Osama Bin Laden: Convenient Scapegoat?

by Gilles d'Aymery

October 29, 2001

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Let us affirm loud and clear at the outset that we, in America, are a peaceful people. Peace is our god given aspiration. We are a loving people. Love is our god given guide. (1) Freedom is our god given defense against evil. Democracy is our most achieved god given system of government. (2) We are also a generous people. We want to share peace and love and freedom and democracy with all people of good will all over the world. (3) In god we trust, with humility and honesty, for we are deeply, inherently a good people. We do not lie. We trust our government. Our government represents us and epitomizes the truthfulness of the American character. (4)

We are Americans. God, in his infinite wisdom has bestowed upon us these qualities and attributes. May god bless America.

I may now, having acknowledged the awe-inspiring, self-revealing true dimension of our inner selves, carry on with my day as directed by none other but god himself and review the events of 9-11 accordingly, with all the above qualities and attributes firmly impressed on my mind.

Most sadly, our Law Enforcement Agencies, all 18,000 of them according to Attorney General Ashcroft, primarily our FBI, NSC, CIA, NEA, etc., were unable to learn of and prevent these horrific attacks. We have been told that these agencies were in dire need to get more, better-targeted laws on the book and acquire increased tools and capabilities to fight this new threat. This has been remedied thanks to a sweeping antiterrorism legislation and an emergency appropriation of billions of dollars for our armed forces and Law Enforcement Agencies.

Most fortunately, however, our wonderful people within these agencies were able within 24 hours of the tragedy, in spite of the lack of funds and absence of sufficient laws and regulations, to round countless suspects and to find leads pointing towards the evil-doers.

One day we did not know. The next day, we did.

Such an extraordinary and swift gathering of the evidence allowed our beloved, democratically-elected (with less than 25 percent of potential voters), Supreme Court-appointed president, with a current 94 percent approval rating, to decide within days to bomb Afghanistan and smoke out dead or alive the evil man, Osama bin Laden, who, according to the allegedly conclusive but unreleased (for national security reasons of course) investigation, had masterminded the attacks upon our god-blessed country. Three weeks later our well deserved, just retribution began. The military operations, one arm of our "war against terrorism," started with impressive efficiency on October 7, 2001.

Less than one month after the tragedy we were able to assemble the logistics and the strategy for our peace-loving, humanitarian mission (dropping food rations), democracy-seeking, and just retaliation, Enduring Freedom operation.

Terror will be uprooted. It took 78 days to make the Serbian "terrorists" see the light and accept the justice of the international community. As of this writing, only 21 days have gone by. Time is on our side.

Some slim, feeble voices -- certainly originating from the usual blame-America-first crowd -- raised a baseless question. How could the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff proclaim in the wake of the tragedy, "Make no mistake about it, we are ready?" How could such a coalition of forces be in a position to strike the evil-doers within such a short period of time?

One of these disturbed voices was that of Francis Anthony Boyle, a Professor of International Law at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Says Boyle, "Obviously, the war against Afghanistan was planned for quite some time. We know for a fact that it had been war-gamed by the Pentagon going back to 1997. Right around September 11, two US Aircraft carrier task forces conveniently arrived in the Persian Gulf right at the same time on 'rotation.' Obviously, preplanned. Just before September 11, the UK had put together what was billed as the 'largest armada since the Falklands War' and had it steaming towards Oman, where now 23,000 UK troops are on maneuvers. This had been planned for at least 3 years. Also, the US 'Bright Star' operation is currently going on in Egypt. 23,000 US troops plus an additional 17,000 from NATO and its associates. This had been planned at least two years ago. Finally, NATO just landed 12,000 troops into Turkey. This had been planned for at least two years. It is obvious that we are seeing an operational War Plan being executed here that had been in the works for at least the past four years. September 11 is either a pretext or a trigger or both." (5)

How could a man with a solid pedigree (Doctor of Law, 1976, from Harvard Law School, Master's Degree, 1978, and Ph.D., 1983, from Harvard University) advance such bizarre claims? Is Prof. Boyle another one of these leftist propagandists, un-patriotic Americans, like Edward Herman and others, who brainwash the minds of our young students on the campuses of our institutes of higher learning, the Ivy League universities across our great nation?

