Reaping the Whirlwind: Afghanistan, Al Qa'ida and the Holy War
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First published weeks before Al Qa’ida became the most reviled Islamist movement in history, this thoroughly updated edition of Michael Griffin’s acclaimed book provides a cradele-to-grave narrative of Afghanistan's Taliban movement, its relationship with Osama bin Laden, the hatching of the September 11 conspiracy and the war that followed the destruction of the World Trade Center.
Reaping the Whirlwind now includes:
* A blow-by-blow account of the September 11 hijackings, the FBI's failure to apprehend the main protagonists and the ambivalence of the Bush administration to the threat from Al Qa’ida during its first nine months in office
* An examination of the financial ties that link key figures in the Bush administration with the Saudi sponsors of Osama bin Ladin, Central Asia’s energy bonanza, the cover-up of the BCCI bankruptcy case during the George Bush Senior administration and the bank's role in fostering Islamist extremism and funding the anti-Soviet jihad
* Detailed analysis of the US war in Afghanistan, with critical examinations of the battles of Kunduz, Tora Bora and Shah-I-Kot; the Pentagon’s use of vicious warlords to shield American troops; and evidence of Washington’s dubious commitment to the region’s other recent model of regime-change and reconstruction
* Profiles of all the chief players in the Afghanistan saga, from Mullah Mohammed Omar and Osama bin Laden to the assassinated resistance leader Ahmed Shah Massoud and the new head of state, Hamid Karzai
Griffin dissects the tangle of policies, ideologies, events and personalities that led to the destruction of the World Trade Center and the new panorama of the ‘war on terrorism’. Written with energy and authority, "Reaping the Whirlwind" provides a meticulous narrative of indelible events that historians, students, journalists and commentators will find an essential work of reference for years to come.
Afghanistan, war will continue for many years. Afghanistan will turn into a centre of world smuggling for narcotic drugs. Afghanistan will be turned into a centre for terrorism.12 Najib may have been up to his chameleon tricks again, playing on America’s growing awareness that President George Bush’s much-trumpeted The Killing of Najibullah 5 ‘New World Order’ – the outcome of a secret war waged in the mountains of Afghanistan – had simply ushered in a different set of geopolitical threats
chosen anyway to strengthen his power base, but one which nonetheless confirmed the fear that Pakistan, a former Cold War satrap, was sliding inexorably towards ‘talibanisation’. Ten days after Khost, Sharif committed his government to introducing sharia law by the end of the year. ‘Today in Afghanistan ...,’ he elaborated, ‘I have heard that one can safely drive a vehicle full of gold at midnight without fear. I want this kind of system in Pakistan.’27 ‘That will doubtless bring peace,’
Taliban could cut him off along the Tagab valley. The order to pullout was given at 3 p.m. on 26 September, two days after Sorobi was overrun and was still continuing in the early hours of the 27th, as the Taliban mopped up the last resistance at Microrayon estate.29 Massoud claimed he withdrew to avoid further loss of civilian life in the house-to-house fighting that would otherwise ensue. It may have been true. But, as so often occurs in Afghanistan, there was also a sense that history was
could be delivered. After years amid the rubble of the post-Cold War world, Afghanistan was propelled from the periphery to the very heart of the energy wars in the region. A trans-Afghanistan pipeline could preserve the US boycott of Iran, break the Russian monopoly on Central Asian energy and still emerge geographically closer to the faster-growing energy markets in Asia. It also met the requirements of the US and Saudi Arabia, the two countries with easiest access to oil industry finance and
female Moslem employees from going out, unless accompanied by a male relative. Since most UN female staff were recruited 158 Reaping the Whirlwind from distant Moslem lands, the ban was interpreted as a direct challenge from the Mullah Omar. The decision to suspend operations followed three physical attacks on personnel: one had a coffee pot thrown at him by a Taliban official; another was slapped across the face; and a third assaulted with a table. Fourteen international staff were evacuated