Afghanistan, Russia, and US hypocrisy on a breath-taking, cosmic-scale

By   /   April 26, 2017  /   11 Comments

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When did the US worry about violating international law when it supplied $3 billion worth of weapons and other support for Afghan rebels to over-throw the Soviet-aligned government in Kabul?

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That was then…

In December 1979, the then-Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan to prop up a pro-Moscow, communist government. The reformist communist government of Babrak Karmal was threatened by insurgent groups, which were funded and supported by Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran, and… the United States.

The US became a major supporter of Afghan rebels;

And the CIA began one of its longest and most expensive covert operations, supplying billions of dollars in arms to a collection of Afghan guerrillas fighting the Soviets. The arms shipments included Stinger missiles, the shoulder-fired, antiaircraft weapons that were used with deadly accuracy against Soviet helicopters and that are now in circulation among terrorists who have fired such weapons at commercial airliners. Among the rebel recipients of U.S. arms: Osama bin Laden.

Then-US President, Ronald Reagan in February 1983,  met with Afghan Mujahideen leaders;

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In March 1983, Reagan praised Afghan rebels as freedom fighters;

“To watch the courageous Afghan freedom fighters battle modern arsenals with simple hand-held weapons is an inspiration to those who love freedom. Their courage teaches us a great lesson — that there are things in this world worth defending.

To the Afghan people, I say on behalf of all Americans that we admire your heroism, your devotion to freedom, and your relentless struggle against your oppressors.”

By 1991,  Washington matched its rhetoric with cold, hard American dollars,  committing $250 million annually for the mujahidin;

Initially, the CIA refused to provide American arms to the resistance, seeking to maintain plausible deniability.(25) (The State Department, too, also opposed providing American-made weapons for fear of antagonizing the Soviet Union.(26) The 1983 suggestion of American Ambassador to Pakistan Ronald Spiers, that the U.S. provide Stingers to the mujahidin accordingly went nowhere for several years.(27) Much of the resistance to the supply of Stinger missiles was generated internally from the CIA station chief’s desire (prior to the accession of Bearden to the post) to keep the covert assistance program small and inconspicuous. Instead, the millions appropriated went to purchase Chinese, Warsaw Pact, and Israeli weaponry. Only in March 1985, did Reagan’s national security team formally decide to switch their strategy from mere harassment of Soviet forces in Afghanistan to driving the Red Army completely out of the country.(28) After vigorous internal debate, Reagan’s military and national security advisors agreed to provide the mujahidin with the Stinger anti-aircraft missile. At the time, the United States possessed only limited numbers of the weapon. Some of the Joint Chiefs of Staff also feared accountability problems and proliferation of the technology to Third World countries.(29) It was not until September 1986, that the Reagan administration decided to supply Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to the mujahidin, thereby breaking the embargo on “Made-in-America” arms.

Support for the rebel groups with money and weapons succeeded. Soviet forces withdrew from Afghanistan by 1988/89. Following from America’s humiliating defeat in Indo-china in the 1970s, this was pay-back for the Soviets having supported North Vietnam in the conflict.

In the power-vacuum that followed, the anti-Western Taliban seized power.

Own goal, Washington!

This is now…

History seems to be repeating;

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Trump appointee,  Defense Secretary ‘Mad dog’ Mattis has accused Russia of supplying weapons to Afghan rebels;

Asked about Russia’s activity in Afghanistan, where it fought a bloody war in the 1980s and withdrew in defeat, Mattis alluded to the US’ increasing concerns.

“We’ll engage with Russia diplomatically,” Mattis said. “But we’re going to have to confront Russia where what they’re doing is contrary to international law or denying the sovereignty of other countries. For example, any weapons being funneled here [to Afghanistan] from a foreign country would be a violation of international law.””

Violation of international law“?!

When did the US worry about violating international law when it supplied $3 billion worth of weapons and other support for Afghan rebels to over-throw the Soviet-aligned government in Kabul?

Methinks our American cuzzies doth protest too much. International law seemed not too high on their list of priorities when they armed Afghan rebels in the 1970s and 80s.

Secretary Mattis should study recent history – or stick a big, bold “H” on his forehead.

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“H” being for hypocrisy.

Postscript

Meanwhile, according to Russian government-aligned RT News, ” President Donald Trump [is] contemplat[ing] sending more troops to Afghanistan“.

Because sending more troops will help.  Remind us again how that turned out for the US in Vietnam in the 1960s and 70s?

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References

Wikipedia: Afghanistan

Time: The Oily Americans

Wafflesatnoon: Misquote – Reagan Didn’t Compare Taliban to Founding Fathers

Reagan Library: Message on the Observance of Afghanistan Day

The Washington Institute: Who Is Responsible for the Taliban?

