John Pilger: The Great Game of Smashing Nations

More than a generation ago, Afghanistan won its freedom, which the U.S., Britain and their “allies” destroyed.

Outside the gate of the Arg, the presidential palace, in Kabul, the day after the Saur revolution on April 28, 1978. (Cleric77, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)

By John Pilger

As a tsunami of crocodile tears engulfs Western politicians, history is suppressed. More than a generation ago, Afghanistan won its freedom, which the United States, Britain and their “allies” destroyed.

In 1978, a liberation movement led by the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) overthrew the dictatorship of Mohammad Dawd, the cousin of King Zahir Shah. It was an immensely popular revolution that took the British and Americans by surprise.

Foreign journalists in Kabul, reported The New York Times, were surprised to find that “nearly every Afghan they interviewed said [they were] delighted with the coup.” The Wall Street Journal reported that “150,000 persons … marched to honor the new flag … the participants appeared genuinely enthusiastic.”

The Washington Post reported that “Afghan loyalty to the government can scarcely be questioned.” Secular, modernist and, to a considerable degree, socialist, the government declared a program of visionary reforms that included equal rights for women and minorities. Political prisoners were freed and police files publicly burned.

Under the monarchy, life expectancy was 35; 1-in-3 children died in infancy. Ninety percent of the population was illiterate. The new government introduced free medical care. A mass literacy campaign was launched.

For women, the gains had no precedent; by the late 1980s, half the university students were women, and women made up 40 percent of Afghanistan’s doctors, 70 percent of its teachers and 30 percent of its civil servants. 

Women at university in Afghanistan in the 1970s. (Amnesty International U.K.)

Backed by the West

So radical were the changes that they remain vivid in the memories of those who benefited. Saira Noorani, a female surgeon who fled Afghanistan in 2001, recalled:

“Every girl could go to high school and university. We could go where we wanted and wear what we liked … We used to go to cafes and the cinema to see the latest Indian films on a Friday … it all started to go wrong when the mujahedin started winning … these were the people the West supported.”

For the United States, the problem with the PDPA government was that it was supported by the Soviet Union. Yet it was never the “puppet” derided in the West, neither was the coup against the monarchy “Soviet backed,” as the American and British press claimed at the time.

Zbigniew Brzezinski at a meeting with congressional leaders about the SALT talks in 1977. (Library of Congress)

Zbigniew Brzezinski in 1977. (Library of Congress)

President Jimmy Carter’s secretary of state, Cyrus Vance, later wrote in his memoirs: “We had no evidence of any Soviet complicity in the coup.”

In the same administration was Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter’s national security adviser, a Polish émigré and fanatical anti-communist and moral extremist whose enduring influence on American presidents expired only with his death in 2017.

On July 3, 1979, unknown to the American people and Congress, Carter authorized a $500 million “covert action” program to overthrow Afghanistan’s first secular, progressive government.  This was code-named by the CIA Operation Cyclone.

The $500 million bought, bribed and armed a group of tribal and religious zealots known as the mujahedin. In his semi-official history, Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward wrote that the CIA spent $70 million on bribes alone. He describes a meeting between a CIA agent known as “Gary” and a warlord called Amniat-Melli:

“Gary placed a bundle of cash on the table: $500,000 in one-foot stacks of $100 bills. He believed it would be more impressive than the usual $200,000, the best way to say we’re here, we’re serious, here’s money, we know you need it … Gary would soon ask CIA headquarters for and receive $10 million in cash.”

Recruited from all over the Muslim world, America’s secret army was trained in camps in Pakistan run by Pakistani intelligence, the CIA and Britain’s MI6. Others were recruited at an Islamic College in Brooklyn, New York – within sight of the doomed Twin Towers. One of the recruits was a Saudi engineer called Osama bin Laden.

The aim was to spread Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia and destabilize and eventually destroy the Soviet Union. 

‘Larger Interests’

In 1985, Afghan mujahideen cross into Afghanistan from a border region of Pakistan. (Erwin Franzen, CC BY-SA 1.0, Wikimedia Commons)

In August 1979, the U.S. embassy in Kabul reported that “the United States’ larger interests … would be served by the demise of the PDPA government, despite whatever setbacks this might mean for future social and economic reforms in Afghanistan.”

