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Who is Zalmay Khalilzad, Special Envoy for Iraq

Who is Zalmay Khalilzad, Special Envoy for Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, etc., etc.

Emperor's Clothes * [ ]


Who is this U.S. Official in Charge of Afghanistan and the Iraqi Opposition?

* Zalmay Khalilzad - Envoy for Islamic Terror *

Compiled with comments by Jared Israel

[Posted 1 March 2003, revised 16 April 2003]


[ ]

The following text is more relevant today (April 16th) than when it was first written, six weeks ago. It includes a political biography of Zalmay Khalilzad, with useful source materials.

Two years ago, Khalilzad was put in charge of the Persian Gulf, Southwest Asia "and Other Regional Issues" for the National Security Council.

If learning about any one person can provide a clue as to what the U.S.- led Empire is trying to accomplish, from Iraq to Afghanistan, it is Zalmay Khalilzad. Hence the importance of the information that follows.

- Jared Israel

Editor, Emperor's Clothes

16 April 2003


Who is Zalmay Khalilzad and why is *he* the man on the ground in Iraq?


George Bush has named the disease: Islamic fundamentalist terrorism.

But rest easy. He has also named the cure: Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad.

Dr. Khalilzad? Would that be the same Zalmay Khalilzad who oversaw the mobilization, leadership, funding and coordination of, and the media support for, the Islamic fundamentalist terrorists who devastated Afghanistan and Bosnia?

That's the man.

Dr. Khalilzad is in charge of a large part of Asia and the Middle East for the National Security Council. He has *two* field positions: special U.S. envoy to Afghanistan *and* special U.S. envoy to the Iraqi opposition. [1]

Why those two? Afghanistan and Iraq aren't even in the same region. They are separated by 1424 miles, Baghdad to Kabul. [2]

Those miles have a name. It's Iran. Could that be a clue?

Describing Zalmay Khalilzad as an 'envoy' charmingly understates his power. For example, he is the one who chose Hamid Karzai to head the current Afghan government, after which Khalilzad's choice was 'democratically approved' by the members of the Afghan elite, whom he had assembled. [3]

To help us think about what Khalilzad could be doing in Afghanistan and Iraq, let us examine his curriculum vitae, or résumé.

To that end, further down I have assembled significant excerpts from news reports and documents I've collected about Khalilzad, with some comments.


Misinformation on Khalilzad


You may have heard Khalilzad described, with some scorn, as a 'Unocal consultant.'

This label derives from the latest war in Afghanistan. After the U.S. launched that war, some writers put forward that the U.S. goal was to force Afghanistan to accept a gas pipeline, supposedly desired by Unocal, a big U.S. oil company. We have refuted those writers [4] and shown that their research techniques and reasoning are sloppy to the point of parody. [5C]

Those putting forward the 'it's-for-oil' argument made much of Zalmay Khalilzad's brief stint working with a company that did some consulting for Unocal. Based on that minor gig, hundreds of Websites and some mainstream journalists still refer to Khalilzad as a 'Unocal consultant.'

Thus we are now told:

1) Khalilzad is the envoy to the Iraqi opposition;

2) Khalilzad is a Unocal consultant;

3) Therefore, it's 'all about oil!' [5]

Never mind that Khalilzad is a top figure in the US-led Western Empire - hardly an 'oil consultant.'

Never mind that Unocal *pulled out* of Afghanistan in 1998 (i.e., during the Clinton years) because the war between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance showed no signs of ending and you can't build a pipeline during a war.

Never mind that when Unocal pulled out the U.S. did *not* immediately invade Afghanistan to remove the Taliban. (Indeed there is strong evidence that, during the Clinton years, the U.S. covertly helped the Taliban fight their Northern Alliance enemies. [7] )

Never mind that after the U.S. finally did attack Afghanistan, in 2001, that is, three years later, Unocal did not return to that country. And now, in the middle of 2003, they still have not returned.

Never mind that Unocal hasn't made a dime out of Afghanistan before or after the latest war.

Never mind that today Zalmay Khalilzad, the 'Unocal consultant', is in charge and yet there are exactly zero plans by any Western oil company to build a pipeline through Afghanistan.

