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Critical Lies: How Michael Moore's Movie Covers up the Attack on Russia 

Part 3: Afghanistan: The War the  Establishment Wants us to Forget

by Jared Israel
[Posted 24 September 2004]

To read Part 1 of this series, go to

For Part 2, go to


A friend of mine recently pointed out how differently Michael Moore's 'Fahrenheit 9/11' treats the *two* wars since George W. took power. 

'Fahrenheit' makes the fiercest attack on the Iraq war, assaulting the eye with images that are by turns horrible and grotesque. Moore tells us that the Iraq war is a threat to the lives of working class Americans.

But when it comes to Afghanistan, Moore suggests that he'd be more impressed if Bush had sent in more troops! He disregards the reality: that NATO has set up a united Muslim extremist government in Central Asia, that there are now *NATO strategic weapons* in Muslim states near or even bordering Russia and China. Indeed Moore trivializes this strategic intrusion, arguing the lie that the Afghan invasion was a commercial venture aimed at helping Unocal, an energy company.

He treats the Taliban as a joke, remarking sarcastically,

"Oh and the Taliban? They mostly got away."

Well, Mr. Moore, the Taliban did not 'mostly [get] away'. In 2001, when the US invaded Afghanistan, we predicted:

"We have been sold a vicious little war, my friends. The terrorists will not be eliminated. They will be regrouped into a more effective force. The talk of keeping 'moderate Taliban' in the government is the tip-off. A 'moderate Taliban' is one who does what the U.S. tells him to do. Washington plans to...[create] a unified moderate terrorist apparatus modeled after the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA)." [1]

NATO and the UN have turned the KLA terrorists into the government of Kosovo. And from that position, they have been dispatched to attack neighboring countries, particularly Macedonia. [2]

Similarly, the only reason NATO would create a Muslim extremist 'government' in Afghanistan is to destabilize surrounding states, with the big targets being especially Russia and China. 

The process of absorbing rank-and-file Taliban into a Western-controlled Afghan Army was an integral part of the Afghan invasion.  Thus by January 2002, thousands of Taliban soldiers were fighting on the US/NATO side. [2A]

This went virtually unreported in the Western media, as did a recent statement by Hamid Karzai, the US-chosen 'President" of Afghanistan. Mr. Karzai said Taliban clerics should participate in - indeed control - the new Afghan parliament:

[Excerpt from Agence France Presse begins here]

Karzai said he wants Afghan clerics to be in
parliament like Pakistan's pro-Taliban Islamist leader
Maulana Fazlur Rehman, from the Pakistani six-party
Islamist alliance which swept to victory in North West
Frontier Province and holds the balance of power in
the federal parliament.

"I want our Taliban and our mullahs (clerics) to come
and do the same," Dawn quoted Karzai saying. [3]

[Excerpt from Agence France Presse ends here]

Moore is not alone. Antiwar leaders and much of the mainstream media either dismiss the Afghan invasion as an attempt to secure a pipeline, or else simply erase it. Witness the following excerpt from an editorial in the 'Charlestown Gazette', which I received by email the other day from the anti-Bush Newsletter, ‘Truthout’: 

[Excerpt from Charlestown Gazette editorial starts here]

Bush’s far-right political clique planned to attack Iraq, even before he attained the White House. The 9/11 terrorist strike provided a “cover” — a surge of patriotism that Bush manipulated into justification for war against Iraq. All his pretexts for the invasion turned out to be false. [4]

[Excerpt from Charlestown Gazette editorial ends here]

The Gazette is dead wrong on two counts.

* First, the public record shows that some of the people now opposing the Iraq war led the way in building public support for attacking Iraq prior to the election of George W. Bush.

* And second, the surge of patriotism immediately following 9-11 was *not* used to justify invading Iraq. As anyone who can remember as far back as three years will recall, it was used to justify invading *Afghanistan*!


Exaggerating the role of the so-called 'neocons'


Regarding the first point, it is not true that Bush right-wingers were the only ones or even the main ones publicly pushing for war with Iraq prior to the election of Bush. This became abundantly clear to me when doing some research on Scott Ritter.  Ritter is now one of the main US opponents of the Iraq war, but he was a super-hawk from the time he resigned as chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq in August 1998 until early 1999. [5]

The summer and fall of 1998 was a crucial period regarding Iraq. It was then (not later) that the public was won to the belief that Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction posed an imminent threat.

