The Weight Of It All: From July 3, 1979 to 9/11 to Paris 2015

January 1, 2016

President Jimmy Carter’s Fateful July 3, 1979 Decision

On July 3, 1979, as the “Cold War’ marched on, President Carter signed the first presidential “finding” granting secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. He “authorized the CIA to spend just over $500,000 on propaganda and psychological operations, as well as provide radio equipment, medical supplies, and cash to the Afghan rebels”[1]. Afghanistan was ruled by a nationalist secular, not fundamentalist, regime supported by the Soviet Union. It promoted gender equality, free universal education for women & men, agrarian reform that redistributed feudal estates to poor peasants, the separation of religion & the state and adopted an independent foreign policy friendly with the Soviets.

The Carter, not Reagan Presidency, was responsible for organizing, financing, and training the Islamic uprising and its consequent terror campaign. Carter’s National Security Advisor Zbig Brzesinski wrote that the US-Afghanistan campaign was a high point in US Cold War diplomacy since it provoked Soviet intervention on behalf of their secular Afghan ally[2].

In fact, the Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan on Christmas Eve 1979 was deliberately provoked by US President Carter’s earlier decision of July 3. Former CIA director Robert Gates confirmed that the US American intelligence services began to aid Mujahidin guerrillas not after the Soviet invasion, but six months before it[3].

The US, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia collaborated on a global campaign recruiting Islamic fundamentalist to engage in a “Jihad” against the “atheistic communist regime”. Thousands were recruited from around the Islamic world, armed and trained by the CIA and Pakistani intelligence, and financed by Saudis Arabia, that fought the Soviet troops until 1989[4]. The Mujahideen had received over $US10 billion in military aid between 1979-1989, half of that from the US, with Saudi Arabia and other European and Islamic countries funding the rest[5]. The brutal war cost an estimated million civilians lives, with some estimates as high as 1.5 million civilians, 90,000 of CIA and Saudi-funded Mujahideen fighters, 18,000 Afghanistan troops, and 14,500 Soviet army soldiers[6]. A Civil war continued after the Soviets withdrew in 1989, enabling emergence of the Taliban as a second generation of Mujahideen who came into power in Afghanistan in 1996.

The year 1979 indeed was a critical year. Not only did the revolutionaries throw both the Shah and the US Americans out of Iran, but the CIA clandestine intervention in Afghanistan funding “freedom fighters” intended to overthrow the government was its largest ever operation. “Blowback” from this intervention continues with ferocity to this day, and it seems likely for many years to come. Blowback does not refer simply of reactions to historical events but more specifically to reactions to operations carried out by the US government that are kept secret from the American public and from most of their representatives in Congress. This means that when civilians become victims of a retaliatory strike, people in the US  are at first unable to put it in context or to understand the sequence of events that led up to it. Even though the American people may not know what has been done in their name, those on the receiving end certainly do: they include the people of Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Cuba (1959 to the present), Congo (1960), Brazil (1964), Indonesia (1965), Viet Nam (1961-73), Laos (1961-73), Cambodia (1969-73), Greece (1967-73), Chile (1973), Afghanistan (1979 to the present), El Salvador (1980s-1990s), Guatemala (1980s-1990s) and Nicaragua (1980s), and Iraq (1991 to the present). Not surprisingly, sometimes these victims try to get even[7].

Direct Blowback from July 3, 1979 to September 1, 2001 (9/11) to Paris November 2015 and Beyond

There is a direct timeline from the attacks on September 11, 2001, the most significant instance of blowback in the history of the CIA, back to the events of 1979[8].

Furthermore, without the US American crime of lawless aggressive war against Iraq which left anywhere from 500,000 to more than a million innocent people dead, there would be no ISIS/ISIL, no Al Qaeda. And without Saudi and Western arming of Sunni extremist groups throughout the Middle East being used as proxies to defeat Iran, Syria, and their allies, there would be no ISIS. And, without the extensive recruiting of a global movement of armed Sunni extremists – during both the Carter and Reagan presidencies – there would be no endless “War on Terror”, and no terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015, etc. There would be no Blowback![9]

Efforts to defeat ISIS/ISIL have now led to a general war in the Middle East. Syria has become at least the 14th country in the Islamic world where US military forces have invaded, occupied, and bombed in which US American soldiers have killed or been killed since 1980: Iran (1980, 1987-1988), Libya (1981, 1986, 1989, 2011), Lebanon (1983), Kuwait (1991), Iraq (1991-2011, 2014-), Somalia (1992-1993, 2007-), Bosnia (1995), Saudi Arabia (1991, 1996), Afghanistan (1998, 2001-), Sudan (1998), Kosovo (1999), Yemen (2000, 2002-), Pakistan (2004-), now Syria[10].