Read again the words above I have italicized. It is not often that such cynical intent is spelt out as clearly.  The U.S. was saying that a genuinely progressive Afghan government and the rights of Afghan women could go to hell.

Six months later, the Soviets made their fatal move into Afghanistan in response to the American-created jihadist threat on their doorstep. Armed with CIA-supplied Stinger missiles and celebrated as “freedom fighters” by Margaret Thatcher, the mujahedin eventually drove the Red Army out of Afghanistan.

The mujahedin were dominated by war lords who controlled the heroin trade and terrorized rural women. Later, in the early 1990s the Taliban would emerge, an ultra-puritanical faction, whose mullahs wore black and punished banditry, rape and murder but banished women from public life.

In the 1980s, I made contact with the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, known as RAWA, which had tried to alert the world to the suffering of Afghan women. During the Taliban time they concealed cameras beneath their burqas to film evidence of atrocities, and did the same to expose the brutality of the Western-backed mujahedin. “Marina” of RAWA told me, “We took the videotape to all the main media groups, but they didn’t want to know ….”

April 28, 1998: Demonstration of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan in Peshawar, Pakistan, “to condemn the sixth anniversary of swarming of fundamentalists into Kabul.” (RAWA, CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)

In 1992, the enlightened PDPA government was overrun. The president, Mohammad Najibullah, had gone to the United Nations to appeal to for help. On his return, he was hanged from a street light.

The Game

“I confess that [countries] are pieces on a chessboard,” said Lord Curzon in 1898, “upon which is being played out a great game for the domination of the world.”

The viceroy of India was referring in particular to Afghanistan. A century later, Prime Minister Tony Blair used slightly different words.

“This is a moment to seize,” he said following 9/11. “The Kaleidoscope has been shaken. The pieces are in flux. Soon they will settle again. Before they do, let us re-order this world around us.”

On Afghanistan, he added this: “We will not walk away [but ensure] some way out of the poverty that is your miserable existence.”

July 17, 2019: Former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, left, with U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. (State Department)

Blair echoed his mentor, President George W. Bush, who spoke to the victims of his bombs from the Oval Office: “The oppressed people of Afghanistan will know the generosity of America. As we strike military targets, we will also drop food, medicine and supplies to the starving and suffering … “

Almost every word was false. Their declarations of concern were cruel illusions for an imperial savagery “we” in the West rarely recognize as such.


In 2001, Afghanistan was stricken and depended on emergency relief convoys from Pakistan. As the journalist Jonathan Steele reported, the invasion indirectly caused the deaths of some 20,000 people as supplies to drought victims stopped and people fled their homes.

Eighteen months later, I found unexploded American cluster bombs in the rubble of Kabul which were often mistaken for yellow relief packages dropped from the air. They blew the limbs off foraging, hungry children.

In the village of Bibi Maru, I watched a woman called Orifa kneel at the graves of her husband, Gul Ahmed, a carpet weaver, and seven other members of her family, including six children, and two children who were killed next door.

An American F-16 aircraft had come out of a clear blue sky and dropped an Mk82 500-pound bomb on Orifa’s mud, stone and straw house. Orifa was away at the time. When she returned, she gathered the body parts.

Months later, a group of Americans came from Kabul and gave her an envelope with 15 notes: a total of $15. “Two dollars for each of my family killed,” she said.

The invasion of Afghanistan was a fraud. In the wake of 9/11, the Taliban sought to distant themselves from Osama bin Laden. They were, in many respects, an American client with which the administration of Bill Clinton had done a series of secret deals to allow the building of a $3 billion natural gas pipeline by a U.S. oil company consortium.

In high secrecy, Taliban leaders had been invited to the U.S. and entertained by the CEO of the Unocal company in his Texas mansion and by the CIA at its headquarters in Virginia. One of the deal-makers was Dick Cheney, later George W. Bush’s vice president.

