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Political and philosophical considerations after the attack on the Word Trade Center

The US involvement in Afghanistan in 1979,
before the Soviet invasion

Editorial note: since i could not find the text of the original interview
(translation shown below), i have appended several independent references
to this same interview that establish the veracity of the claim being made
about US involvement in Afghanistan.

How Carter and Brzezinski Helped Start the Afghan Mess

Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski
Le Nouvel Observateur (France)
Jan 15-21, 1998, p. 76*

Q: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs
["From the Shadows"], that American intelligence services began to aid
the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention.
In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter.
You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?

Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to 
the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army 
invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until 
now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President 
Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of The 
pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the 
president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was 
going to induce a Soviet military intervention.

Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But 
perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to 
provoke it?

B: It isn't quite that. We didn't push the Russians to intervene, but we 
knowingly increased the probability that they would.

Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they 
intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in 
Afghanistan, people didn't believe them. However, there was a basis of 
truth. You don't regret anything today?

B: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the 
effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to 
regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote
to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its 
Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war 
unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the 
demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism,
having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

B: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the 
collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation 
of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated: 
fundamentalism represents a world menace today.

B: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to 
Islam. That is stupid. There isn't a global Islam. Look at Islam in a 
rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading 
religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in 
common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan 
militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more
than what unites the Christian countries.

* There are at least two editions of this magazine; with the perhaps sole 
exception of [that in] the Library of Congress, the version sent to the 
United States is shorter than the French version, and the Brzezinski 
interview was not included in the shorter version.

Translation from the French by Bill Blum, author of
"Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II" and
"Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower".

Excerpt 1:

Consider Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security advisor
to Jimmy Carter.  In a 1998 interview he admitted that the
official story that the US gave military aid to the
Afghanistan opposition only after the Soviet invasion in 1979
was a lie.  The truth was, he said, that the US began aiding
the Islamic fundamentalist Moujahedeen six months before the
Russians made their move, even though he believed -- and told
this to Carter -- that "this aid was going to induce a Soviet
military intervention". {7}

7. Le Nouvel Observateur (France), January 15-21, 1998, p.76. 
There are at least two editions of this magazine; with the
perhaps sole exception of the Library of Congress, the version
sent to the United States is shorter than the French version, and
the Brzezinski interview was not included in the shorter version.


Excerpt 2:


David N. Gibbs, Afghanistan: The Soviet Invasion in Retrospect 

A review of Diego Cordovez and Selig S. Harrison, Out of Afghanistan:
The Inside Story of the Soviet Withdrawal (Oxford:  Oxford University
Press, 1995); Ralph H. Magnus and Eden Naby, Afghanistan:  Mullah, Marx,
and Mujahid (Boulder, CO:  Westview, 1998); and Zbigniew Brzezinski,
"Les Revelations d'un Ancien Conseiller de Carter: 'Oui, la CIA est
Entree en Afghanistan avant les Russes...'" Le Nouvel Observateur
[Paris] (January 15-21, 1998). 

International Politics, Vol. 37, No. 2 Abstracts
(last entry on this page)

Excerpt 3:

[Note: the French accents have been removed]

Decidee a destabiliser "l'empire du mal", la CIA mit sur pied, entre 1977 
et 1978, en collaboration avec les services secrets turcs et seoudiens, 
des reseaux de propagande islamiste destines a infiltrer les mouvements 
nationalistes musulmans d'Asie centrale.

Dans ses Memoires ("From the Shadows", editions Simon and Schuster), 
l'ancien Directeur de la CIA Robert Gates affirme que les services 
speciaux americains avaient commence a aider les Moudjahidin afghans - en 
rebellion contre le pouvoir communiste de Najibullah - des le 3 juillet 
1979, soit six mois avant l'invasion sovietique. Zbigniew Brzezinski 
reconnait pour sa part, dans une interview accordee au "Nouvel Observateur"
des 15-21 janvier 1998, que la CIA aurait en fait, a travers cette 
operation clandestine, "sciemment augmente la probabilite" que l'URSS 
envahisse l'Afghanistan. "Cette operation secrete etait une excellente 
idee. Elle a eu pour effet d'attirer les Russes dans le piege afghan". Il 
est d'ailleurs difficile de ne pas faire ici le lien avec l'affaire 
irakienne quant on sait que la CIA a deliberement incite l'Irak a envahir 
le Koweit afin d'avoir ensuite un pretexte pour pouvoir intervenir dans 
cette zone...


Excerpt 3:

Brzezinski brags, blows cover

U.S. intervened in Afghanistan first

By Leslie Feinberg

Why did the United States government spend billions of dollars financing 
the overthrow of a progressive regime in Afghanistan?

For years the official line has been that the CIA began funding the 
counter-revolution in 1980 only because the Soviet Union had sent its 
troops into Afghanistan on Dec. 24, 1979.

A war ensued. It reduced much of Afghanistan to rubble. Finally, the 
progressives were overwhelmed, the president was mutilated and hanged on a
public street in the capital city of Kabul, and right-wing fundamentalists 
financed by the CIA took over.

The consequences for the population, especially women, have been 

Now Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was President Jimmy Carter's national 
security advisor, has admitted that covert U.S. intervention began long 
before the USSR sent in its troops to help the Afghani Revolution.

Brzezinski told the French weekly Nouvel Observateur that the CIA began 
bankrolling counter-revolutionary forces in mid-1979. "We did not push the
Russians into intervening, but we knowingly increased the probability that 
they would," said Brzezinski, as quoted by the French Press Agency on Jan.
14, 1998.

"That secret operation was an excellent idea. The effect was to draw the 
Russians into the Afghan trap."

Via Workers World News Service
Reprinted from the March 12, 1998 issue of Workers World newspaper