And, in the end, it is all about controlling oil and other geostrategic resources necessary to assure continued insatiably Western consumptive lifestyles totally dependent upon burning carbon. In a secret memorandum in January 1978, Secretary of Defense Harold Brown under President Jimmy Carter, “ordered the armed services to plan a special highly mobile force of up to 10,000 troops backed by air and naval units for possible rapid intervention in the Persian Gulf and other areas outside of Europe[11]”.  In other words, all of us part of AWOL are complicit in cumulatively demanding global plunder to continue our lethal carbon-based lives as usual.

The CIA as a Secret Unaccountable Presidential Army

Every president since Truman has at his/her disposal a completely secret, financially unaccountable private army, an irresistible asset that has been freely used ignoring the consequences of blowback. In the wake of 9/11 and the false warnings about Iraq’s so-called threat, the CIA continues to grossly distort the facts on the ground while paying no attention to US Constitutional requirements. Enhancing the US’s control of resources and the politics necessary to facilitate same determines CIA policies and decisions.

Former CIA officer Ralph McGehee says this about the agency that was his employer for 25 years: “The CIA is not now nor has it ever been a central intelligence agency. It is the covert action arm of the President’s foreign policy advisers.  In that capacity it overthrows or supports foreign governments while reporting ‘intelligence’ justifying those activities. It shapes its intelligence, even in such critical areas as Soviet nuclear weapon capability, to support presidential policy. Disinformation is a large part of its covert action responsibility, and the American people are the primary target audience of its lies”[12].

Afghanistan’s Riches

 The United States has discovered as much as $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, exceeding previously known, according to senior American government officials. Deposits that include huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical metals like lithium are vast, and they include many minerals essential to modern industry. It is now surmised that Afghanistan could be transformed into one of the most important mining regions in the world.

An internal Pentagon memo states that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys. One location in Ghazni Province showed the potential for lithium deposits as large of those of Bolivia, which now has the world’s largest known lithium reserves[13].

These minerals located in what the West views as an impoverished state have been studied from 2009 surveys taken by the Pentagon and the US Geological Survey. A Pentagon task force was researching international business development opportunities. “This really is part and parcel of General [Stanley] McChrystal’s counter-insurgency strategy,” a Pentagon spokesman said[14].

Pipeline Routes – Afghanistan and Syria

Despite the various reasons given for invading and occupying Afghanistan, in 2001, including the original reason – “Preventing a safe haven for terrorists”, Afghanistan was not really about 9-11 or fighting terrorists, but about pipelines.

However, the real US “necessity” required establishment of a military presence in the Caspian Sea region of Central Asia which reportedly contains the second largest proven reserves of petroleum and natural gas in the world, to assure construction of oil and gas pipelines from that region running through geostrategically well positioned Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s location is able to serve flows of energy to much of South Asia as well as parts of Europe, laying pipelines that can bypass Washington’s enemies – Iran and Russia. But the lines need to be protected from locals such the Taliban. Richard Boucher, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs said in 2007: “One of our goals is to stabilize Afghanistan, so it can become a conduit and a hub between South and Central Asia so that energy can flow to the south”.

Starting in the 1980s, a number of pipelines have been planned in the region, but have been delayed/canceled due to military, financial or political problems. For example, the so-called TAPI pipeline (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) was favored by Washington since it sought to block a competing pipeline that would carry gas to Pakistan and India from Iran. In the late 1990s Taliban officials held talks with California-based oil company Unocal regarding TAPI, some of which occurred in the US with full knowledge of the Clinton administration which willingly ignored the extreme repression of Taliban society.

On February 12, 1998, Unocal representative John Maresca testified before the House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific where he discussed the importance of the pipeline project and increasing difficulties in dealing with the Taliban: The region’s total oil reserves may well reach more than 60 billion barrels of oil. Some estimates are as high as 200 billion barrels … From the outset, we have made it clear that construction of the pipeline we have proposed across Afghanistan could not begin until a recognized government is in place that has the confidence of governments, leaders, and our company[15].