In 2010, I was in Washington and arranged to interview the mastermind of Afghanistan’s modern era of suffering, Zbigniew Brzezinski. I quoted to him his autobiography in which he admitted that his grand scheme for drawing the Soviets into Afghanistan had created “a few stirred up Muslims”.

“Do you have any regrets?” I asked.

“Regrets! Regrets! What regrets?”

When we watch the current scenes of panic at Kabul airport, and listen to journalists and generals in distant TV studios bewailing the withdrawal of “our protection,” isn’t it time to heed the truth of the past so that all this suffering never happens again?

John Pilger’s 2003 film, Breaking the Silence, about the “war on terror” is available to view here.  


60 comments for “John Pilger: The Great Game of Smashing Nations

  1. Thomas McCarthy
    August 27, 2021 at 15:18

    I’ve been listening to John for 30 years to hear the truth. A light in the darkness. Thank you John for reminding those who want to hear of the truth

  2. Joseph cullen
    August 27, 2021 at 15:11

    I had thought that the US hit a low point in its atrocious and totally unlawful assault on Vietnam and the millions of victims of that horror. But no, as John Pilger reminds us, it’s happened angain. I’m a naturalized American
    citizen and living through this nightmare of lies and deceit and phony patriotism makes me wonder what the hell I was thinking when I swore allegiance to the US state way back in the sixties! I was young then and full of
    hope made false by a nation that has lost its moral bearings.

  3. August 27, 2021 at 12:10


    August 27, 2021 at 07:15

    Hard hitting, thought provoking article. This is America for you ,mother of of all earthly unrest.

  5. John Walker
    August 27, 2021 at 05:44

    I hope this will be seen and read by everyone ,so much information not easily attainable

  6. francis kelly
    August 27, 2021 at 04:50

    Says it al.
    U.S. in paticula makeds a ball-up whichever coungry it intgerferes in
    i.e iaq,Vietnam, cuba, all Souh American State. Had o leae eachcoury wihtal between its legs.
    They also enered he1st world war 1917 when war ealy ove o clean up

  7. Dr. Carl S Bosco DC
    August 26, 2021 at 19:59

    Dear John Pilger,

    I have been following your work for a couple of decades. Thank you. It’s incredible the amount of mendacity in the press and government, and attempts at exposing it seem so futile.
    I think people have been fooled for so long, the events of the past year have been so eggregiously blantant and so have caused a kind of catatonia.

    Thanks again John and be well

    Carl S Bosco

  8. August 26, 2021 at 18:59

    Uma opinião séria com informações importante para o entendimento do que ocorre no Afeganistão e suas causa. Análise de grande importância do papel deletério dos Estados Unidos e de seus objetivos de domínio e subjugação do povo afegão.

  9. John Bowen
    August 26, 2021 at 16:19

    Great arlicle by John Pilger but the so called “free press” will not carry it as it exposes their masters as mass murderers.

  10. Joan Brookes
    August 26, 2021 at 15:24

    Thank you for this revealing article on Afghanisan.

  11. Ann Claytonwest
    August 26, 2021 at 11:12

    Thank you for an honest assessment of what was done to this

  12. Joseph Altham
    August 26, 2021 at 05:20

    A great article. Afghanistan’s geographical position makes it a tempting prize for the great powers. But they overplay their hand when they try to occupy the country. It’s fascinating to think that after the USSR was goaded into making this mistake by the USA, the USA went on to make the same mistake in the following century. But now, after the fall of the American-backed government, Afghanistan is passing into the orbit of Russia and China. So how long will it be before the CIA starts trying to destabilize Afghanistan and make trouble there?

  13. Steve Liddle
    August 26, 2021 at 02:30

    More proof that we need a UN organisation, equivalent to WHO, that protects all nations’ history?! Suggest ‘WHPO’ …

    • Nathan Mulcahy
      August 26, 2021 at 12:03

      WHO as a model? No thank you. About 80% of its budget comes from the private sector. Not surprisingly their agenda is driven by them too, including by Bill snd Melinda Gates foundation.

