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

                                p8

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

November 1984    The US restores diplomatic relations with Iraq (broken since 1967) despite Iraq's use of chemical weapons against Iranian troops. [President George H. W. Bush and others in the National Security Planning Group had been active in a project to help Iraq build an oil pipeline to the Jordanian port of Aqaba in reaction to the Iranian blockade of Iraq's Persian Gulf ports. The Reagan Administration had secretly allowed Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Egypt to transfer howitzers, Huey helicopters, bombs and other weapons of US manufacture to Iraq. Waas, Murray and Craig Unger "In the Loop: Bush's Secret Mission, The New Yorker, November 2, 1992, p 70.]

July 1985    The CIA begins supplying closely-held Stingers to Pakistan's ISI, largely due to the lobbying efforts of Representative Charles Wilson (D-TX). [These highly effective heat-seeking anti-aircraft missiles turned the tide of the war in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union. With their kill rate of 75% the skies were soon clear of Soviet-Afghan aircraft and the guerrillas were able to trap the government forces inside a few cities and military camps. "We were handing them out like lollipops," a US intelligence official told the Washington Post. Many Stingers quickly reached the black market where a weapon that cost the US $35,000 fetched a price of $100,000 to $300,000. Some were bought by the Chechens for their war against Moscow; others went to the Azeris for the struggle for Nagorno-Karabakh. It is estimated that Usama bin Laden possesses 30-70 Stingers. Cooley, pp. 109, 172-174; Goodwin, Jan, Caught in the Crossfire (1987), pp. 48-49.]

April 5, 1986    A bomb explodes in the La Belle Club, a West Berlin discotheque frequented by American service men. Three people are killed and 200 injured. [Libya and its leader, Colonel Muammar Qadhafi, were immediately blamed without evidence. A German documentary aired on August 25, 1998 (during the trial of five defendants for their alleged involvement in the attack on La Belle) declared that the lead defendant, Libyan Yasser Chraidi, was probably innocent and was being used as a scapegoat by the CIA and the German BND. Several of the suspects were shielded from court appearances by western intelligence agencies; one of these suspects was Mohammed Amairi, a Mossad agent. The documentary implied that the La Belle incident was a carefully prepared provocation designed to implicate Libya.] www.wsws.org/news/1998/aug/bomb1-a27.shmtl

April 15, 1986    President Ronald Reagan sends US planes to bomb the Libyan cities of Tripoli and Benghazi in retribution for the terrorist attack (by unknown perpetrators) on the La Belle Club, ten days earlier. Thirty-one people are killed, including Colonel Qaddafi's adopted baby girl. His home, the French Embassy and many homes in an affluent neighborhood of Benghazi are destroyed. [Qaddafi was not at home that night. There was no declaration of war and no prior approval of the US Congress for these air raids.]

March 1987    Hekmatyar's mujaheddin cross the Amu Darya River and launch rocket attacks against villages in the USSR's republic of Tajikistan in an operation promoted by CIA chief William Casey. Casey also gives increased support to the ISI program to recruit radical Muslims, especially Arabs, to come to Pakistan to fight with the mujaheddin in Afghanistan. [General Zia wanted to make Pakistan the center of the Muslim world, the Reagan administration wanted to demonstrate that the entire Muslim world opposed the USSR, and the Saudis were happy to get rid of their dissidents. None of these principals foresaw the blowback that has resulted. Rashid, p. 129.]

April 1988    Chairman Mikhail Gorbachev announces that a phased withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan will begin May 15th, to be completed by 2-15-1989.

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