When those talks with the Taliban stalled in 2001, the Bush administration reportedly threatened the Taliban with military reprisals if the Afghan government did not concede to US demands. On August 2, 2001, US State Department negotiator Christine Rocca, when in Islamabad, warned Taliban’s ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul Salam Zaeef, Either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold [oil], or we bury you under a carpet of bombs[16]These talks permanently broke down a month before 9-11.

The US for some time has known the importance of controlling access to Caspian Sea & Persian Gulf oil & gas areas. The first Gulf War of 1990-1 was all about this pursuit. Since 1991 the US has established military bases in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, & Kazakhstan[17].

The war of terror, that war without end launched in 2001 by George Bush, is spiraling into evermore violence and deceit. It is clear that ISIS/ISIL, or the Mujahideen or al Qaeda, and their barbarisms won’t be defeated by the same Western powers, including the US and UK, that brought barbarisms to Iraq and Syria in the first place. Endless western military interventions in the Middle East and Asia have brought only destruction and division. Only the people of the region can solve this catastrophe, not those who incubated the virus[18].

The same issues apply to Syria because of its geostrategic position for oil and gas pipeline routes, especially the proposed $10 billion Iran-Iraq-Syria Islamic Pipeline[19]. The Washington intention is to isolate Russia, Iran, and Syria while assuring the flow of oil and gas goes to the EU without benefitting Syria which is slated for “regime change”.

Afghanistan – 1st True Major Narco-State

One way to assess US American success in the war against Afghanistan 7,000 miles distant from Washington, DC is to examine opium production. In July 1979 when President Carter chose to fund the mujahideen in Afghanistan, that country was producing only 250 tons of opium/year. In the early years of the post-9/11 American invasion and occupation of the country, it was producing 3,400 tons. Between 2006 and 2013, it hit a high of 8,200 tons. Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service now claims that 40,000 tons of opiates have been stockpiled in Afghanistan, primarily to be marketed abroad. As of 2012, Afghanistan was the world’s leading supplier of opium – 74 percent of the global market, a figure expected to rise to 90 percent when US combat troops leave, and foreign aid flees. [Opium is often converted into less bulky heroin]. Success in an endless war has produced the world’s first true narco-state[20].

Ferocious Blowback Originating From Carter’s July 3, 1979 Decision

The September 11, 2001 coordinated criminal attacks by four civilian airliners hijacked by members of Al Qaeda, mostly from Saudi Arabia, on US targets in New York City and Washington, DC causing 3,000 deaths, was a spectacular, tragic consequence of the US decision 22 years earlier to meddle in Afghanistan with the largest CIA operation in its history.

Less than a month later, on October 7, the US out of a mood of revenge illegally invaded Afghanistan with troops and bombs, assisted by UK military forces. The US called it “Operation Enduring Freedom”. The ostensible intention was to dismantle Al Qaeda, the alleged planners of the September 11 criminal attacks believed to have trained in that country, and to deny their safe base of operations by removing from power the Taliban. But, soon, the war fever of the US to seek control over Middle East politics and resources, then focused on attacking Iraq.

Downing Street Memo: “Smoking Gun”- Blair and Bush Conspire Against Iraq[21] [Downing Street is the Location of the UK Prime Minister’s Office]

The Downing Street “Memo” is in effect the minutes of a July 23, 2002 meeting attended by many of British Prime Minister Blair’s senior ministers. It was published on May 1, 2005 in The Sunday Times[22]. This memo/document revealed “smoking gun” evidence that the Blair UK and Bush US governments conspired in advance to create the Iraq war, clearly illustrating:

1. Bush’s long-standing intent to invade Iraq

2. Bush’s willingness to provoke Saddam in order to provide a pretext for war

3. That the war effectively began with an air campaign nearly a year before the March 2003 invasion and months before Congressional approval for the use of force

4. An official pervasive campaign to crush dissent while manipulating information to counter its justification for war

5. Total lack of planning for consequences of the war

6. A fundamental lack of understanding of Iraqi society

From March 2002 to January 2003, a number of documents reveal details of the thinking of two other white men, UK Prime Minster Tony Blair and President George Bush II, who co-conspired the criminal invasion and occupation of Iraq, and the continued occupation of Afghanistan, causing countless mass murders, maimings, and displacements with impunity.