  14. Realist
    August 25, 2021 at 23:19

    Zbig was obviously a lightweight when it came to playing what he characterised as geopolitical “chess” in Central Asia. He conspicuously failed to see all the possible moves leading from his gambit to sandbag the Soviets with a Muslim Jihad in Afghanistan. The chain of causality has now brought great damage to his government, political party, geopolitical philosophy and personal reputation. Too bad he’s not still here to see his complete humiliation. Must be a hoot listening to Mika (Zbig’s daughter) and Joe make excuses on their MSNBC morning show.

  15. Marco Antonio Castillo
    August 25, 2021 at 23:00

    The economic interests and political control that USA already have around the world, has been possible through war and crimes.
    All the Nations, specially the NATO members are parts of those criminals act of terrorism.
    In 1954 Usa invaded Guatemala to overthrow a regime than brought the best social, economic programs: land reforms, free health, labor law, free education and on.

  16. Chris
    August 25, 2021 at 22:14

    I want to offer a correction to a part of your story. You stated:

    “In 1996, the enlightened PDPA government was overrun. The president, Mohammad Najibullah, had gone to the United Nations to appeal to for help. On his return, he was hanged from a street light.”

    The PDPA government collapsed in 1992 not 1996 and even by 1992 had lost most control over large swathes of the country and the political system in general. The PDPA rebranded as the Homeland Party in 1990 after years of political, ideological and ethnic infighting.

    Also, important to note that the person in charge of defending Kabul in 1996 was the anti-communist, anti-soviet, and anti-Taliban warlord Ahmad Shah Massoud, not PDPA.

  17. Tom Paine
    August 25, 2021 at 21:38

    I think it important to note that after the “Saur Revolution” military coup, things quickly fell apart. The PDPA started purging its own ranks, paranoia reigned and blood flowed as the ruling Khalq faction fell under the control of the bloodthirsty Amin. So it is a bit of dramatic license to say “Afghanistan won its freedom” in this early period before the Red Army entered and murdered Amin, who may have aspired to become a Saddam-like dictator and switch sides in the Cold War. Of course I absolutely opposed the U.S. roll then and later, as I made clear in my other comment here. But the situation was actually very complicated, and tragic mistakes were made … on all sides.

  18. Said
    August 25, 2021 at 19:01

    What about Kissinger ?? Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia : over 5 million killed under his watch !

  19. Emiko OKoturo
    August 25, 2021 at 17:29

    Once again John Pilger outlines the hidden history of the damage caused by Britain and U.S.A’s economic and neo-liberal ideological interest based interventions in Afghanistan at the great disadvantage to ordinary Afgans. The basis of Islamic fundamentalism was created and encouraged by western countries to undermine secular socialist governments for example in Afghanistan in the 1970s . Operation Cyclone signed off by President Carter is an example of the never ending interference of the USA in Afghanistan like Vietnam in the past. Now they have been chased out by the Taliban. They need to change their delusional foreign policy .

  20. Anne Streeter
    August 25, 2021 at 17:02

    John Pilger – one of the best and the brightest of journalists. He has seen it all and still he continues. Thank you John Pilger!!

  21. Marie-France Germain
    August 25, 2021 at 16:45

    Next in line to suffer – Pakistan through the agitation of the Baluch in Baluchistan, a province in southern Pakistan, where the Belt and Road are supposed to pass through to Gwadar. NED and USAID are working hard to destabilize that area too. Keep a watch on that area next as the Neo-Liberal west attempts to eat the east.

    And there was the photo of “we lied, we cheated and we stole” Pompeo with former Imperialistic Blair, would be Global Emperor. BTW, lying, cheating Pompeo lied about Xinjiang and about the Corona virus and “the Wuhan lab leak theory” to bolster Trump in the 2020 election by attempting to prove that Trump would keep Americans safer than poor deluded Biden from the “hordes of Oriental madmen.” You really cannot make this stuff up but I keep digging these tidbits up through reading widely from non-mainstream journalistic sources who are both trusted and not in America’s spooks pockets.

