Editor, The Times:
I’ve just finished Steve Coll’s Ghost Wars. It’s an almost 600 page volume on Afghanistan from the Soviet invasion to Sept. 10, 2001.
To try to sum up this very informative volume would take far more time and space than is allowed.
However, there are several points of interest.
In 1995 a Unocal representative by the name of Marty Miller journeyed to Afghanistan. His purpose was to promote a pipeline between newly independent Turkmenistan to Pakistan across war-ravaged Afghanistan. Never mind that Turkmenistan, a former Soviet republic, was ruled by on a former communist hack with grandiose pretensions who brooked no opposition. Or the pipeline would go right through a war zone into a shaky Pakistan. Never mind there was a rival bid from an Argentinean company favored by Benazir Bhutto, then the prime minister of Pakistan.
The pipeline, according to Marty was a no-brainer. Sound familiar?
The pipeline never got off the ground.
In Fahrenheit 911 Michael Moore was far too kind to the Clinton administration. The stumbling and fumbling – let’s get Bin Laden, take him alive, take him dead. No, we can’t launch a missile strike – some innocents might get killed – has to be read to be believed.
However, when it comes to the Bush gang, Moore was spot on. When informed of the danger from al-Qaeda, Taliban and Bin Laden, George Bush II stared vacantly off into space, no doubt dreaming about ‘weapons of mass destruction’ in Iraq. He certainly didn’t want to hear about connections to Saudi Arabia or the Bin Ladens, with whom the Bushes had major business connections.
Worse, Condoleeza Rice started accusing Iran of supplying weapons to the Taliban. Sworn enemies of the Taliban, the Iranians were supplying weaponry to Ahmad Shah Massoud’s Northern Alliance, the main opposition to the Taliban. Does any of this sound familiar?
My reaction at Ghost Wars’ end was: “… and we actually sent Canadian soldiers into this confused mess?”