Calling Khalilzad an 'oil industry consultant' is like calling U.S. President Harry S. Truman a 'hat store owner' (which he was). Then, when Truman's government drops the A-bomb on Hiroshima, everyone can say, 'See? It's all about hats!'

And here's the central point: the 'oil consultant' label trivializes the harm Khalilzad has done.

When the Turkish media speaks of Khalilzad, they refer to him as President Bush's adviser on Iraq. Given the relative intellectual stature of these two men, it is unlikely that Khalilzad is merely Bush's 'adviser'. As of May 2001 his official job assignment with the National Security Council was, "Special Assistant" for the "Gulf, Southwest Asia and Other Regional Issues." That's quite a sweep. He appears to have had the decisive role in setting up the present government of Afghanistan. He is now the power broker on the ground, wheeling and dealing with the Iraqi opposition, Iran and Turkey.

As the following excerpts suggest, Zalmay Khalilzad's experience is highly specialized. He is perhaps *the* leading practical planner and on-the-scene operative for carrying out the Brzezinski strategy. That strategy involves using Islamic fundamentalist terrorists to advance the US-led Empire. The fundamentalists do this by attacking secular movements and societies and by taking political and organizational leadership of opposition movements so that they can be used as tools of the Empire.

Khalilzad helped develop the notion of using the media to run public relations for terrorists - demonizing those who resist the terrorists as human rights abusers.

All this is documented below.

It is my hypothesis that Khalilzad's role, at this time, is to coordinate the creation of a continuous line of Islamic fundamentalist states, including Saudi Arabia and Iraq, reaching Afghanistan and beyond. These states might be US puppets (Afghanistan) or they might *officially* have strong differences with the US government (Iran) but they must all be integrated, at least on the operational level, with the US-led Empire. In the past, Iran and the US have had the most hostile relations *in public* while cooperating extensively on a covert level. This is discussed in the article, "U.S. & Iran: Enemies in Public, but Secret Allies in Terror," at

It may be necessary for Islamic fundamentalists in countries like Iran not only to denounce the U.S., but also to organize demonstrations and even violent attacks against the current US-led invasion. That sort of thing easily deceives people who are used to thinking that the US *government* is the same as the US-led *Empire*. It is not. It is merely a *part* of the Empire.

As the documents below make clear, Khalilzad has a unique mixture of experience in both planning *and* actual work with terrorists, on the ground. There may be nobody better placed than he to coordinate joint efforts between various covert and semi-covert forces of the Empire, on the one hand, and Islamic fundamentalists who must seem to oppose the US-led Empire in order to maintain their political base, on the other.

If the US-led Empire can create an Islamist bloc from Saudi Arabia going east, eventually incorporating all of Central Asia, it would vastly increase the influence of fundamentalists among Muslims all over Asia and the Caucasus. The biggest potential opponents of the US-led Empire are in this area - the multiethnic states of India, China and Russia. Since 1984, Zalmay Khalilzad has specialized in mobilizing Islamic fundamentalism against opponents of the US (the Soviet Union) and destroying multiethnic states (Yugoslavia-Bosnia).

I found the following description of Dr. Khalilzad in the Washington Post:

"Colleagues call the suave and savvy 50-year-old, who has worked at both the State and Defense departments, charming, even playful. He's a sharp dresser..." [5B]

Yes, so is the devil.

The facts about Khalilzad are below.


* 1984 *

Khalilzad came to the State Department as a Council on Foreign Relations fellow. Within two years he was a member of the elite Policy Planning Council.

"He joined the State Department as a Council on Foreign Relations fellow in 1984 and served as a member of the department's Policy Planning Council from 1986 to 1988."

--- Biographical note accompanying the article, "How the Good Guys [sic!] Won in Afghanistan,"
by Zalmay Khalilzad
The Washington Post
February 12, 1989, Sunday, Final Edition
Outlook, Page C1


* 1985 *

Khalilzad was on the Board of a company called Friends of Afghanistan. Also on the Board was Zbigniew Brzezinski, the self-described mastermind of using Islamic fundamentalism in Afghanistan to attack Russia. [5D] Khalilzad taught at Brzezinski's university, Columbia. Everything suggests Khalilzad was a Brzezinski protégé. Below is a substantial excerpt from an Associated Press (AP) dispatch, entitled, "U.S. Provides $500,000 So Afghan Rebels Can Tell Their Story."

