Dr Ikramul Haq[*]
Before one tries to understand the recent US military and propaganda outbursts against the Afghan Mujahideen [holy warriors], one must turn one’s mental clock back a decade or so, and recollect the legacy of the last Bush to occupy the Oval Office. It was George Herbert Walker Bush’s “new world order” that led to the biggest explosion of illegal drug abuse in American history and world-wide economic chaos. As Vice President and President, Bush was an unfortunate instance of “collateral damage,” or a “necessary evil,” flowing from his more primary geopolitical mission: to usher in the post-nation-state “one world order,” first spelled out in the mid-1970s Trilateral Commission studies of Samuel Huntington and Zbigniew Brzezinski, and first unleashed by the 1977-81 “All Trilat” Jimmy Carter administration.
George H.W. Bush presided over the biggest explosion of cocaine and heroin abuse in recorded history of USA. His other remarkable feats include inter alia amongst others:
- His agents and allies assassinated leading anti-drug figures, such as Colombia’s Justice Minister Rodrigo Lara Bonilla, Colombian Presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galán, and even U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officer Enrique Camarena.
- He, and such White House underlings as Lt. Col. Oliver North, waged a campaign of harassment, intimidation, and cover-up against anyone who attempted to expose their powder-covered hands.
- While the Central America cocaine-Contra wars of the 1980s were the subject of numerous Congressional hearings, a Presidential blue-ribbon investigation, and massive media scrutiny, the other “covert war” of the 1980s, the Afghanistan War, saw the “Golden Crescent” region of South Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan) transformed into the world’s biggest opium plantation and heroin laboratory.
- The Mujahideen were more reliant on the proceeds of the illegal opium and heroin trade for their military supplies than were the Central American Contras. When the Soviet Red Army fled Afghanistan in 1989, the tens of thousands of Islamic “freedom fighters” who had been brought to Afghanistan from every corner of the world, were left “out in the cold,” to be later recruited into the core of a new international narco-terrorism, which persists to this day as a grave threat to the national security of a majority of nations on this planet.
- From virtually the moment that he was sworn in as President Ronald Reagan’s Vice President in January 1981, George Bush was formally placed in charge of the covert operations of the administration. During the eight years of the Reagan-Bush administration, Bush amassed near-dictatorial control over anti-drug policy, anti-terrorism policy, and every facet of clandestine activities, by what became notorious as the “secret parallel government.”
In 2001 his son, The President of the only [self-destructive] superpower in the world, is following in the footsteps of his father and pushing the world to chaos, war and destruction. The following facts reveal the reality of war on terrorism unleashed by the so-called champions of ‘freedom’ and democracy:
- Since the start of the “war on terrorism”, the firm in which Bush family has substantial interest–Carlyle Group – unofficially valued at $3.5bn – has taken on an added significance. Carlyle has become the thread, which indirectly links American military policy in Afghanistan to the personal financial fortunes of its celebrity employees, none other than, the current US President’s father. Carlyle provided yet another curious link to the Afghan crisis: among the firm’s multi-million-dollar investors were members of the family of Osama bin Laden.
- For 14 years now, with almost no publicity, the company has been signing up an impressive list of former politicians – including the first President Bush and his secretary of state, James Baker; John Major; one-time World Bank treasurer Afsaneh Masheyekhi and several South-Eeast Asian powerbrokers – and using their contacts and influence to promote the group. Among the companies Carlyle owns, are those which make equipment, vehicles and ammunitions for the US military, and its celebrity employees have long served an ingenious dual purpose, helping to encourage investments from the very wealthy while also smoothing the path for Carlyle’s defence firms.
- Last year, George Bush Senior and John Major travelled to Riyadh to talk with senior Saudi businessmen. In September 2000, Carlyle hired speakers including Colin Powell and AOL Time Warner chair Steve Case to address an extravagant party at Washington’s Monarch Hotel. Months later, John Major joined James Baker for a function at the Lanesborough Hotel in London, to explain the Florida election controversy to the wealthy attendees.
- Bush gives speeches for the company and is paid with stakes in the firm’s investments, believed to be worth at least $80,000 per appearance. The benefits have attracted political stars from around the world: former Philippines president Fidel Ramos is an adviser, as is former Thai premier Anand Panyarachun – as well as former Bundesbank president Karl Otto Pohl, and Arthur Levitt, former chairman of the SEC, the US stock market regulator.