  22. Gerry L Forbes
    August 25, 2021 at 15:54

    ” Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter’s national security adviser, a Polish émigré and fanatical anti-communist and moral extremist…” Descended from Polish aristocracy his hate-on for Russia started long before he was even born.

    Afghanistan was not the only Islamic country that Brzezinski would throw into turmoil for ulterior purposes. His other boss, Trilateral Commission head David Rockefeller, was facing serious difficulties with the fall of the shah’s regime in Iran. Chase Manhattan bank had invested heavily in the gravy train that an American puppet in an oil rich state creates and was facing collapse if the Shah’s successor, whether Islamic or Marxist, failed to honour those debts. Fortunately, the ailing dictator was flying around the world trying to find a country that would admit him for treatment allowing Brzezinski, against the wishes of the State Department, to have him admitted to an American hospital although he was far beyond hope of medical intervention. The American embassy in Tehran was immediately invaded causing the American government to seize Iranian assets and Rockefeller’s bacon was saved.

    Also, did Tony Blair say

    “let us re-order the world around us.”


    “let us re-order the world. Around us.” i.e. the Anglo-American establishment. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  23. robert e williamson jr
    August 25, 2021 at 15:46

    I’m digging this, John. Great stuff and from forty years ago at that. Seems many articles here see authors banging the right people over the head.

    Thanks CN

  24. Tony
    August 25, 2021 at 14:54

    Well done for helping to expose the gruesome actions of Zbigniew Brzezinski.

  25. D
    August 25, 2021 at 14:11

    Brzezinski would have made an excellent Nazi.

  26. Amy Clark
    August 25, 2021 at 14:05

    Thank you for publishing the truth.

  27. Tony Gard
    August 25, 2021 at 13:45

    I’ve passed on this excellent piece to people who think Afghan history started with the Russian invasion.
    Thank you John and good health to you.

  28. friday jones
    August 25, 2021 at 12:16

    The Taliban/Mujahadeen fought against the Northern Alliance. The Northern Alliance are the group the USA then supported (ironically) against the Taliban. At no time was the Northern Alliance and the Taliban on the same page.

    • Cliff Shardalow
      August 25, 2021 at 13:26

      Just different warlord groups, same tactics, all Islamic extremists, all rapists. Taliban have tended away from use of rape but many groups under their leadership just repeat it. Thatcher and Reagan described rapist, warlord gangster, extremist (distorted) islamists as freedom fighters and armed them to the hilt.

  29. August 25, 2021 at 11:19

    Taliban- new tools of rule for the Romerican Empire. Hail Heil

  30. John Corey
    August 25, 2021 at 10:34

    The U.S. DNA consists of incompetence, brutality and mendacity.

  31. Vera Gottlieb
    August 25, 2021 at 10:10

    Afghanistan might be the ‘graveyard of empires’ – while the US and UK create these graveyards. The asses of evil…

  32. peter cummins
    August 25, 2021 at 10:06

    This is a painful but completely factual piece of journalism by the great John Pilger. The Americans and the British have de-stabilized almost every part of the planet with their great wealth and power and their grand notions of nation building for their own selfish interests, oh that we had more people of his intelligence, passion and truthfulness in positions of power, thank you John.

  33. Frank Lambert
    August 25, 2021 at 09:53

    John Pilger, a giant among men is a person who every truth seeker and truth teller should look up to, as he has the courage and integrity in informing the world with real facts on what has transpired in the past and what is currently happening somewhere on the globe.

    Yes, Jeff, Z-big was one of the top three, anti-communist, anti-Russian fanatics who through their policies and influence, caused so much death and destruction, misery and suffering in the world. The other rabid two were Adolph Hitler and Allen Dulles.

  34. Tom Paine
    August 25, 2021 at 09:41

    A short wonderful article that catches the essence of the U.S. / NATO / Muslim jihadist Alliance that doomed Afghanistan. From fighting the Cold War using jihadi terror to fighting its global “War Against Terror,” the real interests of people and nations caught in the crossfire were never important to the warmongers, profiteering contractors and politicians in the West. Imperial arrogance and plain stupidity were other contributing factors.