It must be. It must be....and yet...

On October 25, 2001, The New York Times ran a front-page story, "Long Before War, Green Berets Built Military Ties to Uzbekistan." "Years before the United States' war against the Taliban, [...] the effort at military cooperation was already expanding, according to officials and military personnel from both countries." The story goes on to say that these efforts began in 1995.

On February 12, 1998, a hearing before the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, of the Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives -- 105th Congress -- took place. In its second session, (6) the representatives heard the testimony of, among others, Mr. John Maresca, Vice President, International Relations, of Unocal Corporation. According to Mr. Maresca, "Unocal is one of the world's leading energy resource and project development companies." Mr. Maresca focused his testimony on three issues concerning Central Asia:

"The need for multiple pipeline routes for Central Asian oil and gas.

The need for U.S. support for international and regional efforts to achieve balanced and lasting political settlements within Russia, other newly independent states and in Afghanistan.

The need for structured assistance to encourage economic reforms and the development of appropriate investment climates in the region. In this regard, we specifically support repeal or removal of Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act."

Unocal has been working for years to build an oil pipeline across Afghanistan.

One year later, the 106th Congress passed the Silk Road Strategy Act of 1999, "to amend the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to target assistance to support the economic and political independence of the countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia." Among seven significant findings Congress noted that, "The region of the South Caucasus and Central Asia could produce oil and gas in sufficient quantities to reduce the dependence of the United States on energy from the volatile Persian Gulf region."

We reviewed the Silk Road Strategy Act, as well as the presence in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, of NATO, the Open Society Institute (George Soros) and EurAsia (or Eurasia), a private non-profit organization based in Washington D.C. and mostly financed by USAID (i.e., American tax dollars) on August 7, 2000 in "Armies of Compassion: The Missionary, the Businessman and the Military."

Still, one could argue that these related facts, while possibly showing some kind of a pattern, cannot by themselves confirm or infirm Professor Boyle's assertions. So let's go on.

On March 15, 2001, Rahul Bedi wrote in the well-known Jane's Intelligence Review, "India is believed to have joined Russia, the USA and Iran in a concerted front against Afghanistan's Taliban regime." (7)

On June 26, 2001, a report in the Public Affairs Magazine, Indiareacts, said, "India and Iran will 'facilitate' US and Russian plans for 'limited military action' against the Taliban if the contemplated tough new economic sanctions don't bend Afghanistan's fundamentalist regime." (8)

On September 18, 2001, George Arney of the BBC reported:

"A former Pakistani diplomat has told the BBC that the US was planning military action against Osama Bin Laden and the Taleban even before last week's attacks.

Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, was told by senior American officials in mid-July that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October.


[Mr. Naik] said that he was in no doubt that after the World Trade Center bombings this pre-existing US plan had been built upon and would be implemented within two or three weeks." (9)

Within two or three weeks? Counting from the day the report was filed, September 18, that would be quite accurately October 7, 2001, would it not?

So, is Prof. Boyle just another journageezer, advancing a storyline that has no teeth? Could it be that bin Laden and the Taliban are pretexts for a wider strategy? Could it be that securing military bases in Uzbekistan and other countries of the Caucasus are the real objectives? (10) Could it indeed be that the "war on terrorism" is a masquerade, a fig leaf hiding the tender parts of our thirst for oil?

And could it be that the actual culprits of 9-11 are nowhere to be found in Afghanistan?

Interestingly enough, following a story in The New Yorker by one of the very few remaining hard-core investigative journalists in our day and age, Seymour M. Hersh, (11) the story line has been evolving from Afghanistan to Iraq -- Iraq, good old Iraq, always up to the rescue! Hersh points to the links between the Saudis and the money trail, which can be extrapolated (and have been) all the way to the relations between the bin Laden family, the Saudis, and the highest ranking US government officials. (12) In the past few days, from ol' Bill Safire in The New York Times (October 22, 2001) to Jane's Report (13) it's "forget about the Saudis, it's all about Saddam." The new story line even made the front page of The New York Times on October 27 and, knowing the pestilent anti-Iraqi line of this major newspaper, it will be pushed harder and harder in the coming days. Here we go again, let's finish the job in Iraq! Forget about the Taliban. Forget about bin Laden. They are already in rubble (and wait till we're done with them, peanut butter notwithstanding). Ignore the Saudis, they are our friends and allies (business is our religion after all). Don't ever mention the Israelis; this would be political suicide! But Saddam, ah Saddam! Thank god, we have our Saddam...