Note that according to this dispatch, Congress proposed that Khalilzad's organization, Friends of Afghanistan, teach the Afghan terrorists how to win international support by portraying those opposing them as human rights abusers. This technique is now a staple of U.S. strategy. (For example, the media demonized the Serbs in just this way.) Here's the excerpt from the AP dispatch.

[Excerpt from AP Dispatch begins here]

U.S. Provides $500,000 So Afghan Rebels Can Tell Their Story
Associated Press, September 16, 1985, Monday, PM cycle; SECTION Washington; Dateline, By Joan Mower, Washington

Guerrillas in Afghanistan are about to get money from the United States government for a public relations campaign intended to bring their struggle against Soviet troops to the world's attention.

The money will train Afghan rebel journalists to use television, radio and newspapers to advance their cause. Reporters will be given mini-cameras to photograph the war inside Afghanistan.

"It is the goal of this project to facilitate the collection, development and distribution of credible, objective and timely professional-quality news stories, photographs and television images about developments in Afghanistan," said a notice in the Federal Register.

The program will be overseen by Uncle Sam's own propaganda arm, the U.S. Information Agency. Congress appropriated $500 000 to hire experts and may provide more later.

In making the money available, Congress all but instructed USIA to consider an organization like Friends of Afghanistan, a new group whose board includes former Carter administration national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, known for hard-line anti-Soviet views.

USIA has solicited proposals, due Sept. 25.

Friends of Afghanistan includes other American foreign policy luminaries such as Lawrence Eagleburger, a former undersecretary of state, and Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad, a Columbia University political science professor and some-time paid adviser to the State Department on Afghanistan. ... [Excerpt from AP Dispatch ends here]

[For the full text of the AP dispatch, with comments, see "Zbigniew And Zalmay's Excellent Afghan Pro-Terrorist Propaganda Adventure"]


* 1987 * Khalilzad was a member of State Department's Policy Planning Council, as noted in the excerpt from a (London) Financial Times article, below.

Jostling To Fill A Power Vacuum; Afghanistan After The Russians
By Edward Mortimer, Financial Times (London)
April 7, 1987, Tuesday SECTION I; Pg. 27

As Professor Zalmay Khalilzad, an American of Afghan origin now on the State Department's policy planning council, pointed out at the symposium, the Afghan cause commands 'unanimous support in the American body politic' and constitutes one of those rare items in the foreign aid budget where the pressure from Congress is to do more rather than less.

[Financial Times excerpt ends here.]


* May 1988 *

Note that according to the dispatch from the Soviet news service, Itar-Tass, posted below, Zalmay Khalilzad was by 1988 the State Department's "special advisor" on Afghanistan. He was the one who dealt directly with the Mujahideen (Islamic holy warriors). In four years he had risen to the top. Note also the message he delivered to the Mujahideen: if you want our (continued) support a) you cannot make peace with the pro-Russian government and b) you must win. Note how this foreshadows Khalilzad's harsh criticism of the Taliban, made in the year 2000: that they were incapable of winning the war with the Northern Alliance, and that they were driving the Central Asian Republics into Russia's arms. [M] Consider also that Khalilzad has extensive experience not only in planning how to use Islamic fundamentalist terrorists against secular governments, but also in working with the terrorists. Here's the excerpt from Itar-Tass.

To Support Afghan Counter Revolutionaries
New York; The Russian Information Agency ITAR-TASS, May 6, 1988, Friday

'The United States has told the Afghan guerrillas that it would support them in an effort to form a provisional government if they consolidate their control of most of the country and meet other criteria,' the newspaper New York Times today quoted State Department officials as saying. A top State Department official made it clear that the government must oppose 'the soviet-backed regime in Kabul' and said that the USA did not 'accept the legitimacy' of the authorities in Afghanistan. The relevant message was delivered to the rebels in the Pakistani city of Peshawar last week by Zalmay Khalilzad, a special adviser on Afghanistan to under secretary of state Michael H. Armacost.