March 18, 2002, Christopher Meyer, British Ambassador to the US, submitted a letter to UK Foreign Policy Adviser David Manning describing Meyer’s meeting with US Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. Meyer confirmed that the UK backed regime change, warning that a clever plan must be developed so that “failure was not an option”. He further acknowledged that if the US wanted UK’s help there had to be a strategy for building widespread support for military action against Saddam[23].

March 28, 2002, US Secretary of State Colin Powell submitted a memorandum for President Bush assuring him that Blair had already given an unqualified pledge to join in war. Note that this was a year before the invasion was launched, contradicting Prime Minister Blair’s public claims at the time that he was seeking a diplomatic solution to the crisis. Blair told voters: ‘We’re not proposing military action’, which of course directly contradicted what the secret memo reveals. It was written a week in advance of Bush’s famous summit meeting with Blair at the former’s ranch in Crawford, Texas. Powell assures Bush that Blair “will be with us” on military action” and that the “UK will follow our lead”. Blair would present “public affairs lines” to convince a reluctant public that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction when in fact none existed. Bush would flatter Blair’s ego and assure the public that the UK enjoyed a “special relationship” [24].

April 5, 2002, during a television interview, Bush made it clear “that he would not back away from his effort to topple Saddam Hussein…I made up my mind that Saddam needs to go”. He conveyed that when he and Prime Minister Tony Blair of the UK “sit down in Texas this weekend to talk about Iraq, ‘we will be discussing all options’” but he quickly added, “I had no immediate plans to conduct military operations”[25]. From April 5 to 7, 2002, UK Prime Minster Blair and Bush in fact share a three day meeting at Bush’s Crawford, Texas ranch. There Blair confirmed in person that the UK would support military action to bring regime change in Iraq[26].

July 23, 2002, The London Sunday Times published the secret “Downing Secret Memo”. The memo contains the minutes from the July 23, 2002 meeting revealing that several of Britain’s top officials believed the Bush administration had already decided to go to war with Iraq by the summer of 2002. The minutes also reveal that the British intelligence service believed at the time that US intelligence was being “fixed”, i.e., politically manipulated in advance, around Washington’s plan to topple the Iraqi government. Andrew Bacevich, a retired Army colonel, said “We can conclude that the memo means precisely what it says. It says that Bush had already made the decision for war even while he was insisting publicly, and for many months thereafter, that war was the last resort”[27].

January 31, 2003, President Bush privately met with UK Prime Minister Blair at the White House. A confidential memo summarizing the meeting written by David Manning, Blair’s top foreign policy adviser, made it clear that Bush was determined to invade Iraq without a second UN resolution, or even if UN-sanctioned arms inspectors failed to find unconventional weapons. “Our diplomatic strategy had to be arranged around the military planning”, Manning wrote. “The start date for the military campaign was now penciled in for 10 March…when the bombing would begin”. This White House meeting turned out to be five days before US Secretary of State Colin L. Powell was scheduled to make his dramatic appearance on February 5 before the United Nations where he presented the overwhelming US-produced evidence that Iraq posed a severe threat to world security because they were hiding unconventional weapons. The US and UK indeed failed to obtain a second United Nations resolution against Iraq but Bush nonetheless declared that he did not need any authority for an invasion[28].

Further details about Bush and Blair’s January 31, 2003 pre-war meeting are contained in a new edition of Lawless World by leading British human rights lawyer, Philippe Sands, a QC and professor of international law at University College, London. The memo of the two-hour meeting held nearly two months before the invasion, revealed that Bush told Blair that he was so worried about the failure to find hard evidence against Saddam that he considered “flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft planes with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colours”. Then, Bush said, “If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach of UN resolutions”. Sands had earlier exposed doubts shared by British Foreign Office lawyers about the legality of the invasion which eventually forced the prime minister to publish the full legal advice given to him by the attorney general, Lord Goldsmith[29].

Grotesque Civilian and Military Casualties

The war against Afghanistan was code-named “Operation Enduring Freedom”. Estimates of number of people killed in Afghanistan range from over 90,000, 26,000 of whom are civilians[30], to other estimates of 116,000 civilian deaths[31]. Of course, thousands more were maimed and wounded and displaced.

