If President George W. Bush is truly serious about punishing
those ultimately responsible for the World Trade Center and Pentagon
attacks, then he should dispatch an expeditionary corps to annihilate
the world's biggest "school of terrorism," CIA headquarters
in Langley, Virginia. It is an undeniable fact that the Central
Intelligence Agency trained, armed and motivated the Islamic paramilitaries
to wage a war by any means in Afghanistan, Chechnya and Kosovo.
It was the CIA handbook that taught the Islamic fighters to use
civil infrastructure such as tunnels and airliners to attack military
forces and "soft targets" no matter the collateral damage
to civilians. It was CIA advisers to the Afghan fighters who gleefully
encouraged the massacre of teachers, doctors, members of women's
organizations and other civilians following the Soviet pullout
from Kabul. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was entirely
predictable that the CIA's brutal new rules of engagement would
come full circle back to Washington and New York.
absurdity of Bush's brave talk of "war" is that his
own team in the State Department are very same individuals who
indoctrinated Osama bin Laden under the administration of his
father, George Bush the Elder. Richard Armitage, current Deputy
Secretary of State and White House point man on South Asia, was
the chief organizer of the clandestine flow of weapons to the
Afghan guerrillas during the 1980s. Armitage, today's "fireman"
in charge of suppressing the inflammatory bin Laden, is yesterday's
"arsonist," who saw the lanky-bearded firebrand as one
of his best and brightest protégés.
Osama bin Laden, a popular hero in the Muslim world, makes a tempting,
if elusive, target for American grief, it is a mystery how he
could have organized the U.S. attacks right under the noses of
the CIA's top intelligence experts camped out at his front door.
Over the past summer, the entire State Department team for South
Asia all of them former or acting CIA officials has visited
or been stationed in the capitals of Pakistan and India. They
George Tenet, CIA director made a clandestine visit to Islamabad
and Peshawar, the listening post near the Afghan border.
Richard Armitage, a CIA and Defense Intelligence veteran
met with Indian security officials in New Delhi.
Christina Rocco, Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia
and former official in the CIA Directorate of Operations (the
covert arm that conducts sabotage and assassination) toured
Pakistan in July.
Wendy Chamberlin, Bush's newly appointed Ambassador to Islamabad,
is also a former CIA operative and close associate of Rocco.
Robert D. Blackwill, the new Ambassador to New Delhi, is an
intelligence veteran and served as assistant in the National
Security Agency to then President George Bush in 1989-90. Blackwill,
by the way, was the faculty member at the Harvard Kennedy School
of Government who served as the CIA's chief "handler"
of the Chinese PLA officer who defected late last year.
As late as September, three members of the Senate Intelligence
Subcommittee also visited Pakistan with an entourage of espionage
of these top intelligence professionals with their 30 billion
dollar tool chest of satellite remote sensing, radio intercepts
and double agents failed to detect even a glimmer that the
audacious Twin Towers operation might be in the works. This is
because the attack was conducted by citizens of the faraway United
Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, US allies in the Iran-Iraq War
and the Gulf War. Despite the talk about hitting back at host
countries of the hijackers, nobody in Washington is suggesting
air strikes against Saudi Arabia a vital oil-producing Gulf
state the safe haven for the actual suspects. Since the pilots
trained in the "rogue state" of Florida, the hideout
of Jeb Bush surely belongs on the President's list of airstrike
targets. Before sending an armada to the Indian Ocean and inserting
American troops into the Graveyard of Empires, as Afghanistan
is sometimes called, Americans should consider four reasons why
Islamic fighters including bin Laden are angry at the United States.
and most obvious is the unstinting US support for Israel, even
as Israeli security forces openly gun down Palestinian children
in the streets and in their homes.
the CIA's successful attempt following the Camp David accords
to recruit key members of the Egyptian military to neutralize
the only Arab country capable of bringing the Israeli war machine
the deliberate US bombing of Iraqi civilians during the Gulf War
and subsequent sanctions on even milk and medicine, which have
killed hundreds of thousands of ordinary people.
and most symbolic, the failure to withdraw American troops from
Saudi soil following the Mecca Incident of 1993, long covered
up by the Pentagon and revealed now for the first time by highly
reliable sources in the Pakistani military. Mecca may well prove
to be the rock that will break American military might.
to these sources, in 1993, a mob of drunken US servicemen attempted
to barge into the holiest shrine of Islam. When a crowd of pilgrims
pleaded with them and tried to block their entry, the armed American
soldiers physically assaulted the worshippers and stormed into
the sanctuary. The guards of Mecca opened fire, killing 18 US
by this blatant act of sacrilege and supreme insult on top of
so many injuries, leading Saudi families demanded the immediate
expulsion of American troops from Saudi Arabia. After the unrepentant
Pentagon stubbornly refused to depart, the World Trade Center
was bombed in 1993, the first in a string of attacks against American
interests that reached a climax on September 11, 2001.
it is instinctive to resist Muslim demands after such a devastating
attack, Americans should face the fact that the ultimate responsibility
for the carnage in New York rests squarely on policies, actions
and attitudes of the CIA, the Pentagon and the White House. Until
these policies are reversed, more attacks can be expected and
civil liberties will shrink even further as the naked fear sinks
into the body politic.
enemy to blame for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the
Pentagon, and the clandestine attacks to come, may be fanatical,
but they are certainly not shadowy or unknown. We have met the
enemy, and the enemy is us.
Clark Shimatsu, former general editor of The Japan Times Weekly
and journalism lecturer at The University of Hong Kong, recently
traveled to Pakistan to report on the Kashmir issue.