    Hopefully after the partisan bickering over the U.S. debacle in Afghanistan runs its course, some deeper lessons will sink in. But I doubt it. Already voices in both U.S. parties are amping up propaganda to “confront” China’s (and again Russia’s) supposed overseas “aggression” and “threat to democracy” — leading me to think there will be more “proxy wars” between “Great Powers” and more victimized people in the regions involved.

  35. Mia Campioni
    August 25, 2021 at 09:29

    I just feel deeply concerned about the people of Afghanistan, which my country Australia were equally implicated in bringing into such a state of hell now, because Australia always follows the USA everywhere it goes. The USA is guilty about a lot of misery in various countries, while it feels no guilt nor really has any interest in other cultures…………..

  36. Henry Smith
    August 25, 2021 at 09:17

    One of life’s great mysteries: why do people keep voting into power the very people who will oppress them and remove their rights ? I’m not talking about Afghans, I’m talking about the US, UK, Israel and all their ‘five eyes’ buddies. This evil bunch hates anything smacking of socialism and human rights and yet the people keep giving them a free pass. Perverse.

    • Mia Campioni
      August 25, 2021 at 09:50

      It is the very system of voting in these countries, which avoids any real form of democracy, since there is only a choice between two parties, which actually share a same foreign policy (“all the way with the USA”). This is what is the difference from the rest of Europe, those which are not Anglo and have representative voting systems. As for Israel, it has exclusive interests at representing the best armed colonist country (viz the Westbank) in the Middle East, which keeps non-western forces at bay for the rest of the Western world.

      • Cliff shardalow
        August 25, 2021 at 13:33

        Anyone can get elected in America’s democracy. 2020 election expenses were about $14 billion, half on presidential, half on congressional. So anyone with $7 billion could get elected.

    • John
      August 25, 2021 at 16:36

      It’s about education. Education, in the UK, is not about enlightenment, but about conforming, obeying rules and bowing to authority.

    • connect
      August 25, 2021 at 23:32

      No not a mystery. Even before the CIA links to the main corporate media were established by US govt. The links have become stronger and now include media (esp private) world wide, but more so in Germany and UK. The UK includes Canada, Australia and NZ. See online Ulfkotte video, he wrote a book (a number of books) ‘Brought Journalism’, couldn’t buy it outside Germany, against much resistance finally released about 3 years back in other countries, check the internet. Hopefully the Great Censorship has not eliminated it.

  37. jdd
    August 25, 2021 at 07:50


  38. Joy Robinson
    August 25, 2021 at 07:21

    Mr Pilger you are a heroic journalist you deal in Reality’s not drama/Lies

  39. Ed Rickert
    August 25, 2021 at 06:50

    The truth is the Empire of Graveyards (as Jeffery St. Clair describes it) has learned nothing and will return to plunder as quickly as possible. Thank you John Pilger for reminding us once again of what actually happens rather than the erasure of history and memory that is commonplace in the media.

  40. August 25, 2021 at 05:49

    Ongelooflijke Walging maakt zich van mij meester… VERVLOEKT ZIJN DE USA en the UK…. but the news here stay the same… And I know what the West-Europa did in in the koloniale world ???????? especially Belgium in Congo…… Again DISGUSTING ???? The western world deserves the Shame… ?? ?? ?? ??

  41. Patricia Finn
    August 25, 2021 at 05:00

    Thank you John Pilger for always giving a clear well informed humanitarian rendering of the truth that so many are ignorant of.

  42. Robert Theobald
    August 25, 2021 at 04:55

    A fine summary of the truth behind the last few decades of turmoil and murder in Afghanistan, by the excellent John Pilger. If only this truth would get out through the Main Stream Media, but we know why it will not.

  43. Dennis
    August 25, 2021 at 02:25

    The mujahedin were created in 1979 to oppose the Soviets. In 1994, after the Soviets were out, the Taliban came into existence to oppose the mujadedin warlords.
    In the article’s next paragraph it seems to place the Taliban in the 1980s.