[The excerpt from TASS ends here]


* June 1988 *

The following excerpt from a New York Times article suggests that by 1988 Khalilzad advocated a policy of attacking Iraq and strengthening (!) Iran. [6]

The 1992 CAMPAIGN - Bush's Greatest Glory Fades As Questions on Iraq Persist
June 27, 1992, Saturday, Late Edition - Final George Bush Section 1; Page 1; Column 5; Foreign Desk

Mr. Bush and his aides were urged to rethink Persian Gulf policy from the moment they took office. Shortly after Mr. Bush won the Presidency in November 1988, a State Department strategist drafted a paper for the President-elect urging that the United States take a fresh approach to the region. The Reagan White House steadfastly believed that the great menace to peace in the gulf was Iran. But Zalmay Khalilzad, an official in the office of Policy Planning, asserted that the more dangerous threat came from Iraq, which had replaced Iran as the strategic regional power and was now poised to dominate the gulf. Mr. Khalilzad advised in the paper that America's new policy should concentrate on strengthening Iran and containing Iraq. The paper was included in the State Department Policy Planning Staff's official 'transition book,' which reviewed all the foreign policy issues the new President would soon have to confront. But after Mr. Bush took office, the State Department staff's arguments were either overlooked or rejected.

[The New York Times excerpt ends here]

[Note: Take that last sentence [L], about the Bush, Sr. administration overlooking Khalilzad's suggestions, with a grain of salt. In 1988, Khalilzad said, 'Work with Iran, attack Iraq.' Didn't the Bush administration attack Iraq? And, according to the Dutch government report issued last year, didn't the Pentagon coordinate Iranian and Saudi Arabian financing and supply of terrorists and arms to the pro-US Bosnian government of Alijah Izetbegovic? [6] Doesn't that constitute allying with Iran? And Khalilzad became *head of Policy Planning* at the Pentagon! In other words, the boss. Does that suggest his advice was being 'overlooked'?] [92]

It is true that the U.S. and Iran continued to trade barbs and oppose one another in public? But at the same time, they worked together where it counted most, on the ground, to destroy Yugoslavia. Or look at it another way: what huge Muslim state fought a bitter war with Iraq in the 1980s, a war in which hundreds of thousands died? Isn't that state (Iran) the most obvious beneficiary of the Gulf War, which hobbled the Iraqi military?


* 1990 *

During the Reagan years Khalilzad reportedly rose to oversee the entire Persian Gulf region. The following is excerpted from a discussion of the Gulf crisis on The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, a US Public TV program. Ms. Woodruff was a reporter on the program.

Government in Exile; Diplomatic Solution? Hostage to Circumstance
The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour
August 31, 1990, Friday

"MS. Woodruff: Now some additional analysis. It comes from Zalmay Khalilzad, who oversaw the Persian Gulf region as a staff member of the State Department's policy planning staff during the Reagan administration."


* 1992 *

Consider the following words, taken from Martin Indyk's remarks to a meeting of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. (A longer excerpt from Indyk's remarks is posted after my comments.)

"Zalmay Khalilzad, who became director of policy planning in the Pentagon...[under George Bush, Sr.]"

*Director* of US military policy planning!

Let me say a few words here about Martin Indyk, because he has some interesting similarities to Zalmay Khalilzad.

Indyk became a U.S. citizen in 1993. President Clinton immediately took him on as a top adviser, officially in charge of the Middle East for the National Security Council.

In his remarks, quoted below, Indyk says that he and Khalilzad worked together on a policy paper on "proposals for reshaping the Middle East in the areas of regional security, arms control, economic and political development." This position paper, says Indyk, affected US policy because Khalilzad and two others who worked on it took top policy-making posts in the Bush administration.

A year after Indyk made these remarks, Clinton replaced Bush, and Indyk became his Middle East adviser. Thus Khalilzad and then his colleague Indyk were key participants in Middle East policy at precisely the time the U.S. was pushing for the so-called peace process. The centerpiece of this process was the Oslo accords which involved a) a total change in Israel's relationship with the PLO and b) legitimized the idea of a Palestinian state that would be run by the same terrorists who had been attacking Israeli civilians and who have continued to do so. Some people argued that Indyk's appointment involved a conflict of interest because Indyk is Jewish. This assumes that because Indyk is Jewish he must be loyal to Israel. This assumption is evidence that anti-Semitism destroys one's ability to think. Though he is an Afghan, Zalmay Khalilzad is obviously not an agent of "The Afghans"; so why do people assume that Indyk is an agent of "The Jews."

