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Al-Qaida Uses U.S., U.S. Plays Along

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Posted on Jan 5, 2010
U.S. Air Force / Master Sgt. Jerry Morrison

By William Pfaff

It is not widely understood that the policy objective of al-Qaida is not to attack the Western countries, an objective that would accomplish nothing for the cause. Bringing down a Western airliner or blowing up a building in the United States or Britain is of no interest in itself to the terrorists, since the Islamic radical does no good by simply killing unbelievers. The ultimate purpose of al-Qaida is to bring about an upheaval in the Islamic world in which Islam can be rescued from corrupted governments and degenerate practices.

When Gordon Brown or Barack Obama say that Western soldiers have to fight terrorists abroad so that they will not have to fight them in their own hometowns, they’re being silly, as such sophisticated men ought to know.

Why should al-Qaida or the Taliban wish to fight in Peoria, Ill., or a garden suburb of London? There are no recruits to be made there, and nothing to be gained in the real battle that the Muslim extremists are waging: to radicalize the Muslim world, and to rescue their co-religionists from heretical beliefs and Western practices.

The real reason for attacking Westerners in the West, or in airplanes on the way there, is to provoke the Western governments to send more Western soldiers to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere in the Muslim world to attack Muslim jihadists on the Islamists’ own ground, where the latter have tactical and human advantages that Western soldiers can never overcome.

Instead, attack by Western soldiers and the building of Western military bases on the soil of Muslim countries radicalize and scandalize ordinary people, and undermine the governments of those countries that choose to align themselves with the invaders—thereby, in the eyes of Islamic true believers, revealing themselves as traitors to orthodox Muslim belief.


Square, Site wide
The United States and the NATO countries are playing al-Qaida’s game with every planeload of troops they dispatch to the Arab world and to Central Asia.

A headline in the Paris press says: “The CIA and U.S Special Forces lend a powerful hand to the government of Yemen.” The front-page headline in Tuesday’s International Herald Tribune says: “Yemen corruption blunts Qaida fight.” This report explains that the Yemeni president’s government “is filled with members of his family and ... wants to ensure that his son, Ahmed, 38, succeeds him.” The story goes on to say that “the economy has collapsed, with oil revenues down and oil and water running out.” This is the American-allied regime.

At the end of last year, we read about allegations of corruption in Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s own family, and the results of a national election were challenged as falsified. The president of Afghanistan has just ordered the nation’s parliament back from vacation in order to vote on his new Cabinet nominees. These are to take the place of 17 of his 24 previous Cabinet appointments, all rejected by parliament. Karzai is, of course, the man the United States put in place in Kabul to bring democracy to Afghanistan, so as to save it from the Taliban and al-Qaida.

No American who witnessed the waltz of U.S. senators with the health industry’s lobbyists during the ongoing effort to legislate health reform in the U.S. is in a position to be condescending about foreign corruption. If the United States has an occupying army that put in place, or sustains, the Afghan, Pakistani and Yemeni governments, then the ordinary citizen in any of those countries will see Americans and NATO as sources of his or her nation’s corruption, and perhaps the main one.

Moreover, the Taliban and al-Qaida are not fighting against corrupt governments in order to reform them. They want to destabilize and eventually destroy all of them so as to clear a political space in which 40 million Pashtuns and their fellow Sunni Arabs can create a new political dispensation of true believers, while the West declines.

That is fantasy, but it is a fantasy in which the United States and NATO are unwittingly playing leading roles.

Visit William Pfaff’s Web site at

© 2010 Tribune Media Services Inc.

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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, January 8, 2010 at 10:45 pm Link to this comment

“Obama has formulated his new version of the Axis of Evil, composed of Afghanistan-Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen,” writes historian and author Webster Griffin Tarpley.

In Yemen, a civil war pits the Saudi-backed central government against the Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels, whom the US has bombed at least twice this month. The goal here is to play Iran against Saudi Arabia so as to weaken both the pro-Moscow Achmadinejad government in Iran, and also those Saudi forces that are fed up with their status as a US protectorate. The US is openly now sponsoring a regroupment of “al Qaeda” (the CIA Moslem legion) in Yemen , including by sending fighters direct from Guantanamo . The new CIA-promoted entity synthetic entity is “Al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula or AQAP, a gaggle of US patsies, dupes, and fanatics which is claiming credit for the Umar Farouk incident. The US hopes to further dominate the exit from the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, while also easing pressure on the battered US dollar by jacking up the price of oil in an atmosphere of tension on the Arabian peninsula.

