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Afghanistan, "Terrorism" and Blowback: A Chronology
by
Janette Rainwater, Ph.D.

                                p15

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November 13, 1995:    Blowback against USA in Saudi Arabia: A joint US-Saudi military facility in Riyadh is blown up, killing three US civilians and two soldiers and injuring 60 others including civilian passersby. [The Saudis arrested and executed four Saudi Arabs, three of whom admitted to membership in Usama bin Laden's organization.] Cooley, p. 220.

May 12, 1996    On "60 Minutes" Leslie Stahl discusses the sanctions against Iraq with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Stahl asks, "We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. Is the price worth it?" Albright replies, "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price - we think the price is worth it." Most Americans are unaware of this quote (or if they watched the program, have forgotten it.) But you can bet your bottom dollar that every Muslim in the Middle East over the age of 15, literate or not, has heard it. And that it is used in the bin Laden-Taliban recruitment pitch.

June 25, 1996    Blowback against USA in Saudi Arabia: A truck bomb at the Khobar Towers housing complex for US servicemen kills 19 soldiers and wounds 400. [The FBI was not allowed to interview any of the suspects in this or the preceding attack which gave rise to the belief that Saudi Arabia was shielding the role of Saudi nationals and bin Laden. The US changed the air base for the flights to Iraq from Dhahran to the more distant desert base of al-Kharj.] Cooley, pp. 220, 224.

September 26, 1996    The Taliban, supported by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, enter Kabul a few hours after the army chief, Ahmad Shah Massoud, gives orders for a withdrawal from the city. [The Clinton administration had quietly favored the Taliban over the Rabbani regime because the Taliban were virulently anti-Iran and therefore more likely to cooperate in an oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea that would bypass Iran. Within hours of Kabul's capture the US Department of State announced that that it would establish diplomatic relations with the new Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, a statement that was quickly retracted. State Department spokesman Glyn Davis said the US found "nothing objectionable" in the Taliban's imposition of Islamic law--- they were just "anti-modern" and not "anti-western." A Unocal executive told the wire services that the pipeline project would be easier to implement with the Taliban in power.] Rashid, pp. 44-49, 166.

September 27, 1996    In one of the first acts of the victorious Taliban, ex-president Najibullah and his aides are dragged from the UN compound where they have had asylum for four years. Najibullah and his brother are tortured, publicly executed, and left hanging in front of the palace for over a day to the horror of the world. [Under the Taliban there is "peace," but at what a price. Women are even more restricted, required to wear an all-covering burqa, forbidden to work, and isolated in their homes. Only three countries recognize the regime--- Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.]

November 17, 1997:    Blowback in Egypt: A tourist bus unloads passengers --- Swiss, Japanese, British, German, etc.--- in front of the temple to Queen Hatshepsut on the banks of the Nile River in Luxor, Upper Egypt. Six black-clothed members of the major Egyptian Islamic group, al-Gama'a al-Islamiya, shoot the two policemen taking tickets and then proceed to an hour-long slaughter of the tourists, spraying them with bullets, then stabbing them with knives and daggers. They shoot tourists who are attempting to flee through the bazaars, corner others who are hiding behind columns, and rake a bus of arriving tourists with automatic gunfire before running to the hills where they are tracked down and killed. They leave behind them 58 dead and 17 wounded. [Their leader was Medhat Muhamad Abdel Rahman who had been trained in the Afghan guerrilla camps. The Independent's Robert Fisk remarked that details of the massacre

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© Janette Rainwater 1997-2001

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