    • Bartholomew Mellowglass
      August 26, 2021 at 17:34

      The Pilger article necessarily contains some historical shorthand, for complex series of sequential events, each of which could be serviced by their own, in-depth write-ups.

      There is an effort to distinguish mujahedin from Taliban, as uniquely separate phenomena — when these are better thought of as a progression and generational transformation. Under ISI sponsorship and ongoing Saudi financial support – stemming from the US NatSec strategy of Carter-Brzezinski – the institutional founding of both the earlier mujaheddin and later Taliban ca be viewed on a continuum.

      There is more to this than just a Saudi salafi influx to support Jummah Masjids and madrasahs, and supply these with jihadist ideologues as Imams. I don’t know of today’s composition in the 2020’s, but the first generation Taliban drew from a population of war orphans, who were left without parents through the violence of mujahedin guerilla war and its ongoing consequences. Huge numbers of these male children were raised in under a fostering by madrasahs in Pakistan – leadership and institutions that had organized these earlier mujahedin groups, and supplied Saudi-originated funds along with their ideological raison.

      It is not incorrect to state that the Taliban o both sides of the permeable border, are the successive generation of students, brought up through these same madrassahs.

  44. Em
    August 24, 2021 at 22:34

    By far and away the most destabilizing, global peace undermining force, on the planet today, is the USA (Unilateral Security Aggressor).
    William (Bill) Blum described it well, already back in 2005, when his well-documented book Rogue State was published; lauded by both long-time ostracized Yale Professor of political science Michael Parenti, and Gore Vidal, one of Americas foremost and prolific literary patriots.
    John Pilger, in this piece, as he always does, in no uncertain terms, spells out the truth of the imperial Wests barbaric savagery, fomented and led by the US’s global evil intent; from way back in 1979 in Afghanistan.

    • Gene Poole
      August 26, 2021 at 13:15

      Bill Blum’s major work is _Killing Hope_, and the chapter on Agfhanistan is available online: hXXps://

  45. Aaron
    August 24, 2021 at 20:28

    It’s become like some kind of surreal, bizarre corollary to the recent “Field of Dreams” baseball movie re-enactment. It’s like “Battlefield of Dreams” with all the original masters of war manifesting out of the woodwork, as the war machine and press are creating like a “if you build it they will come” re-enactment of the original march and prelude to war. Ironically, Biden has become just another pawn, betrayed by the military industrial complex, which he served so loyally, but now they have turned on him. But instead of the feel-good, folksy Costner’s “is this heaven? No, it’s Iowa”, this is “Is this hell? No, it’s Afghanistan.” The same players wanna play this deadly chess game over and over and over again, forever and ever and ever.

  46. Hamid Kabir
    August 24, 2021 at 18:45

    Love John Pilger’s work, always revealing truths. Small correction PDPA’s rule ended in 1992 not 1996 and Najibullah was the president not prime minister. Of note that our prime minister was Sultan Ali Keshtmand an ethnic Hazara for nearly 10 years during PDPA’s rule which was unthinkable during monarchy or even after PDPA’

  47. andrew mallory
    August 24, 2021 at 18:26

    Thank you for putting this all so clearly.

  48. Jho blho
    August 24, 2021 at 16:53

    Few are recounting this history. Paul Hay has a video that tells some hard truths:
    I hope that Wilkerson is wrong, I’m not one of those Americans that “likes empire.”

  49. Jeff Harrison
    August 24, 2021 at 16:42

    If it weren’t for the fact that he’s already dead, Z-big should be shot for the mess he created with his Russophobia.

    • Marie-France Germain
      August 25, 2021 at 17:01

      I one hundred per cent agree!

    • Milan
      August 26, 2021 at 06:42

      Russophobia is rampant in the UK to this day, and if you ask regular people I reckon majority wouldn’t be able to tell you why are they supposed to hate and fear Russia.

      • Gene Poole
        August 26, 2021 at 13:21

        …in the US too, from what I can see. But people know why they’re supposed to hate and fear Russia: Russia Made Trump President. (I’m not sure if they remember how the US Made Yeltsin President, but Russians certainly do, since they’re still dealing with the after-effects.)

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