Irão e AlQaeda

Terrorist Network Disconnect, Via Tom Paine: "(...) Gen. Greg Newbold, the senior staff officer for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, later recalled to Michael R. Gordon and Gen. Bernard E. Trainor, the authors of COBRA II, “You could still smell the smoke in the corridors” when Undersecretary for Policy Douglas Feith upbraided him when he said he was working hard on tracking down al-Qaida in Afghanistan. “Why are you working on Afghanistan?” Feith demanded. “You ought to be working on Iraq.” When the United States sent its forces into Afghanistan, it was allying with the existing Iranian-supported anti-Taliban coalition forces rather than creating something new. In fact, the United States could not have gotten rid of the Taliban regime without the help of Iran. Not only did Tehran allow the United States to transport food and humanitarian goods across Iran’s territory, but gave the Bush administration advice on the sociopolitical cleavages in Afghanistan and, according to James Risen’s State of War, even what targets to bomb.

After the Taliban was overthrown, Iran not only used its considerable political influence with the Northern Alliance to help put together the new Afghan regime but ensured that its charter would commit it to cooperation with war on terrorism. Then Iran offered to feed, cloth, equip and train 20,000 Afghan troops, as then-U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan James Dobbins has described in detail, only to be refused by the Bush administration. The Bush administration also refused to cooperate actively with Iran against al-Qaida, rejecting the recommendations of its intelligence and counterterrorism specialists.

Contrary to the propaganda pumped out by Rumsfeld from 2002 to 2004, accusing Iran of harboring al-Qaida cadres, within the first few months after the collapse of the Taliban, Iran had arrested 80 percent of the group of cadres who had been associated with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, which had crossed the border to hide in Iran. That account was given by high-ranking al-Qaida member Saif al-Adel, posted on an al-Qaida website in mid-2005. The al-Qaida leader declared, "The steps taken by Iran against us shook us and caused the failure of 75 percent of our plan.”

But if Iran has been the main state enemy of al-Qaida and its state sponsor, where was the external support for the Taliban regime coming from? None other than Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, the closest allies of the United States in the Islamic world. Ahmad Rashid’s authoritative account in Taliban shows that, as early as mid-1994, Pakistan’s intelligence services began secretly providing financial and material support to the Taliban, aimed at setting up a Saudi-style radical anti-Shiite Sunni theocracy in Afghanistan.(...) "
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