Consider this: Zalmay Khalilzad is an Afghan and that is one of reasons he was invited to play such a prominent role in destroying.... Afghanistan. Similarly, during the period when the US-led Empire was instituting Oslo, which was a big attack on Israel, they brought in a Jewish person to sell the deal.

Just as the Mujahideen war of the 1980s *destroyed* Afghan society, so the Oslo 'peace process' has facilitated the demonization of Israel and the whitewashing of the worst anti-Semites in the Arab world. Given the real character of Palestinian politics - that from the PLO to Hamas, all significant leaders are under the influence of the Saudis and all advocate the liquidation of Israel [6A] - a Palestinian state would be the worst possible thing for Israel.

It is no wonder that the PLO supported Indyk's meteoric rise to power:

"... The Palestine Liberation Organization backs him. 'His religion and background does not make any difference as far as we are concerned,' said Hasan Abdel Rahman, the PLO's chief representative in Washington. "He understands the politics of the region . . . we can work with him. His commitment to Israel, with the right vision, may be even helpful to the peace process. Anybody who has the interests of Israel at heart and has a vision for the future will support an equitable peace with the Palestinians. ..."
-- (From Washington Post, "Choice for [Ambassador to] Israel Took Unconventional Route," 2 February 1995)

"... The Palestine Liberation Organization backs him. 'His religion and background does not make any difference as far as we are concerned,' said Hasan Abdel Rahman, the PLO's chief representative in Washington. "He understands the politics of the region . . . we can work with him. His commitment to Israel, with the right vision, may be even helpful to the peace process. Anybody who has the interests of Israel at heart and has a vision for the future will support an equitable peace with the Palestinians. ..."
-- (From Washington Post, "Choice for [Ambassador to] Israel Took Unconventional Route," 2 February 1995) [6B]

This Empire is most clever. It has Khalilzad, an Afghan, sell the world on the Mujahideen, who destroyed Afghanistan. It has Indyk and other Jews sell the whitewashing of the PLO. And by the way, it is also Jews who whitewashed the Bosnian Islamic fundamentalists, who loathe Israel! And in the same way, it was a Serbian 'nationalist', Mr. Kostunica, whom the Empire chose to oversee the kidnapping of Slobodan Milosevic. It is Kostunica who has played Good Cop in Yugoslavia, doing immeasurable harm to the economy, culture and ordinary people's morale. [6C] But of course, anti-Serb racists in the Kosovo Liberation Army nevertheless attack Kostunica, claiming he is a Serbian super-nationalist! And when Indyk was made Clinton's Middle East advisor, leading anti-Semites argued that this was proof that Israel controlled US foreign policy. (Since Indyk helped orchestrate the attack on Israel known as the Oslo peace process, if his White House appointment was a manifestation of Israeli influence, Israel must be trying to commit suicide!)

Before coming to U.S. intelligence, Indyk worked in Australian intelligence. He was Deputy Director of Current Intelligence for the Middle East. It's a small world, isn't it? Meaning, it's a world Empire. Below is the part of Indyk's speech where he talks about Khalilzad.

The Washington Institute For Near East Policy
"Pursuing Peace: An American Strategy
For The Arab-Israeli Peace Process"
September 25, 1992

"Pursuing Peace: An American Strategy
For The Arab-Israeli Peace Process

"... After the war, we quickly published a second report called 'After the Storm,' which you all should have received, and the study group there came forward with proposals for reshaping the Middle East in the areas of regional security, arms control, economic and political development.

"Some of the ideas of that report, particularly in the regional security and arms control areas, I think it's fair to say, influenced the Administration's policy, most likely because three of the members of the study group then went into the Administration: Zalmay Khalilzad, who became director of policy planning in the Pentagon; Seth Carus, who moved into the Pentagon to work for him; and, of course, John Hannah who joined the policy planning staff of the State Department. ..."

