By the way, don't think that it is only corrupt elements of Pakistan's government and Islamic extremists who profit by drug trafficking. That money travels from the street, where the drugs are bought, to the fields of Afghanistan, where poppies are grown -- and most of it stops somewhere in between, or gets diverted elsewhere.
And those damned peacetalks with the Taliban were going to ruin all this.
Funny how, after decades supporting militant Islamic extremists and supporting the Taliban, Pakistan's security forces all of a sudden got on-board, coming up with the Taliban's No. 2 guy.
There is an interesting article at Asia Times Online, entitled War and peace: A Taliban view, by Syed Saleem Shahzad, dated March 26, 2010. In it, a spokesman for the Taliban denied the back-channel peace talks:
Mullah Baradar was part of the Taliban and there was no trust deficit between him and Mullah Omar. However, it is entirely false that he was part of any reconciliation process or that he held any talks with anybody.
Hmmm... no back-channel peacetalks?
Part 2 has some interesting information:
I switch topics. "Do you think the conflict in Afghanistan will just go on, and that there is no point in talks?"
The Taliban leader looks into my eyes for a while before answering.
"This all comes from real intentions. They want our defeat, not reconciliation. This talks issue is not a new one. The Taliban talked to the Americans, the Saudis and to the Pakistanis even before 9/11. The Taliban wanted to avoid the war [on Afghanistan in 2001] but we felt that the Americans were bent on a war and wanted to dislodge the Taliban government, and they were looking for some excuse.
"They made an issue of Osama bin Laden's presence in Afghanistan and tightened the noose around the Taliban government. We said that Osama bin Laden was just an individual. For argument's sake, say that tomorrow he died. Would the Taliban government then be acceptable to you? The Americans responded with other issues, women's rights and human rights in Afghanistan, as well as education.
"We replied, 'OK, we will work on mechanisms under which we will take steps for women's education and the improvement of human rights.' What then? The Americans raised another issue, about holding elections. At this point we realized the Americans were only concerned about waging war on Afghanistan for whatever reason. Had 9/11 not happened, they would have found any old excuse to wage war," says Abdullah.
Hmmm... "'any old excuse to wage war,' says Abdullah."
A series entitled "Genesis" was done at another blog based on official US government documents, and the series, with some analysis, led to the conclusion that Pakistan, likely with US support, established the Taliban to stabilize Afghanistan, with an eye towards building a pipeline through the country from Central Asian gas fields to the Pakistani port of Gwadar.
Looking back decades before, to another war and another part of the world, there's a debate about whether the United States had really been caught off-guard at Pearl Harbor, or whether some people high in government had information about an attack, but allowed it to occur so there would be reason for the United States to enter the war, and provide badly needed help in defeating the Axis.
Of course, that could never have happened, and it SURE could never have happened again!
One of the problems with conspiracy theories (there are usually many problems) is that they tend to overestimate the competence of governments.
From 'I Saw Papers That Show US Knew al-Qa'ida Would Attack Cities With Airplanes', dated April 2, 2004:
A former translator for the FBI with top-secret security clearance says she has provided information to the panel investigating the 11 September attacks which proves senior officials knew of al-Qa'ida's plans to attack the US with aircraft months before the strikes happened.
She said the claim by the National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, that there was no such information was "an outrageous lie".
Sibel Edmonds said she spent more than three hours in a closed session with the commission's investigators providing information that was circulating within the FBI in the spring and summer of 2001 suggesting that an attack using aircraft was just months away and the terrorists were in place. The Bush administration, meanwhile, has sought to silence her and has obtained a gagging order from a court by citing the rarely used "state secrets privilege".
She told The Independent yesterday: "I gave [the commission] details of specific investigation files, the specific dates, specific target information, specific managers in charge of the investigation. I gave them everything so that they could go back and follow up. This is not hearsay. These are things that are documented. These things can be established very easily."
She added: "There was general information about the time-frame, about methods to be used but not specifically about how they would be used and about people being in place and who was ordering these sorts of terror attacks. There were other cities that were mentioned. Major cities with skyscrapers."
FBI and other government documents, officially released in the course of the Moussaoui trial, specifically and strongly support the assertion that the US government was aware of the danger prior to the attack.
You know, the Taliban were getting in the way of our petroleum deals.
And, in 2001, they had just cracked down on opiate production.
According to information in the Sibel Edmonds case, some of which has now come out through depositions, heroin money was being channeled through Turkish contacts to bribe US government officials, both elected and appointed, from both parties, in the years prior to 9/11. (The Sibel Edmonds case tells us a great deal about this; you can start learning about it here.) Word of the coming terrorist attacks was coming through counternarcotics and counterespionage channels - and, had word gotten out, a lot of US politicians would have been caught with their fingers in a poppy pie!
However, on the other fingers on the other hand, there was no poppy pie, but plenty of fossil fuels: a major terrorist attack on the US would galvanize public opinion to attack Al Qaeda's sponsors, the Taliban. This would pave the way for the pipeline deal to go through. And, for those in the US government receiving bribes from foreign organized crime, it would also allow US troops to protect opiate production from Taliban interference as part of a strategy to win the hearts and minds of Afghan farmers, while blaming resurgent opiate production on Al Qaeda (who, incidentally, does in fact play a role in opiate production and shipment).
From War and peace: A Taliban view, Part 2:
"Once [Mullah Omar] asked Mullah Baradar to meet him, but Baradar replied that he operated in the field and might one day be arrested, and that would compromise Mullah Omar's position. Remember, nobody can isolate Mullah Omar. Everything in the Taliban starts and ends with Mullah Omar's orders," Abdullah says.
Mullah Omar, "commander of the faithful" - the weak link in the Taliban?
Or, The Taliban - fly in the ointment?
Okay, as long as I'm off in the direction of the loony bin, let's go all the way - in for a penny, in for a pound! For conspiracy kooks, there is a series of posts that has to be the Grand Unified Theory of conspiracies. From The Twilight Zone, Part 1, dated February 22, 2008:
The War on Terror is a charade: scratch it once, it comes up Big Oil; scratch it twice, it comes up Big Heroin.
Speaking of conspiracies, the first commentator at the end of The Twilight Zone, Part 1 wrote to the post author:
This is high explosive, YD! Take very good care of yourself.
And now that blogger, the author of that "high explosive" post, has stopped blogging, leaving behind a mysterious comment on how his (or her) email had been subpoenaed:
Another fly in somebody's ointment?