- Carlyle partners, who include Baker and the firm’s chairman, Frank Carlucci – Ronald Reagan’s defence secretary and a former deputy director of the CIA – own stakes that would be worth $180m each if each partner owned an equal slice. As in many areas of its work, though, Carlyle is not obliged to reveal the details, and chooses not to.
- Among the defence firms which benefit from Carlyle’s success is United Defense, a Virginia-based contractor which makes vertical missile launch systems currently on board US Navy ships in the Arabian sea, as well as a range of other weapons delivery systems and combat vehicles. Carlyle’s other holdings span an improbable range, taking in the French newspaper Le Figaro and the company which bottles Dr Pepper.
- “It should be a deep cause for concern that a closely held company like Carlyle can simultaneously have directors and advisers that are doing business and making money and also advising the president of the United States,” says Peter Eisner, managing director of the Center for Public Integrity, a non-profit-making Washington think-tank. “The problem comes when private business and public policy blend together. What hat is former president Bush wearing when he tells Crown Prince Abdullah not to worry about US policy in the Middle East? What hat does he use when he deals with South Korea, and causes policy changes there? Or when James Baker helps argue the presidential election in the younger Bush’s favour? It’s a kitchen-cabinet situation, and the informality involved is precisely a mark of Carlyle’s success.”
- Carlyle has always exploited its political contacts. When Carlucci arrived there in 1989, he brought with him a phalanx of former subordinates from the CIA and the Pentagon, and an awareness of the scale of business a company like Carlyle could do in the corridors and steak-houses of Washington. In a decade and a half, the firm has been able to realise a 34% rate of return on its investments, and now claims to be the largest private equity firm in the world. Success brought more investors, including the international financier George Soros and, in 1995, the wealthy Saudi Binladin family, who insist they long ago severed all links with their notorious relative. The first president Bush is understood to have visited the Binladins in Saudi Arabia twice on the firm’s behalf.
- The Carlyle Group does not employ anyone at its Washington headquarters to deal with the press. Inquiries about the links with the Binladins (as most of the family choose to spell their name) are instead referred to someone outside the company, on condition he is referred to only as “a source familiar with the relationship”. This source says: “I can confirm the fact that any Binladin Group investment in Carlyle has been terminated or is being terminated. It amounted to a $2m investment in the Carlyle II Fund, which was anyway a very small portion of a $1.3bn fund. In the scheme of the investments and in the scheme of the business of either party it was very small. We have to get this into perspective. But I think there was a sense that there were questions being raised and some controversy, and for such a small amount of money it was something that we wanted to put behind us. It was just a business decision.”
- But if the Binladins’ connection to the Carlyle Group lasted no more than six years, the current President Bush’s own links to the firm go far deeper. In 1990, he was appointed to the Board of one of Carlyle’s first purchases, an airline food business called Caterair, which they eventually sold at a loss. He left the Board in 1992, later to become Governor of Texas. Shortly thereafter, he was responsible for appointing several members of the Board which controlled the investment of Texas teachers’ pension funds. A few years later, the Board decided to invest $100m of public money in the Carlyle Group. The firm’s magic touch was already bringing results. Today, it is proving as fruitful as ever.
This is the reality of war on terrorism. The forces of obscurantism and destruction appear to be enemies, but in fact they are ‘friends-in-arms’ and their hidden agenda is to snatch away from the world, its peace and tranquility. The humanity at large is facing the most difficult time at this critical juncture of history. The brinkmanship on the part of USA and its allies can lead the world to yet another horrible World War.
Let us hope that the forces of peace and sanity get united to stem the rising tide of CIA-sponsored-religo-inspired terrorism and obscurantism. These so-called champions of faith [forces such as Bush Club, Osama Bin Ladin and Taliban] are the worst enemy of humanity, who are bent upon to create fasad [Quranic term for disorder and turmoil] on this beautiful planet. The holy Quran clearly warns humanity about these so-called reformers who in the name of God and reformism create the worst kind of fasad on the earth [Al-Quran 2-11]. The translation of the ayat is:
“When they are asked not to spread fasad [disorder] in society, they retort audaciously:
‘We do not spread fasad, rather we are the Musleheen [reformers]’. Beware! They are the Mufsideen [Destructionists, those who spread disorder]”.
[*] The writer specialises in studying global heroin economy. He is author of internationally acclaimed book, Pakistan: From Hash to Heroin, its sequel Pakistan: From Drug-trap to Debt-trap is under print.