Google books: False Flags, Covert Operations, & Propaganda By Robert B Durham (p242)

CNN: Encore Presentation – Soldiers of God

Al Jazeera: US officials in Afghanistan suggest Russia arms Taliban

RT News: Bomb attack hits US base in Afghanistan as Defense Sec Mattis visits Kabul, casualties reported

Additional

Snopes.com: Freedumb Fighters

Al Jazeera: Afghanistan – The Soviet Union’s Vietnam

Previous related blogposts

PM unimpressed by protest outside his house – Afghans unimpressed by mass murder at weddings

The Sweet’n’Sour Deliciousness of Irony: Russia accused of meddling in US Election

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11 Comments

  1. Francesca says:

    Russia has become the get out of jail card for every instance when things don’t go according to plan
    The US has been losing in Afghanistan for a good long time
    The US has been funding rebels allied with Al Nusra/Al Quaeda in Syria ,opposing the UN recognised government with no qualms about international law
    I don’t know how even a mad dog(Mattis) can voice such blatant hypocrisies without blushing

    • Jax says:

      Agree Francesca.
      Frank, when an accusation is made you need to consider the credibility of it. There is no evidence of weapons being supplied to the Taliban by Russia.
      When asked about this Sergei Lavrov said it was complete nonsense. He said that whenever the US starts losing their wars they blame Russia . Russia has been the kicKing boy for every incident that happens in the world because the simpering West will always believe what they are told by the US.

      So to credibility. Lavrov is the ultimate diplomat, personable and a respected foreign minister by most of the International community.
      Mad Dog Mattis on the other hand is bordering on early onset dementia.

      Don’t forget that in the 90’s it was the US and its’ Saudi friends who recognised the Taliban whilst Russia and Iran set up the anti Taliban Northen Alliance.
      I read not so long ago in a Russian newspaper that when a high ranking Russian official was being interviewed about Afghanistan he said that the Taliban had asked if Russia would help get rid of the US and the response was ‘No. Fuck off” .He said that Russia had learnt their lesson in fighting the Afghanis.

      • Frank, when an accusation is made you need to consider the credibility of it. There is no evidence of weapons being supplied to the Taliban by Russia.
        When asked about this Sergei Lavrov said it was complete nonsense.

        Your faith in a state functionary is touching, Jax.

        However, I think you’ve utterly missed the point of what I’ve written.

      • Otto Mann says:

        Quote: “So to credibility. Lavrov is the ultimate diplomat, personable and a respected foreign minister by most of the International community.”

        Don’t forget to kiss his feet, Jax.

    • I don’t know how even a mad dog(Mattis) can voice such blatant hypocrisies without blushing

      Indeed, Francesca. The thought occurred to me, as well.

  2. As F W Engdahl noted in his recent book The Lost Hegemon, the US intervention was approved before Soviet troops were even requested, let alone deployed. Funnily enough I just noted that Frank’s Wikipedia leak supports this:

    “In September 1979, Nur Muhammad Taraki was assassinated in a coup within the PDPA orchestrated by fellow Khalq member Hafizullah Amin, who assumed the presidency. Distrusted by the Soviets, Amin was assassinated by Soviet special forces in December 1979. A Soviet-organized government, led by Parcham’s Babrak Karmal but inclusive of both factions, filled the vacuum. Soviet troops were deployed to stabilize Afghanistan under Karmal in more substantial numbers
    ….
    The United States had been supporting anti-Soviet Afghan mujahideen and foreign “Afghan Arab” fighters through Pakistan’s ISI as early as mid-1979 (see CIA activities in Afghanistan).”

    Indeed, it is quite clear that by the time Taraki was assassinated, the USA was already in league with local jihadists. Incidentally, if you are interested in just how and why the US deep state has been in cahoots for decades with radical Sunni Islamic terrorist movements, the Lost Hegemon is a great read

    https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Hegemon-Whom-would-destroy/dp/3981723708

    • Francesca says:

      Thanks for that
      In an interview with Ziggy Brzezinski, he also admits this.
      The so called Russian invasion of Afghanistan was at the invitation of the Afghan socialist govt.

  3. Mike in Auckland says:

    Hypocrisy all right, are we surprised though, as Trump now has got the generals on his side?

  4. Mike in Auckland says:

    Oh yes, and the complaints about Russian hackers and so interfering in the last US elections, that was another one, full of hypocrisy, even their won media reported on the CIA’s involvement in Chile many years ago:
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=82588&page=1

    Over history, the US had repeatedly interfered in the affairs of that country:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_intervention_in_Chile

    History is being repeated, in different geographic locations, it seems.

  5. […] blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 26 April […]