[The excerpt from Indyk's speech ends here]


* 1992 *

In the excerpt below, Khalilzad, the top Pentagon strategic planner, is *publicly* described as advocating lifting the ban on arms to the Islamic fundamentalists in Bosnia. This of course does not indicate the *limit* of what his Pentagon subordinates actually did to Bosnia *in private*. NATO and its allies referred to the Islamic fundamentalist faction led by Alijah Izetbegovic as the 'Bosnian government.' And so, in the excerpt below, this practice is followed.

A Dutch government report issued last year asserts that at this time, Iran and Saudi Arabia imported massive quantities of illegal arms and thousands of Islamic terrorists and trainers to shore up the 'Bosnian government' army. These terrorists conducted the most vicious and brutal assaults on Serbian civilians and created an atmosphere of Islamic fanaticism. And here's the kicker: according to the Dutch, it was Pentagon intelligence that coordinated the whole operation. [6]

The excerpt also refers to Khalilzad's previous role, in Afghanistan in the 1980s, where the U.S. and Saudi Arabia sponsored a terrorist war by the most fiercely dogmatic Islamic elements.

So we have the U.S. using Middle Eastern and Central Asian Islamic terrorists, first in Afghanistan and then in Bosnia. And both times, Khalilzad was a top man.

Below is the excerpt from New Republic.

Balking: Clinton's Bosnia Crisis
by Patrick Glynn, The New Republic, November 23, 1992 Vol. 207 ; No. 22 ; Pg. 20; ISSN: 0028-6583

... In the debate over U.S. intervention, however, one key policy initiative has largely been overlooked: lifting the U.N. arms embargo against Bosnia that was imposed last December before recognition of the country last April, and supplying the Bosnian government forces with arms. Within the Bush administration, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz has reportedly advocated such a course, as has Assistant Deputy Undersecretary Zalmay Khalilzad, who was an architect of the U.S. policy to arm the Mujaheddin in Afghanistan during the 1980s. ...


* 1993 *

In the excerpt from another article in the New Republic, posted below, Khalilzad publicly called for illegal action to aid the Bosnian Islamic fundamentalists whose goal was to create an Islamist state. [6E] But as we know, much worse things were being done by Khalilzad's boys, behind the scenes. [6] Namely, they were coordinating Iranian, Saudi and Pakistani money, arms and mujahideen terrorists who attacked Bosnia. Note that Paul Wolfowitz is described as agreeing with Khalilzad. Wolfowitz is one of the much-discussed neoconservatives who, some claim, have a pro-Israeli agenda. I will give one dollar to anyone who can make an intelligent argument why it helped Israel to create an Islamic fundamentalist state in Europe. (By the way, according to the Dutch government report on Bosnia, the Israeli Mossad was arming the Bosnian Serbs who fought the mujahideen. So Wolfowitz opposed Israeli policy in Bosnia.)

See No Evil: Clinton-Bush and the Truth about Bosnia
by Glynn, Patrick, The New Republic, October 25, 1993, Vol. 209; No. 17 ; Pg. 23; ISSN: 0028-6583

... Notably, some high-level civilian officials in the Bush Pentagon, including Undersecretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and Assistant Undersecretary Zalmay Khalilzad, a participant in the successful Afghanistan policy under Reagan, repeatedly pushed in interagency meetings for lifting the arms embargo on Bosnian government forces during 1992. They pointed not only to the Afghan success but to the example of the war in Croatia, where gradual acquisition of *illegal arms* by the Croatian army had produced a military stalemate, and ultimately an enduring cease- fire, between Croat and Serb forces in December and January of 1991 and 1992. ...


* Early 1990s *

In this excerpt, the NY Times confirms that Khalilzad was head of policy planning at the Pentagon under Bush Sr.

Pentagon Seeking to Cut Military But Equip It for 2 Regional Wars
The New York Times September 2, 1993, Thursday, Late Edition - Final SECTION: Section A; Page 1; Column 1; National Desk "Pentagon Seeking to Cut Military But Equip It for 2 Regional Wars" By Michael R. Gordon, Special To The New York Times Dateline: Washington, Sept. 1

'... It was tough enough to carry out the win-win strategy [i.e., fighting two regional wars at once and winning both -EC] with the forces envisioned by the Bush Administration,' said Zalmay Khalilzad, the *head of Pentagon's office of policy planning in the Bush Administration* and an analyst with the Rand Corporation. 'The question is can they really do win-win with a reduced forced structure. ...'
[My emphasis]


* March 2000 *

Further down I have posted an excerpt from an address Zalmay Khalilzad made before the Los Angeles World Affairs Council. The full text, which you can read if you like, is worthy of a thorough commentary on its own. In one part, not included in the excerpt below, Dr. Khalilzad glibly explains away the harsh reality: that starting in the late 1970s, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia worked for over a decade empowering Islamic fundamentalist terrorism in Afghanistan.