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By Hammond Eggs, January 7, 2010 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment

“The ultimate purpose of al-Qaida is to bring about an upheaval in the Islamic world in which Islam can be rescued from corrupted governments and degenerate practices.”  (Only to be replaced by different corrupt governments and degenerate practices).

I agree with this but you have to admit that terrorist organizations are doing a bang-up job of prodding the United States into destroying itself.

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By felicity, January 7, 2010 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

Indeed, Mr. Pfaff.  I just heard a deputy director of national security asked by newswoman Helen to identify the motive of the ‘terrorists.’  According to him, their motive is to kill innocent people. 

If that is the prevailing belief among national security types, our intel policies are being set and carried out by delusionals. 

Your article is one of the very few that accurately accesses the motives of al Qaeda/bin Laden.

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By wildflower, January 7, 2010 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

Interesting article, Mr. Pfaff.  Must say I did not realize there were so many similarities between the Middle-East’s Al-Qaida and the U.S. neo-con warmongers.  Both use violence to carry out their lofty fanatical schemes to re-create the world in a way that personally suits them. I guess it’s the blind arrogance that prevents them from understanding that a lot of us disagree.

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DieDaily's avatar

By DieDaily, January 6, 2010 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment

The argument made in the article that by invading and terrorizing Muslim countries we are playing into the hands of radical Islam (creating, sustaining, enlarging it) is correct.

The notion that this is an “unintended consequence” is a joke. The old incompetence canard. Nobody’s buying it anymore. It’s by design. WE are radical Islam. Just ask Brzezinski. He designed this game. It’s not like he was trying to hide it even!

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By liecatcher, January 6, 2010 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment

Al-Qaida Uses U.S., U.S. Plays Along  
Posted on Jan 5, 2010
By William Pfaff

“When Gordon Brown or Barack Obama say that Western
soldiers have to
fight terrorists abroad so that they will not have
to fight them in their own
hometowns, they’re being silly, as such sophisticated
men ought to know.”

Hey William Pfaff:

Who do you think you’re fooling by calling AAA, 
SOPHISTICATED predators silly? Everthing these
fascist puppets do
is planned well in advance & scripted, exactly like
with Bush & Blair. Their
London handlers have experience going back centuries
to make sure the
sun never sets on British soil. They brought down the
U.S. with perpetual
wars ,unpayable increasing debt, & brainwashing the
masses with fecal
vomiting like this article.

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By radson, January 6, 2010 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment

Airline ticket 299.00 a real bargain

Taliban travelers tax 99.00

Hamas surcharge 59.00

Hezbollah insurance 79.00

Iranian nuclear levy 81.00

Yemeni fee   54.00

Cuban cover charge 39.00

Iraqi oil tax 49.00

Arabian assistance tax 93.00

Having a full body scan a la Al Qaeda


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By Jim Yell, January 6, 2010 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is good to ask “if this business is about morals and ethics of Islam than what is moral or ethical about slaughtering thousands of co-religionists in Mosque Bombings and ethnic cleansing?” I wouldn’t claim that fundmentalist muslims are any worse than Orthodox Christians in the Balkans, or indeed Catholic Christians in the Balkans. They have killed their co-relgionists with just as much rancour as Muslims. The whole business of Abrahamic Religions seem to be to drive people to kill each other, for almost any damned reason. And, don’t even get me on the Christian Business Klans in America, it is like we have never had democratic ideals at all. What a mess.

If one is looking for an ethical and moral life Abrahamic religions are a strange place to look.

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By TAO Walker, January 6, 2010 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

We have here from William Pfaff yet another snapshot of a “global” command-and-CONtrol apparatus running completely amok….but with the usual lip-service paid to the pretensions of its “managers” and their media-mavens to having some kind of ‘handle’ on the damned thing.  That paralyzing illusion of “power” itself looks like the last thing they’ll let-go-of, too….as they witlessly magnify the misery with every feckless ‘move’ they make.

Meanwhile, “....your huddled masses” mill-around slap-happily knowing not whether to shit or go-blind.  Witness those here who still advocate some kind of “political action” to address the institutionalized depredations of a hydra-headed monster still using “politics” as a most effective ‘nerve-agent’ in its efforts to first disable and then eat homo domesticus alive.