Who instilled this belief? Was it the Bush right-wingers, the so-called ‘neocons’?  Scott Ritter now claims, along with much of the media that the idea for attacking Iraq came from Bush right wingers.

I did a comparison of how much Ritter talked in the media about Iraq versus how much nine of the officially-designated 'neocons' did so during the summer and fall of 1998. This was when Ritter was very hawkish on Iraq.

I used the media search engine, Lexis-Nexis, which archives most important English language news media.

I searched for the names of nine leading 'neocons':  Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Scooter Libby, Elliott Abrams, Douglas Feith, Frank Gaffney, Dan Quayle and Zalmay Khalilzad.

I checked to see how many times *any* of their names appeared in *any* way in any TV or print media news report that also mentioned Iraq. Obviously if they were conducting a massive propaganda campaign for attacking Iraq there would be many mentions.

The total for all of them combined in this key six-month period was: 349.  That's about 39 times for each 'neocon.'

I then added the word "invade" in all of its possible forms (i.e., invasion, invaded etc.). With this change, their names appeared a total of 60 times.  That's an average of about 7 times each.

What about Scott Ritter? 

In the same period, his name appears along with the word Iraq 1372 times! That's almost four times as often as those nine neocons combined! And remember at this time Ritter was a super-hawk. He advocated the harshest measures against Iraq.

Add the word invasion (in any of its forms, e.g., invade, invading, etc.) and Scott Ritter appears 391 times. 

That's almost seven times as often as the nine neocons combined!

Reading a scattering of 'neocon' comments on Iraq in this period, they were (in general) substantially less hawkish than Ritter.

My point here is not to make a brief to defend the 'neocons'. My point is that a *false* category has been created, a false perception that a certain section of the Republican leadership is responsible for aggressive US policies.  It just ain't so.  This is a clever story concocted to confuse ordinary people. (And it is an especially dangerous confusion because those ‘neocons’ whom the media singles out tend to be Jews, e.g. Paul Wolfowitz, not Christians like Donald Rumsfeld or Muslims like Zalmay Khalilzad. This orients ordinary people to believe the "Protocols of Zion"-type lie, that a supposed secret cabal of Jews supposedly "hijacked" US foreign policy and has supposedly made it suddenly aggressive.)


What? We invaded Afghanistan?  Where's that place?


The second thing wrong with the Gazette editorial is that the surge of patriotism (and fear!) immediately following 9-11 was *not* mainly used to justify invading Iraq.  It was mainly used to justify invading  Afghanistan.  Iraq was not invaded until 2003, that is, not until after the surge of patriotism and fear had mainly died down!

In the Fall of 2001 the so-called 'neocons', such as Rumsfeld and Cheney, were the ones telling us who was behind 9/11. If their #1 priority were to invade Iraq, why on earth didn't they a) immediately issue the story that Saddam Hussein was behind 9-11 and b) invade Iraq while the desire for revenge was at its peak right after 9-11?

Why did they instead accuse bin Laden and invade Afghanistan?  (And then *stay* in Afghanistan!?)

The explanation put forward by so-called antiwar analysts, such as the newsletter, "Truthout," and by Michael Moore, is that the Bush people wanted to force Afghanistan to accept a pipeline. But if so, why has no pipeline been built? They went to war and took over the place at a cost of thousands of deaths and billions of dollars and then didn't build the pipeline that was the *reason* they went to war?  What nonsense. [6]

The time to invade Iraq was the Fall of 2001. Instead Bush delayed and delayed for a year and a half by which time a huge dovish opposition was in place, including former super-hawks like Scott Ritter.[5]

Any explanation of Bush policy must take into account that the US *and NATO* have taken a strategic military position in Central Asia. Once you do take that into account you realize that Afghanistan fits a pattern begun under Bush, Sr. and continued under Clinton: the encirclement of Russia.

This encirclement is perhaps the most spectacular strategic military reversal ever carried out without the defeat in war of the target country. Almost all of Eastern Europe, once pro-Soviet, is now in or working closely with NATO. 

The encirclement of Russia is not only a military threat. This is especially clear regarding the invasion of Afghanistan.