Should we be particularly surprised if conspiracy theories are mushrooming (14) and our civil liberties toppled? (15)

When all is said and done, people who sincerely identify with the first paragraph of this essay, understanding the patterns in the narrative, will hopefully ask for answers to the few questions raised thereafter.



1.  Since World War II, we have bombed, in the name of peace and love:
China (1945-46, 1950-53),
Korea (1950-53),
Guatemala (1954, 1967-69),
Indonesia (1958),
Cuba (1959-60),
Belgian Congo (1964),
Peru (1965),
Laos (1964-73),
Vietnam (1961-73),
Cambodia (1969-70),
Grenada (1983),
Libya (1986),
El Salvador (1980s),
Nicaragua (1980s),
Panama (1989),
Iraq (1991- present),
Bosnia (1995),
Sudan and Afghanistan (1998),
Yugoslavia (1999).  (back)
2.  We have supported in the name of freedom and democracy all the non-socialist dictatorships in the world for the past 60 years from Marcos in the Philippines, Diem in Vietnam, Pinochet in Chile, Suharto in Indonesia, Zia (and now Musharraf) in Pakistan, Franco in Spain, Mobutu in Zaire, Duvalier in Haiti, Ozal in Turkey, the Shah in Iran, Salazar in Portugal, Somoza in Nicaragua, Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, Stroessner in Paraguay, Papadopoulos in Greece, Batista in Cuba, Idi Amin in Uganda, all the rulers of Saudi Arabia, and on and on and on.  (back)
3.  Notwithstanding the peanut butter dropped above Afghanistan, we provide, in the name of our generosity, less help per capita than practically all other industrialized countries in the world (actually we are next to last). We give less than half of the average other countries give per capita. Incredible? Check http://www.cbpp.org/4-25-00bud-pr.htm.  (back)
4.  In the name of our humility and honesty we trust our government to tell the truth, even when it does not; a few examples:
USS Maine (Spain never sunk the ship. But we sure did go to war)
Pearl Harbor (there is clear evidence that the FDR administration was fully aware of the attack)
Gulf of Tonkin (to war we went, gung-ho, on the basis of a hoax)
Iran-contra (bibles included)
Iraq (from April Glaspie to the infamous Kuwaiti incubators and the absence of any Iraqi troops on the Saudi borders, another war based on mere deception)
Bosnia (Markale marketplace massacre, so-called "concentration" camps, so-called rape camps. Here the list is endless)
Yugoslavia (bin Laden-supported KLA becoming "freedom fighters," PR Holocaust campaign, Racak's deception and more -- another endless list)  (back)
5.  E-mail correspondence with Michael Stowell  (back)
6.  Full text can be read at http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/intlrel/hfa48119.000/hfa48119_0.HTM  (back)
7.  http://www.janes.com/security/international_security/news/jir/jir010315_1_n.shtml  (back)
8.  http://www.indiareacts.com/archivefeatures/nat2.asp?recno=10&ctg=  (back)
9.  http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/south_asia/newsid_1550000/1550366.stm  (back)
10.  US military forces are already arrayed right through the heart of Eurasia, reaching from Macedonia, Bosnia, and Kosovo in the west all the way to Georgia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan in the east.  (back)
11.  http://www.newyorker.com/FACT/?011022fa_FACT1  (back)
12.  http://www.inthesetimes.com/issue/25/25/feature3.shtml and http://www.onlinejournal.com/Attack_on_America/Hatfield-R-091901/hatfield-r-091901.html  (back)
13.  http://www.janes.com/security/international_security/news/fr/fr010919_1_n.shtml  (back)
14.  http://serendipity.magnet.ch/wtc.html and pertinent questions http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=96697  (back)
15.  Statement Of U.S. Senator Russ Feingold, the lone dissenter on the sweeping anti-terrorism bill signed by the president on October 26, 2001. http://www.senate.gov/~feingold/releases/01/10/102501at.html  (back)


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Published October 29, 2001
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