The war against Iraq, code-named “Operation Iraqi Freedom”, has caused a range of civilian deaths from a low of 165,000 whose tabulators think is a low number[32], to a half million civilians whose estimators think is a low figure[33], to as many as 900,000[34] or as many as a million[35].

“Operation Enduring Freedom”, though primarily a US-sponsored invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, saw troops from 29 individual countries, in addition to NATO forces, suffered over 3,500 killed, of whom over 80 percent were US and UK troops[36].

“Operation Iraqi Freedom”, a war conspired by the UK and US, nonetheless saw troops from 23 countries suffering over 4,800 killed, 97 percent of whom were from the US and UK[37].

Armed Drones – Ultimate Terror of the Most Egregious Kind From the Sky

The US has been employing armed drones since the early 2000s. UK now has joined in the use of hundreds of Reaper drone attacks in the Middle East and West Asia, including Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan[38].

Since 2002, the US, and more recently supplemented by UK air forces, have flown thousands of armed drone sorties carrying out nearly 1,200 drone strikes against Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, Libya, and Iraq, killing as many as 6,600, while injuring as many as 2200[39].

Joint Special Operations – Terrorizing People Virtually Everywhere With Secret Boots on the Ground

US Special Forces operatives, of which there are 70,000 soldiers, have set foot in 150 countries from 2011-2014 (over 76 percent of the planet’s 196 nations), tracking and killing suspected “terrorists”. In the process, they torture, destroy homes and families, and kill and wound many innocent. The Special Forces also provide names and cell phone numbers of those they have supposedly identified as targets for guiding drone strikes[40].

The unit best known for killing Osama bin Laden has been converted into a global manhunting machine with limited outside oversight is US SEAL Team 6. The number of casualties due to death squad activities of Joint Special Operations forces is unknown.[41]

The Special Air Service (SAS), part of the UK Armed Forces, is the special forces unit of the British Army which has joined US Special Forces to create Task Force Black with the aim to “cut the head off the snake” by hitting the command structure of the Islamist terror group responsible for their version of a trail of destruction[42].

 Ratio of Military to Civilian Deaths

Total deaths of military invaders/occupiers = 8,318. Total civilian deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq run in the range of 400,000 to 600,000 to one million.

Thus for every military fatality there is a range of 48 to 120 civilian deaths, which does not include millions of civilians maimed and displaced due to the illegal and lawless invasions and occupations.

The Weight of it All: WE Are Responsible For Millions of Casualties

On July 3, 1979, one “born again” Christian man, US President Jimmy Carter, decided to provide as much as US $5 billion to fund the Mujahideen fundamentalist fighters to overthrow a popular reformist Afghanistan government in alliance with the Soviet Union. This decision, alone, led directly to 1.5 million deaths in the decade long war against the Soviets. This in turn led directly to emergence in 1990 of the Taliban as a second generation Mujahideen[43]. The turmoil fueled by the years of US intervention, that included recruiting thousands of Islamic fundamentalists from many countries to fight the Soviets, ultimately led to the September 11, 2001 criminal attacks on the US, causing 3,000 dead in New York and Washington, DC.

Two other white Christian men – Tony Blair and “born again” George Bush – conspired in the 2000s to devastate Afghanistan and Iraq. From October 2001 when the US invaded Afghanistan, and into the 2003 invasion of Iraq, to today, as many as one million civilians alone, probably more, have been killed in those two countries, with egregious destabilization of neighboring countries in West Asia and the Middle East as well. It is unspeakable. And the US is primarily the cause, along with its junior partner, the UK.

And all of those young men and women who obeyed military orders from above to “serve” their supposed nation’s interests to invade and occupy these countries must face their own responsibility of having been complicit in carrying out lawless death and destruction now etched in their souls.

And this premeditated Western murdering plunder has been committed with impunity, meaning that for those in the West who caused this egregious crime, historic memory of the diabolical carnage is erased, and thus there is no reason to take any responsibility for it. It never really happened. It is incumbent on participating soldiers who experienced an awakening to ensure that the historic memory of these diabolical crimes shall not be forgotten in hope they shall never be repeated.

British Playwright Harold Pinter has argued that the United States supported and in many cases encouraged every rightwing military dictatorship in the world after the end of the second world war. Citing many examples, Pinter concludes with straightforward irony, “It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening, it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest[44]“. Our US American eyes are made of wool. No wool blanket is needed to cover them.