Mr. Pfaff and his “journalist” accomplices are like those “wise men” trying blindly to “see the Elephant”....even as they flounder in a sea of official bullshit generated for the specific purpose of perpetuating their own and theamerican(and other)public’s crippling ignorance.  The “leaders” are all utterly LOST, going nowhere but terminally astray.  Just don’t tell the sheeple, though, and maybe there’ll be some miraculous deliverance before sheer panic sets-in and wrecks the great “global” privateering pyramid scheme.

None of us surviving free wild Natives would bet a wooden nickel on that happening.  On the other hand, The Tiyoshpaye Way will actually work for everybody who will pay the conscientious respect and precious attention it takes to BE in it.


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Arabian Sinbad's avatar

By Arabian Sinbad, January 6, 2010 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

Let’s not forget the basic fact that Al-Qaida and its most visible face, Bin Laden, were the creation and beneficiaries of the American political-military establishment during the Cold War with the Soviet Union. At that time each of these two parties were an extension of each others and they were all working towards one objective.

After the demise of the Soviet Union the relationship between these two parties changed relatively, and they were both not seeing eye-to-eye as they were before. However, they continued to see each others as tactical allies if not the strategic allies they were before.

The US political-military establishment continues to use Al Qaida as an instrument and justification for its colonial and imperialist designs in the Arab-Muslim word and for creating fear and more controls at home, while Al Qaida uses the American designs and conduct in the area as a recruiting tool towards revolutionizing the Arab-Muslim masses with the aim of bringing down the American puppet regimes in most Arab-Muslim countries.

In this way, though the current goals and objectives of these seemingly mortal enemies are not identical anymore, each party continues to use the other to achieve their objectives. And the real losers in this deadly game are the average citizens in America and the Arab-Muslim world.

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race_to_the_bottom's avatar

By race_to_the_bottom, January 6, 2010 at 10:22 am Link to this comment

We know that Mossad had a role in creating Hamas to defeat the PLO. Look at the Qassam rocket attacks that Israel needs to justify their polices. Sort of their own mini-9/11 every day except that these things are the crudest, most ineffective things imaginable. Assembled from pipe, stuffed with sugar and fertilizer as fuel with a fuse consisting of a rifle bullet and a nail, they are like the homemade rockets schoolboys construct. Of course, they can’t do serious damage, but they are a great propaganda tool, allowing liberal apologists for Zionism to decry the attacks on civilians on both sides and that Israel has the right to “defend itself” This has virtually destroyed the left in Israel.

How could the leaders of Hamas be so stupid as to hand the enemy such an effective propaganda tool which provides absolutely no benefits for them whatsoever?

When you find those in Gaza talking the most militant and promoting these completely ineffective attacks, there you will find the Mossad agents.

It’s like in the old days when there was serious labor organizing. Those who were “militant” and were promoting dynamite and guns were the provocateurs. One old time organizer from the south reported that during a strike, some of the bosses arranged to have their houses fired on, when nobody was home, of course. Then the “Reds” were blamed.

It is a fact that during these times, the Communist Party would expell anyone who promoted violence.

Provocation is an age old trick, and people never seem to catch on. 

Read about Qassam rockets here:

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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, January 6, 2010 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

“Islamic terrorism” is phoney. “Al Qaeda” and all the rest have long been fully penetrated by various intelligence agencies, if they were not organized and funded by them in the first place. Every “terrorist incident” from the 1993 WTC bombing to 9/11 to the underpants bomber has been a provocation that has furthered the agenda of these agencies, which, generally speaking, is to increase the reach and power of the national security state.

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By bozhidar balkas, vancouver, January 6, 2010 at 8:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yes, i agree with W PF that terrorist acts against West achieves nothing for the ‘terrorists’.

However, i don’t know anything ab their endgoal. So, i can’t say if they r trying to arouse people to action against their own warlords and feudal lords.

And even the al quida may be just an invention by west. Nevertheless, in whatever size it may be, it can not be compared to cia.

Cia appears by far the greatest terrorist org. tnx

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By badger_stripe, January 6, 2010 at 5:31 am Link to this comment

You mean they really do hate our freedoms? (spilling into Islam, I mean.)

