Taliban militants stormed an army public school in the northern city of Peshawar, killing over 100, including many young students. It is believed up to 10 militants took part in the attack, dressed as soldiers to first infiltrate the school’s grounds before beginning the attack.
While the details of the attack are forthcoming, the background of the Taliban and the persistent threat it represents is well established, though often spun across the Western media.
Who Put the Taliban into Power? Who is Funding them Now?
In the 1980’s the United States, Saudi Arabia, and elements within the then Pakistani government funneled millions of dollars, weapons, equipment, and even foreign fighters into Afghanistan in a bid to oust Soviet occupiers. Representatives of this armed proxy front would even visit the White House, meeting President Ronald Reagan personally.
The “Mujaheddin” would successfully expel the Soviet Union and among the many armed groups propped up by the West and its allies, the Taliban would establish primacy over Kabul. While Western media would have the general public believe the US rejected the Taliban, never intending them to come to power, it should be noted that the Afghans who visited Reagan in the 1980’s would not be the last to visit the US and cut deals with powerful American corporate-financier interests.
In 1997, Taliban representatives would find themselves in Texas, discussing a possible oil pipeline with energy company Unocal (now merged with Chevron). The BBC would report in a 1997 article titled, “Taleban in Texas for talks on gas pipeline,” that:
A senior delegation from the Taleban movement in Afghanistan is in the United States for talks with an international energy company that wants to construct a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan to Pakistan.
A spokesman for the company, Unocal, said the Taleban were expected to spend several days at the company’s headquarters in Sugarland, Texas.
|Image: Unocal, now merged with Chevron, had attempted to build a pipeline across Afghanistan in cooperation with the Taliban and with the expressed backing of the US government – then operating under the Clinton administration.|
However, it was already claimed by the US that the Taliban had been “harboring” Osama Bin Laden since 1996, and had branded the Taliban’s human rights record as “despicable.” The Telegraph in an artile titled, “Oil barons court Taliban in Texas,” would report (emphasis added):
The Unocal group has one significant attraction for the Taliban – it has American government backing. At the end of their stay last week, the Afghan visitors were invited to Washington to meet government officials. The US government, which in the past has branded the Taliban’s policies against women and children “despicable”, appears anxious to please the fundamentalists to clinch the lucrative pipeline contract. The Taliban is likely to have been impressed by the American government’s interest as it is anxious to win international recognition. So far, it has been recognised only by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
It is clear that to the West, as they were during the proxy war against the Soviets, and during attempts to forge an oil pipeline across Afghan territory, the Taliban remain a tool, not an ally – to be used and abused whenever and however necessary to advance Wall Street and Washington’s agenda – a self-serving Machiavellian agenda clearly devoid of principles.
This can be seen in play, even now as the Taliban serve as a proxy force to torment the West’s political enemies in Pakistan with and serve as a perpetual justification for military intervention in neighboring Afghanistan.
The Global Post would reveal in a 2009 investigative report that the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan was mostly funded via redirected US aid. The report titled, “Who is funding the Afghan Taliban? You don’t want to know,” would state:
It is the open secret no one wants to talk about, the unwelcome truth that most prefer to hide. In Afghanistan, one of the richest sources of Taliban funding is the foreign assistance coming into the country.
The report would also reveal that Taliban members were in the capital city of Kabul, directly involved in redirecting the funds, apparently under the nose of occupying NATO forces:
A shadowy office in Kabul houses the Taliban contracts officer, who examines proposals and negotiates with organizational hierarchies for a percentage. He will not speak to, or even meet with, a journalist, but sources who have spoken with him and who have seen documents say that the process is quite professional.
The manager of an Afghan firm with lucrative construction contracts with the U.S. government builds in a minimum of 20 percent for the Taliban in his cost estimates. The manager, who will not speak openly, has told friends privately that he makes in the neighborhood of $1 million per month. Out of this, $200,000 is siphoned off for the insurgents.
|Image: Could the longest war in American history be owed in part to the fact
that the US is “accidentally” funding their enemy 1 billion USD a year?
But the narrative of the “accidental” funding of Taliban militants in Afghanistan is betrayed when examining their counterparts in Pakistan and their source of funding. While the US funds roughly a billion USD a year to the Taliban in Afghanistan “accidentally,” their allies in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia are confirmed to be funding the Taliban in Pakistan.
In the Guardian’s article, “WikiLeaks cables portray Saudi Arabia as a cash machine for terrorists,” the US State Department even acknowledges that Saudi Arabia is indeed funding terrorism in Pakistan:
Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest source of funds for Islamist militant groups such as the Afghan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba – but the Saudi government is reluctant to stem the flow of money, according to Hillary Clinton.
“More needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaida, the Taliban, LeT and other terrorist groups,” says a secret December 2009 paper signed by the US secretary of state. Her memo urged US diplomats to redouble their efforts to stop Gulf money reaching extremists in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide,” she said.
Three other Arab countries are listed as sources of militant money: Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
Pakistani terror organization Lashkar-e-Jhangvi – which maintains ties to the Taliban – has also been financially linked to the Persian Gulf monarchies. Stanford University’s “Mapping Militant Organizations: Lashkar-e-Jhangvi,” states under “External Influences:”
LeJ has received money from several Persian Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates These countries funded LeJ and other Sunni militant groups primarily to counter the rising influence of Iran’s revolutionary Shiism.
Astonishingly, despite these admission, the US still works politically, financially, economically, and even militarily in tandem with these very same state-sponsors of rampant, global terrorism. In fact, Wall Street and Washington are among the chief architects and beneficiaries of this global terrorism.
It appears, just as in Libya, Syria, and Iraq, the West and its allies are waging a proxy war in Pakistan as well. Attempts to exploit the tragedy in Peshawar compound this insidious agenda. Those across Pakistan’s political landscape must understand that their is no line these foreign interests are unwilling to cross in achieving their agenda – be it a line crossed at a perceived ally’s expense, or a perceived enemy’s expense.