S. Brian Willson is a trained lawyer and long-time justice and peace activist. In 1969 he “served” as the night security commander of a forty-man US Air Force Combat Security Police unit in Viet Nam. His web essays:; He is reachable via



[1] Steve Coll, Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to 10 September 2001 (New York: Penguin, 2004). Coll’s book is an excellent study of blowback which presents a much better reconstruction of this history than the official 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (Norton, 2004).

[2] “The CIA’s Intervention in Afghanistan”, Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser; Le Nouvel Observateur, & Bill Blum, transl fm French – Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, 15-21 January 1998 (Posted at Oct 15 2001); James Petras, “The Venezuelan Referendum: Beware Jimmy Carter!” CounterPunch, July 8, 2004.

[3] Robert Gates, From the Shadows (New York: Touchstone, 1996), 146.

[4] James Petras, “The Venezuelan Referendum: Beware Jimmy Carter!” CounterPunch, July 8, 2004.

[5] Ahmed Rashid, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia (New haven: Yale University Press, 2001), 13, 18.

[6] Alan Taylor, “The Soviet War in Afghanistan, 1979 – 1989”, The Atlantic, August 4, 2014; Rashid, 13.

[7] Tomgram: Chalmers Johnson on the CIA and a blowback world, Posted by Chalmers Johnson, November 5, 2004, TomDispatch;; Gates, 146; The CIA’s Intervention in Afghanistan, Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski; John Pilger, The New Rulers of the World (London: Verso, 2002), 150, 149-157; Petras.
[8] Tomgram: “Chalmers Johnson on the CIA and a blowback world”, “Blowback” first appeared in CIA reports when it overthrew the Iranian government in 1953 with the aid of and on behalf of British Petroleum. On June 18, 2000, James Risen of the New York Times [WORD FOR WORD/ABC’S OF COUPS; Oh, What a Fine Plot We Hatched. (And Here’s What to Do the Next Time)] explained: “When the Central Intelligence Agency helped overthrow Muhammad Mossadegh as Iran’s prime minister in 1953, ensuring another 25 years of rule for Shah Muhammad Reza Pahlavi, the CIA was already figuring that its first effort to topple a foreign government would not be its last. The CIA, then just six years old and deeply committed to winning the Cold War, viewed its covert action in Iran as a blueprint for coup plots elsewhere around the world, and so commissioned a secret history to detail for future generations of CIA operatives how it had been done . . . Amid the sometimes curious argot of the spy world — ‘safebases’ and ‘assets’ and the like — the CIA warns of the possibilities of “blowback”.

[9] Chris Floyd, “The Age of Despair: Reaping the Whirlwind of Western Support for Extremist Violence”, CounterPunch, November 13, 2015.

[10] Andrew Bacevich, “Even If We Defeat the Islamic State, We’ll Still Lose the Bigger War”, The Washington Post, October 04, 2014.

[11] Chomsky and Herman, After the Cataclysm: Postwar Indochina & The Reconstruction of Imperial Ideology — The Political Economy of Human Rights: Vol II (Boston: South End Press, 1979), 18.

[12] Ralph W. McGehee, Deadly Deceits: My 25 Years in the CIA (New York: Sheridan Square Publications, 1983), 192.

[13] James Risen, “U.S. Identifies Vast Mineral Riches in Afghanistan”, New York Times, June 13, 2010.

[14] Kim Sengupta, “Afghanistan’s resources could make it the richest mining region on earth”, The Independent, Tuesday, June 15, 2010.

[15] William Blum, “The Missing Word in the Afghan War – Pipelinistan”, CounterPunch, June 6, 2013.

[16] Blum; Jonathan Steele, Ewen MacAskill, Richard Norton-Taylor and Ed Harriman, “Threat of US strikes passed to Taliban weeks before NY attack”, The Guardian, September 22, 2001:; Jean-Charles Brisard & Guillaume Dasquie, Forbidden Truth: U.S.-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy and the Failed Hunt for Bin Laden (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press/Nation Books, 2002), 43.

[17] Blum.

