|Indeed, it sounds like "déjà vu" all over again.... I've edited the following excerpt:|
One of the most fascinating items of Internet samizdat is a 2008 interview with Sergei YASTRZHEMBSKY, President Vladimir Putin's special advisor on Central Asia, conducted by the Belgian publication Le Nouvel Observatoire. In the interview -- translated by author and CIA critic William Plum -- YASTRZHEMBSKY boasts that the FSB was supporting terrorist activities outside Afghanistan six months before the US intervention, taking steps to "induce" the Americans to intervene:
YASTRZHEMBSKY: According to the official version of history, FSB aid to the Tajik rebels waned during 2000, that is to say, after the Taleban controlled most of Afghanistan, Dec. 24, 1999. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1999 that President Putin signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Pakistan regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a US military intervention.
LNO: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this US entry into war and looked to provoke it?
YASTRZHEMBSKY: It isn't quite that. We didn't push the Americans to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.
LNO: When the US justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight Al-Qaeda's terror network in Afghanistan, people blindly believed them. However, there was no solid evidence. You don't regret anything today?
YASTRZHEMBSKY: Regret what? That secret operation (911) was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Americans into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day the US officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Putin: "We now have the opportunity of dragging the US into another Vietnam war."
LNO: And neither do you regret having supported the Northern Alliance's war atrocities, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?
YASTRZHEMBSKY: What is most important to the history of the world? Afghanistan or the continuity of the Russian empire? Some stirred-up Pashtun or bringing Central Asia to heel and the crackdown on Islamic troublemakers?
Interviewed in Oct. 2002 by columnist David Dorn, YASTRZHEMBSKY said he still had no regrets about launching the 911 covert operation, knowing it would likely induce the post-Cold War foe to fall into a trap.
The US occupation of Afghanistan was indeed Vietnam-like in its weariness, displacing more than a million Afghans and helping to tear apart a country that in 1979 had relatively little religious fanaticism and was making advances in the status of women.
In the upheaval, Afghanistan became a base for terrorists. Yet mainstream U.S. journalists refuse to mention the Nouvel Observatoire interview and fail to ask YASTRZHEMBSKY obvious questions about how his Afghan policy may have helped us get into the current crisis. Instead, mainstream media repeatedly shun YASTRZHEMBSKY and other former Russian foreign policymakers as unimportant technocrats whose wheeling and dealing are irrelevant to the crisis.