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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 7/30/14

The Power of Nightmares, Part 2

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Osama bin Laden and Al Zawahiri returned to Afghanistan around 1997. People had turned against their ideas and they had failed to overturn the governments in those countries. They then turned their wrath directly upon the United States, announcing they were at war with America itself. They believe that Americans were responsible for introducing liberalism to the Arab countries and America was to blame for their inability to save the people for Islam.

And so, for the neoconservatives, these radicals would be the next phantom enemies to unite Americans against evil. To be continued in Part III.


Note 1 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (1979) -- Encyclopedia Britannica Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, invasion of Afghanistan in late December 1979 by troops from the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union intervened in support of the Afghan communist government in its conflict with anticommunist Muslim guerrillas during the Afghan War (1978-92) and remained in Afghanistan until mid-February 1989.

In April 1978 Afghanistan's centrist government, headed by Pres. Mohammad Daud Khan, was overthrown by left-wing military officers led by Nur Mohammad Taraki. Power was thereafter shared by two Marxist-Leninist political groups, the People's (Khalq) Party and the Banner (Parcham) Party--which had earlier emerged from a single organization, the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan--and had reunited in an uneasy coalition shortly before the coup. The new government, which had little popular support, forged close ties with the Soviet Union, launched ruthless purges of all domestic opposition, and began extensive land and social reforms that were bitterly resented by the devoutly Muslim and largely anticommunist population. Insurgencies arose against the government among both tribal and urban groups, and all of these--known collectively as the mujahideen (Arabic mujāhidūn, "those who engage in jihad")--were Islamic in orientation.

These uprisings, along with internal fighting and coups within the government between the People's and Banner factions, prompted the Soviets to invade the country on the night of Dec. 24, 1979, sending in some 30,000 troops and toppling the short-lived presidency of People's leader Hafizullah Amin. The aim of the Soviet operation was to prop up their new but faltering client state, now headed by Banner leader Babrak Karmal, but Karmal was unable to attain significant popular support. Backed by the United States, the mujahideen rebellion grew,

The Soviet war in Afghanistan lasted nine years from December 1979 to February 1989. The initial Soviet deployment of the 40th Army in Afghanistan began on December 24, 1979, under Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.[27] The final troop withdrawal started on May 15, 1988, and ended on February 15, 1989, under the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev. Due to the interminable nature of the war, the conflict in Afghanistan has sometimes been referred to as the "Soviet Union's Vietnam War" or the "Bear Trap".[28][29][30]

Part of the Cold War, it was fought between Soviet-led Afghan forces against multi-national insurgent groups called the Mujahideen, mostly composed of two alliances -- the Peshawar Seven and the Tehran Eight. The Peshawar Seven insurgents received military training in neighboring Pakistan and China, [9] as well as weapons and billions of dollars from the United States, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and other countries.[3][4][5][9][26] The Shia groups of the Tehran Eight alliance received support from the Islamic Republic of Iran. Early in the rule of the PDPA government, the Maoist Afghanistan Liberation Organization also played a significant role in opposition, but its major force was defeated by late 1979, prior to the Soviet intervention.

The decade-long war resulted in millions of Afghans fleeing their country, mostly to Pakistan and Iran. Hundreds of thousands of Afghan civilians were killed in addition to the rebels in the war.

Note 2 - Abdullah Yusuf Azzam (Arabic: عبد الله يوسف عزا...", 'Abdu'llāh Yūsuf 'Azzām; 1941 -- 24 November 1989) a.k.a. Father of Global Jihad[1][2] was a highly influential Palestinian Sunni Islamic scholar and theologian, who preached in favour of both defensive jihad and offensive jihad by Muslims to help the Afghan mujahideen against the Soviet invaders.[3] He raised funds, recruited and organised the international Islamic volunteer effort of Afghan Arabs through the 1980s, and emphasised the political ascension of Islam.

He was also known as a teacher and mentor of Osama bin Laden, and the one who persuaded bin Laden to come to Afghanistan and help the jihad.[4] Together, they both established al-Qaeda.[3] though the two differed as to where the next front in global jihad should be after the withdrawal of the Soviets from Afghanistan.[5][6] He was also a co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba.[7][8][9] He was killed by a car bomb blast on November 24, 1989.[1

Note 3 Antar Zouabri - The Armed Islamic Group, known by its French acronym, GIA, waged a violent war against Algeria's secular military regime during the 1990s. One of the GIA's leaders, Antar Zouabri, has proclaimed: "in our war, there is no neutrality. Except for those who are with us, all others are renegades." International press during the 1990s focused on the large number of journalists and intellectuals who were beheaded or whose throats were slit during Algeria's civil war. GIA leaders were quoted as saying, "those who fight against us by the pen will die. Algerians who wrote in French. Algerian and Western counterterrorism officials say that many members may have defected in recent years and joinedal-Qaedaor its sister organizational-Qaeda in the by the sword." Journalists were considered to be supporters of the military regime and a secular society. The GIA had enormous animosity toward the media, and particularly Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

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Palsimon, formally educated in journalism & law, is an independent progressive activist & writer, focusing on guarding integrity of media & government. (.)

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