[18] Seumas Milne, “Now the truth emerges: how the US fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq – The sectarian terror group won’t be defeated by the western states that incubated it in the first place”, The Guardian, June 3, 2015, (

[19] Pepe Escobar, “Syria’s pipelinistan War – a war of deals Not Bullets”, Al Jazeera, Aug 6, 2012,; Pepe Escobar, “Syria: Ultimate Pipelineistan War”, CounterPunch, December 8, 2015, ‪; Nafeez Ahmed, “Western firms primed to cash in on Syria’s oil and gas ‘frontier’”, INSURGE Intelligence, December 1, 2015,; Dmitry Minin, “The Geopolitics of Gas and the Syrian Crisis: Syrian “Opposition” Armed to Thwart Construction of Iran-Iraq-Syria Gas Pipeline”, Global Research, June 03, 2013..

[20] Tom Englehart, “We Destroyed Afghanistan: Americans Can’t Remember, Afghans Will Never Forget”, Tom, October 1, 2013, Alternet,

[21] Downing Street Minutes, July 23, 2002 are known as the Downing Street Memo:;;

[22] “The secret Downing Street memo”, The Sunday Times, May 1, 2005:

[23] Michael Smith, “’Failure is not an option, but it doesn’t mean they will avoid it’”, The Telegraph, September 18, 2004:

[24] Glen Owen and William Lowther, “Smoking Gun emails reveal Blair’s ‘deal in blood’ with George Bush over Iraq war was forged a YEAR before the invasion had even started””, Daily Mail, October 17, 2015,; David Atkins, “The Lies That Led Us Into Iraq Were Bigger And Earlier Than We Thought”, Washington Monthly, October 18, 2015,; Global Research, “Smoking Gun Emails: Bush and Blair Secretly Plotted War on Iraq in March 2002”, Global Research News, October 19, 2015.

[25] Todd S. Purdum with David E. Sanger, “Bush Is Said to Expect Israel to Pull Out ‘Without Delay’”, New York Times, April 6, 2002,

[26] Paul Corthorn and Jonathan Davis, “British Labour Party and the Wider World: Domestic Politics, Internationalism and Foreign Policy” (London: I.B.Tauris, 2007), 223.

[27] “The Secret Downing Street Memo”, London Sunday Times, May 1, 2005:

[28] Don Van Natta , Jr., “Bush Was Set on Path to War, British Memo Says”, New York Times, March 27, 2006:

[29] Richard Norton Taylor, “Blair-Bush deal before Iraq war revealed in secret memo”, The Guardian, February 2, 2006,; Gary Gibbon, “The White House memo: Revealed: Bush and Blair discussed using American Spyplane in UN colours to lure Saddam into war”, London Channel 4, February 2, 2006:; Philippe Sands, Lawless World: Making and Breaking Global Rules (London: Penguin, 2006).

[30] Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, 111 Thayer Street, Brown University, Box 1970, Providence, RI USA 02912-1970; P +1 401 863 2809;;

[31] Physicians For Social Responsibility, Body Count, Casualty Figures After 10 Years of the “War on Terror”,           

[33] Physicians For Social Responsibility, Body Count, Casualty Figures After 10 Years of the “War on Terror”,; Dan Vergano, Half-Million Iraqis Died in the War, New Study Says – Household survey records deaths from all war-related causes, 2003 to 2011”, National Geographic, October 16, 2003:

[35] Nicolas J.S. Davies, Blood on our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq (Ann Arbor, MI: Nimble Books, 2010); “Over One Million Iraqi Deaths Caused by US Occupation”, Project Censored, April 10, 2010,


[40] Nick Turse, “A Shadow War in 150 Countries”, Tomgram, January 20, 2015 (Printed October 27, 2015;

[41] Mark Mazzetti, Nicholas Kulish, Christopher Drew, Serge F. Kovaleski, Sean D. Naylor and John Ismay, “SEAL Team 6: A Secret History of Quiet Killings and Blurred Lines”, New York Times, June 6, 2015;, joining the US Special Forces /06/07/world/asia/the-secret-history-of-seal-team-6.html?_r=0.

[42] Aaron Sharp, “SAS and US special forces forming hunter killer unit to ‘smash Islamic State’”, August 23, 2014:

[43] Ahmed Rashid, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001), 13, 18.

[44] Michael Billington, “Passionate Pinter’s Devastating Assault on US Foreign Policy Shades of Beckett as ailing playwright delivers powerful Nobel lecture”, The Guardian UK, December 8, 2005.


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