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"The CIA Operation Cyclone's Blowback"

By Mir Hekmatullah Sadat
San Diego, California

September 12, 2001



In 1993, I sent President Clinton a college research paper entitled the "Afghanistan, Pakistan and Terrorism." Again, in 1997 I chose to do my senior thesis on this topic entitled, "Afghan Jihad Shapes a New Brand of Terrorists." Later, I tried to publish this paper in the Afghan Mosaic as a shortened essay under the name Nest of Terrorism, however a few apologists on the magazine convinced the editorial board not to publish the essay (click here to read some of their comments). I also published a Dari translation of this article in Dari text papers in Germany.


As a one who has Afghan parents, both of whom are not only peace-loving Muslims but also appreciate America, the recent tragedy has become a very important because Afghans are neither terrorists nor do all Afghans support the Taliban.  My father being a former diplomat, I have profound interest in Afghanistan's international relations and The United States' Policy towards Afghanistan.  To me it is still a dream, a bad nightmare because September 11, 2001 is now a catastrophic event in the course of modern history. On that tragic Tuesday, Americans became victims to the same fascist force that has repressed Afghans for the last decade. This repressive regime is one of the reasons why Afghans left their homeland in search of finding peace in exile.

Although the recent attack was paramount, it was not the first such attack on America or its allies by these terrorists. Yet, it is true that most of these terrorists received their training in Pakistan's ISI
(Inter-Service Intelligence) sponsored camps during the Afghan struggle against the USSR.

In December of 1979, when the USSR invaded Afghanistan, the world's militants raced to the region. The ISI was designated as the direct channel for the aid and training of militants. Although the
Afghan groups welcomed support, they did not have the skills, personnel, or funding to train these militants. Shortly after their arrival, these foreign militants quickly revealed their extremist ways, which
conflicts with the peaceful Afghan approach towards Islam.

Still, these militants were tolerated because of their connection to prominent Pakistanis and Arabs who pumped millions of dollars to Afghan groups. This became most evident when these political fanatic
groups seized Kabul in 1992. In 1993, their regime offered political asylum to Sheik Abdur Rahman. Similarly in 1998, their replacement, the Taliban extended asylum to Osama bin Laden.

Brigadier Yousaf, the ISI's officer in charge of training the militants indicated in his book The Bear Trap that over 80,000 militants went through Pakistan's training camps between 1984-1987. As the
Red Army withdrew, the military forces under the command of Osama bin Laden accounted for 20,000 Arab militants. In fact, Camp Zhawar Khili (near Khost) and the Jalalabad Camp were set up by the ISI.

During the Afghan conflict of the late 1970's and until the withdrawal of the Red Army, Afghans may have engaged in the conflict because of their national obligations. However, non-Afghans that joined had
international objectives, an adultered version of "Jihad", and some had thoughts of training their militants for future reuse. For example, Pakistan's President Zia-al-Haq dreamt of creating a militant
green belt across Asia.

The Pakistani connection can be formally traced back to the early 1970's. Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto started a terrorist training facility in 1973 for the unsettled issue of Pashtunistan with Afghanistan and Kashmir with India. From the day, Pakistan was incepted until the Soviet invasion roughly 33 years-Afghanistan and Pakistan were always on very unfavorable grounds with each other.

For most of this time, there were no diplomatic ties and constant protests against each other. Hence, Pakistan's disdain for Zahir Shah and other Afghans who consider Shah Amanullah Ghazi and recent times the late President Mohammad Daoud, the ISI-assassinated Dr. Mohammad Najibullah, or the recently ISI-assassinated Commander Ahmad Shah Masoud as their ideologues. All these men had truly one thing in
common; they were Afghan nationalists foremost and were despised by the Pakistani government. Whatever their imperfections, Afghans believe these men represented national unity, the struggle for
independence, and Afghan patriotic sentiments. Most Afghans believe that these goals are things Pakistan never wants because it threatens Pakistan's national interests.

Zahir Shah and his supporters tried numerous times to go visit the Afghans in Pakistan but were refused visas. His supporters that fled to Pakistan were told to leaves soon because their safety can not be assured. Zahir Shah activists such Hakim Katawazi, Bahauddin Majroh, and Abdul Ahad Karzai were assassinated in Pakistan. 

During Zia-al-Haq's tenure, the ISI stirred up unrest along the Afghan border. The ISI openly nurtured terrorist campaigns against Afghanistan since 1973.  The aim of Pakistani policy makers was to block the
revival of nationalism and assure recognition of what Pakistan had always claimed as its international border, the Durand Line, by achieving a disunited and decentralized Afghan state. Twenty years later, this
policy was successful and Afghanistan fell to the Taliban, a terrorist regime.

Today, Americans and the ordinary people of Afghanistan are facing the same awful monster. Whether bin Laden resides in Afghanistan or elsewhere--- his remaining followers, the Taliban, and other Afghan political fanatics such as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Abdul Rasul Sayaf will continue to halt and sabotage any attempts towards establishing a democratic government in Afghanistan.

These groups are the main factors in Afghanistan's Civil War and they encourage disintegration because destabilization means one more day that they are evading a government that will bring them to justice.
A decade ago, President Reagan and world hailed Afghans as brave freedom fighters against the evil Soviet Empire, but today Afghanistan's name is being etched as an international sponsor of terrorism.

President Bush summed it up best, "Afghanistan's people have been brutalized, many are starving and many have fled. Women are not allowed to attend school. You can be jailed for owning a television.
Religion can be practiced only as their leaders dictate. A man can be jailed in Afghanistan if his beard is not long enough." Afghanistan has been exploited by neighboring countries, far-reaching drug
dealers, worldwide antique smugglers, ethno-linguistic-religious warlords, the despicable treatment of Afghans in neighboring refugee camps, and international terrorists.

However, firing more Tomahawk cruise missile will only agitate matters. Furthermore, Afghans do not need and will not benefit if the world only condemns the Taliban or other political fanatic groups. Similarly, it would be foolhardy to expect change to come from within Afghanistan because Afghans are a people held hostage by current regime. Afghanistan is suffering from a brain drain phenomenon and no intellectuals remain and those left behind fear reprisals.

Many attributed the Afghan Diaspora to the abandonment of the Western countries, especially the United States, of their Afghan friends. The world has a responsibility to ensure that a democratically elected government in Afghanistan under UN auspices comes to power! The return of the exiled Afghan intellectuals, bureaucrats, technocrats, and military officers regardless what their ethnic, religious, regional, or political stance must be secured.

Afghans know that they are not fair-skinned like the Bosnians or rich in oil like the Kuwaiti, but Afghans must surely have something worthy of saving by the world community. If the United States of America is the champion and savior of freedom and democracy, then I plea with President Bush to free the people of Afghanistan and restore humanity! Secretary-General Annan, please convince the United Nations to send in the blue helmets! Don't let the ISI run the show!



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