He speaks as if the unbelievable brutality and extremism of the Afghan Mujahideen resulted from a) the law of unintended consequences - i.e., the U.S. never expected to win and b) a sin of omission - i.e., the U.S. let Pakistan play too much of a role. These are the usual rationalizations. Not only are these arguments morally bankrupt, but this picture is contradicted by the public record, including an excellent Washington Post article, which is posted on Emperor's Clothes. [6D]

I have posted a part of Khalilzad's address in which he deals with the Taliban. Khalilzad makes some familiar comments about their extremism, but in the midst of these usual platitudes he cuts to the chase. He argues that a) the Taliban have failed to win the war with the Northern Alliance and at the same time that b) they *openly* sponsor the export of Islamic fundamentalism and therefore c) they are pushing the Central Asian Republics into working more closely with Russia. This is interesting. In the Washington Post in 1996, Khalilzad wrote:

"The Taliban does not practice the anti-U.S. style of fundamentalism practiced by Iran -- it is closer to the Saudi model. The group upholds a mix of traditional Pashtun values and an orthodox interpretation of Islam."
- Washington Post, October 07, 1996, Monday, Final Edition; OP-ED; Pg. A21; Afghanistan: Time to Reengage
BYLINE: Zalmay Khalilzad

This is quaint. What constitutes the "Saudi model" of Islam? It is the Wahhabi sect. And it was precisely the Wahhabi sect which Khalilzad and his associates pushed on Afghanistan in the 1980s. The Wahhabi sect is arguably the mother of all Islamic extremism.

Why did Khalilzad ludicrously downplay the Taliban's ideology in 1996? Because at that time the US-led Empire hoped these monsters could consolidate control over Afghanistan. Indeed, Emperor's Clothes has posted evidence that around this time, the U.S. used treachery in an attempt to help the Taliban destroy the forces of the Northern Alliance. It would appear that for the U.S.-led Empire (and Dr. Khalilzad) the Taliban's greatest sin was not *excess* but *failure*. [7]

In the excerpt posted after my remarks, Khalilzad mentions the oil company, Unocal. Indeed, this is one of the few places I could find where he ever mentioned Unocal. He says that Unocal wanted to export energy through Afghanistan.

His comments here are revealing. Far from being motivated by a desire to help Unocal get a pipeline, Khalilzad never even uses the word, 'pipeline'. Rather, he refers briefly to the earlier effort to build a gas pipeline through Afghanistan, saying it was too bad it failed *because it could have given the Central Asian republics some hope, thereby luring them away from Russia!* In other words, the pipeline was interesting to top US strategists such as Khalilzad as a tool for weakening Russian influence in Central Asia. Note that in the following, Khalilzad does not speak at all as an envoy of Unocal; he refers to it in a distant and disinterested manner.

"Afghanistan was and is a possible corridor for the export of oil and gas from the Central Asian states down to Pakistan and to the world. A California company called Unocal was interested in exploring that option, but because of the war in Afghanistan, because of the instability that's there, those options, or that option at least, has not materialized. The absence of alternative options for the Central Asian states, and the fear that the Central Asians have of the potential spread of Islamic extremism -- as exemplified by the Taliban and the fact that I mentioned before that Afghanistan has become a central place for the training and spread of such movements-- Central Asia has become an arena where Russia is reasserting increasingly its influence and role."
- From text below.

Khalilzad remains focused on Russia. It is the great enemy that defined him. That old enemy was stunned in the early 1990s, but Khalilzad will not rest until it is entirely tamed, or dead.

