Review (Toronto), April 1980, p. 36.

34. New York Times, 2 January 1980, p. 1.

35. Wall Street Journal, 7 January 1980, p. 12.

36. Weiner, p.145

37. Amongst the "Embassy Documents", op. cit., vol. 29, p. 99: Classified Department of State cable, 14 May 1979, refers to a previous meeting with a rebel leader in Islamabad on 23 April 1979.

38. Robert Gates (former CIA director), From the Shadows (NY, 1996) p.146

39. Truth About Afghanistan, op. cit., pp. 16-17.

40. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Power and Principle: Memoirs of the National Security Adviser, 1977-1981 (New York, 1983) p. 430.

41. The Guardian (London), 5 March 1986.

42. Washington Post, 13 January 1985, p. A30. The unnamed official may have been CIA Director Stansfield Turner who is quoted as saying something very similar in Weiner pp. 146-7.

43. Ibid.

44. Amongst the "Embassy Documents", op. cit.: Classified CIA Field Report, 30 October 1979, vol. 30.

45. New York Times, 22 November 1979, p. 1.

46. Weiner, p. 146

47. John Balbach, former staff director of the Congressional Task Force on Afghanistan, article in the Los Angeles Times, 22 August 1993.

48. Cited in The Guardian (London), 28 December 1983 and 16 January 1987, p. 19.

49. Los Angeles Times, 17 October 1988, 13 March 1989, 16 March 1989.

50. The Daily Telegraph (London), 5 August 1985.

51. Brzezinski, p. 356, mentioned three times on this one page alone.

52. New York Times, 9 February 1980, p. 3; though written after the Soviet invasion, the article refers to April 1979.

53. For a discussion of some of these and related matters, see Selig Harrison, "Afghanistan: Soviet Intervention, Afghan Resistance, and the American Role" in Michael Klare and Peter Kornbluh, eds., Low Intensity Warfare: Counterinsurgency, Proinsurgency, and Antiterrorism in the Eighties (Pantheon Books, New York, 1988) pp. 188-190.

54. Ibid., p. 188; the portion about the middle class was attributed by Harrison to an article by German journalist Andreas Kohlschutter of Die Zeit.
55. For a fuller discussion of these matters see the three articles in The Guardian of London by their chief foreign correspondent Jonathan Steele, 17-19 March 1986.

56. Lawrence Lifschultz, "The not-so-new rebellion", Far Eastern Economic Review (Hong Kong), 30 January 1981, p. 32.

57. Los Angeles Times, 22 April 1989, pp. 12-13.

58. Ibid., 1 December 1987, p. 8.

59. Amongst the "Embassy Documents", op. cit., vol. 30 -- Department of State Report, 16 August 1979.

60. Los Angeles Times, 17 February 1989, p. 8.

61. Najibullah, textbooks: Ibid., 18 February 1989, p. 18.

62. Washington Post, 13 January 1985, p. A30. The article speaks of 70 Russian prisoners "living lives of indescribable horror"; it appears, although it's not certain, that they are included in the 50 to 200 figure given earlier in the article.

63. John Fullerton, The Soviet Occupation of Afghanistan (London, 1984).

64. Los Angeles Times, 28 July 1989.

65. Amnesty International, Torture in the Eighties (London, 1984), Afghanistan chapter.

66. Jack Anderson column, San Francisco Chronicle, 4 May 1987. For his, and many other persons', ties to the Afghan lobby, see Sayid Khybar, "The Afghani Contra Lobby", Covert Action Information Bulletin, No. 30, Summer 1988, p. 65.

67. New York Times, 11 September 1979, p. 12.

68. Washington Post, 13 January 1985, p. A30.

69. Cited by Extra! (published by Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, New York, October/November 1989), p. 1, referring to a series of articles in the New York Post beginning 27 September 1989.

70. Mary Williams Walsh, "Strained Mercy", The Progressive magazine (Madison, Wisconsin) May 1990, pp. 23-6. Walsh, as the Wall Street Journal's principal correspondent in South and Southeast Asia, had covered Afghanistan The Journal refused to print this article, which led to her resignation

71. San Francisco Chronicle, 20 July 1987.

72. New York Times, 9 March 1982, p. 1; 23 March 1982, pp. 1, 14; The Guardian (London) 3 November 1983, 29 March 1984; Washington Post, 30 May 1986.

73. Julian Robinson, et al, "Yellow Rain: The Story Collapses", Foreign Policy magazine, Fall 1987, pp. 100-117; New York Times, 31 August 1987, p. 14.

74. Congressional Record, 6 June 1980, pp. S13582-3.

75. New York Times, 29 March 1982, p. 1.

76. San Francisco Chronicle, 16 September 1985, p. 9.

77. The Truth About Afghanistan, op. cit., pp. 85, 89, with a photo of the alleged victims lying on the ground and another photo of an American chemical grenade.

78. Los Angeles Times, 28 July 1989.

79. Ibid., 30 April 1990, pp. 1 and 9.

80. Weiner, pp. 150, 152.

81. Weiner, p. 151; Los Angeles Times, 26 May 1988. Shooting down passenger planes: New York Times, 26 September 1984, p. 9; 11 April 1988, p. 1.

82. San Francisco Chronicle, Jack Anderson's columns: 29 April and 2 May 1987; 13 July 1987; Time magazine, 9 December 1985; Washington Post, 13 January 1985, p. A30.

83.Drugs, the Moujahedeen and the CIA:
a) Weiner, pp. 151-2;
b) New York Times, 18 June 1986;
c) William Vornberger, "Afghan Rebels and Drugs", Covert Action Information Bulletin, No. 28, Summer 1987, pp. 11-12;
d) Los Angeles Times, 4 November 1989, p. 14;
e) Washington Post, 13 May 1990, p. 1.

84. Los Angeles Times, 22 August 1993.

85. Hekmatyar, Neumann: Ibid., 21 April 1992.

86. Ibid., 24 May 1992.

87. Ibid., 4 January, 24 May, 8 September, 1992.

This is a chapter from Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II by William Blum

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