Maybe a minor apology to W. is in order. Well, if he’d added that parenthesis, anyway.

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race_to_the_bottom's avatar

By race_to_the_bottom, January 6, 2010 at 1:40 am Link to this comment

I don’t buy this argument.

Sure, it pisses off the natives to have imperialists prop up a corrupt government and kill the locals who resist, but this has been going on for a very long time. The US in not in the Middle East and Central Asia to win hearts and minds. We have analyzed the real reasons to death here and elsewhere.

I think that a good, arguable case has been made that Al Qaeda is a false flag operation. It allows the US to invade any country it wants. It only has to say there are Al Qaeda operatives there and public approval is ready made.

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G.Anderson's avatar

By G.Anderson, January 5, 2010 at 11:04 pm Link to this comment

I often wonder how these obvious facts escape the scrutiny of our leaders?

Surely, our military is aware of this, and of the incompetence of those in charge.

It makes me angry, to see our blood spilled so vainly, and I wonder just how long the military is going to sit by and watch our country be destroyed from the inside, by the clueless, while they give so much to defend it.

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By marcus medler, January 5, 2010 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is a correct analysis. So, the question is why
do our leaders, they are not dumb, use these silly
arguments to create excuses for the military
response. I want a discussion of the true reasons
behind these costly American acts of

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By glider, January 5, 2010 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment

Good article.  There is also an odd alliance between the Pentagon and Al Queda.  As Bin Laden has said, he does not intend to beat us militarily, but wishes us to overreact and to weaken us internally.  His success in terms of the trillions of dollars being thrown at the war on terror is absolutely startling even to me.  Since this waste, which takes our efforts away from the real economic threat of China that will be fast overtaking us, pads the pockets of the MIC we are more than willing to oblige Bin Laden.  However, what works for the MIC and Al Queda, doe not work for the American Public.

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brewerstroupe's avatar

By brewerstroupe, January 5, 2010 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment

A side effect of “Al Qaida’s”* strategy has been the disintegration of several states that threaten Israel, a process that was foreshadowed by Oded Yinon in 1982. It seems that “Al Qaida” are not very smart. If they are indeed behind the “underpants bomber”, they have now marked Yemen down for dismemberment.

Nowhere among the thousands of articles I have read about “Al Qaida” is there a single in-depth description of the command structure of this organization. There are credible reports that it doesn’t exist beyond a small group of CIA funded and trained insurgents in Afghanistan and that the very name, which translates as “the Base” came from the CIA database.

Other credible sources also contend that it is a fictitious entity:

Perhaps Pfaff can can be persuaded to write an article setting out his evidence for the existence of the entity whose policies and intent he writes so confidently about here.

“The real reason for attacking Westerners in the West, or in airplanes on the way there, is to provoke the Western governments to send more Western soldiers to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere in the Muslim world”

Once again “Al Qaida” seem to be rather ill-informed. The invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq were planned before “Al Qaida” emerged as prime suspects and the US. had already bombed Yemen on 17th December, (killing 49 civilians, among them 23 children and 17 women) a week before Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab stuffed his Y-fronts with firecrackers.

If Pfaff’s thesis is to be believed, one can only conclude that Al Qaida are sillier than Obama and Brown. So silly in fact that they have invoked a strategy that will leave Israel the supreme military power in the Middle East. This strategy borders on the insane and I was always taught that there are no irrational actors in geopolitics.

* Al Qaeda is the commonly accepted spelling.

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By gerard, January 5, 2010 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment

How many more times will the same old gambit work?  Al Quaida scares the Americans who respond with the only thing they can think to do—fight—which is exactly what Al Quaida needs in order to increase their followers’ numbers.
  Millions, billions of dollars needed here at home are shipped over there someplace where AlQuaida is rumored to be attracting young populations who have no jobs.  Our soldiers, who have no other jobs either, go to earn a monthly stipend for killing their young counterparts abroad. 
  The assets of the Pentagon, military researchers and hardware companies rise, and profits pour in. The Pentagon gains an undue influence in the national government and so more wars are assured. Scares continue—not too often, tough because people might catch on.  It’s reciprocal:  We need them; they need us. Enemies, my eye!  We might as well be married to each other.
  If it weren’t so tragic it would be laughable—a gigantic international pratfall waiting to happen.

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