The US and NATO also invaded Afghanistan to enforce direct discipline over a chaotic situation in which Muslim extremists were fighting each other. Following that invasion NATO created a united, Muslim extremist government.  [7]

The Soviet Union fought a decades-long war in the 1980s to prevent the formation of just such an Afghan government under NATO domination.

The underlying US/European strategy is to use Muslim extremism in Afghanistan and others states in various ways to destabilize primarily Russia, but also China and India.  The US and Europe are now pushing antisemitism openly and covertly in part because this powerful prejudice fuels Muslim extremism everywhere. Case in point: last year Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir used wildly anti-Jewish arguments to justify a fanatically extremist speech to Muslim heads of state. They gave him a standing ovation. [8]

As part of this strategy, the US/European Establishment wants to more effectively utilize the Iranian brand of Muslim extremists. Hence the Iraq invasion, which removed the Baath Party’s political apparatus. (Saddam Hussein's regime was fascist, but it was too secular and too anti-Iran to suit the geopolitical needs of the US/European Establishment which requires that the Muslim Fundamentalist brand of fascism control Iraq.)

Even before the invasion we said that Iran would be the obvious winner if the US went in. [9]

Why has the Establishment encouraged opposition to this war including by giving the antiwar opposition unprecedented media coverage?

Because massive opposition to the invasion will help the US government to do what the Establishment wants it to do: allow Muslim extremists to take power in Iraq. Thus the real *goal* of the Iraq war will be portrayed as an unintended consequence either of US errors or of a supposed 'neocon' effort to help Israel, or both these *lies*.   

The Afghan invasion and the Iraq invasion are linked, and the link is, in a word, Iran. Or to put it differently, the link is the US/European Establishment’s desire to increase the power of Muslim extremism in Central and Southwest Asia while putting it more directly under Western control, and specifically to empower and more fruitfully utilize Iran.

In this regard, consider a comment made last week by Zalmay Khalilzad. Khalilzad is the protégé of Zginew Brzezinski who is *still* the overall leading US geopolitical strategist. [10]

Khalilzad has been the political architect, on the ground, for the Afghan and Iraq invasions.

Now he operates as US Ambassador to Afghanistan. 

Agence France Presse reports that a week ago Khalilzad criticized some "uncooperative" leaders in Iran.  Here’s the key section from the Agence France Presse dispatch:

[Agence France Presse dispatch starts here]

...there are some [pro-] al-Qaeda people there, there are some people that are not entirely cooperative with the [Afghan] central government," he said.

However those in the Iranian foreign ministry particularly were working closely with Kabul, he added. [11]

[Agence France Presse dispatch ends here]

So: The Iranian foreign ministry cooperates closely with the Karzai government in Kabul. That is the same Karzai government that was installed by top US operative Zalmay Khalilzad! [7]

Emperor's Clothes charges that the NATO-arranged cooperation of Muslim extremists in Afghanistan and Iran is aimed at secular states in the region, especially Russia. And meanwhile our so-called antiwar leaders babble on about pipeline politics and ignore the creation of a Muslim extremist juggernaut, from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan, pointed like a spear direct at the heart of Muslim Central Asia.

Jared Israel
Editor, Emperor's Clothes

(Continued in Part 4, coming soon...)


[Further Reading & Footnotes Follow the Appeal]


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Footnotes  and Further Reading


[1] 'Encircling Russia, not oil, motivates US policy in Afghanistan!' at

[2] On NATO's use of KLA terrorists against Macedonia, go to


[3] Agence France Presse -- English, September 17, 2004 Friday, 4:31 PM GMT, 504 words, US envoy says 'barbarian handlers' within Iranian government gaining power, Washington



[6] Both Truthout and Moore have claimed that a deal to actually build a pipeline came out of the Afghan war.  It didn't. See, 'And They Still Haven't Built a Pipeline Through Afghanistan!'

[7] See, "The IDLO, Backed by the US and Iran, Planned Islamic Rule for Afghanistan," at

Regarding US installation of Hamid Karzai as Afghan President, go to

[8] "Reader says Jared Israel Quoted Mahathir 'Out of Context'" at 

[9] See and other articles on Iraq and Iran, listed at


[11]Agence France Presse -- English, September 17, 2004 Friday, 4:31 PM GMT, 504 words, US envoy says 'barbarian handlers' within Iranian government gaining power, Washington Sept 17

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