Excerpt from Address by Zalmay Khalilzad
Given at the Los Angeles World Affairs Council on March 9, 2000 * Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad Director of Strategy and Doctrine Program Project Air Force The RAND Corporation

"As I said before, the war [between Northern Alliance and Taliban] goes on, the polarization that I talked about before continues, with the northern alliance being supported by Iran, Russia, India, and the Central Asian republics. The question is, in addition to terrorism, in addition to the violation of rights of the Afghans, the role of Pakistan, what other challenges does Afghanistan pose? I will highlight three others. One is that Afghanistan now has become the world's number one producer of opium. The narcotics production and trafficking is a main source of revenue throughout the world. *Two, Afghanistan is impacting the stability of and the prospects for the newly independent Central Asian states. Afghanistan was and is a possible corridor for the export of oil and gas from the Central Asian states down to Pakistan and to the world. A California company called Unocal was interested in exploring that option, but because of the war in Afghanistan, because of the instability that's there, those options, or that option at least, has not materialized. The absence of alternative options for the Central Asian states, and the fear that the Central Asians have of the potential spread of Islamic extremism -- as exemplified by the Taliban and the fact that I mentioned before that Afghanistan has become a central place for the training and spread of such movements-- Central Asia has become an arena where Russia is reasserting increasingly its influence and role.* In addition, there is the danger that the Taliban is going to increase and spread to reach out of Afghanistan and spread to places like Pakistan.


* May 2001 *

Following these comments is the text of a National Security Council statement announcing that Khalilzad has been appointed Bush's 'special assistant' dealing with the "Gulf, Southwest Asia and Other Regional Issues."

In just this way, the think tank boys move from the shadowy world of think tanks and high power institutes and covert and semi-covert agencies in which policy is actually made into the official world of government, where they occupy *key strategic positions*.

Special assistant dealing with the "Gulf, Southwest Asia and Other Regional Issues." Is anybody seriously going to argue that this brilliant and battle-seasoned strategist of empire merely *assists* George Bush, Junior?

The "Gulf, Southwest Asia and Other Regional Issues." That's quite an assignment. I especially like the "other regional issues." What's that? The world?

In general, it is not uncommon for a person labeled, 'Chief," to be a figurehead and for the person labeled, "Assistant" to make the decisions. Thus, in the National Security Council biographical note below, Khalilzad is described as having been, "Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Planning" from 1991 to 1992.

But as quoted earlier, Martin Indyk described Khalilzad's job in the first Bush administration more bluntly: "Director of policy planning in the Pentagon." [I]

Here's the National Security Council notice.

Notice posted on the National Security Council Website

National Security Advisor Dr. Condoleezza Rice announced May 23, 2001, the appointment of Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Gulf, Southwest Asia and Other Regional Issues, National Security Council.

Dr. Khalilzad headed the Bush-Cheney Transition team for the Department of Defense and has been a Counselor to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. Between 1993 and 1999, Dr. Khalilzad was Director of the Strategy, Doctrine and Force Structure program for RAND's Project Air Force. While with RAND, he founded the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Between 1991 and 1992, Dr. Khalilzad served as Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Planning. He also served as a senior political scientist at RAND and an associate professor at the University of California at San Diego in 1989 and 1991. From 1985 to 1989 at the Department of State, Dr. Khalilzad served as Special Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Policy working policy issues, advising on the Iran-Iraq War, and the Soviet War in Afghanistan. From 1979 to 1989, Dr. Khalilzad was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Columbia University.

Dr. Khalilzad holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (1979). He lives in Maryland with his wife Cheryl Benard and their two children, Alexander and Max.


The Big Picture...


Through various actions, culminating in the use of the jihadists in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union in the 1980s, the US-led Western Empire won the Cold War by the early 1990s.

This victory left the Empire virtually unopposed. The Soviet Union was broken up. Chinese labor was at the disposal of Western multinationals. In the West, the Left was a shambles and easily controlled.

The Empire was in possession of the most powerful media, the biggest, richest and most multi-sided covert organizations, and the biggest military force in human history. Throughout the 1990s this apparatus has been retrained and tested to function in a partly new way to serve a new strategic goal.

The US-led Empire's new goal has been to consolidate the Cold War victory by preventing the formation of a truly independent opposition and, especially, by preventing the formation of an international coalition that might form a world-pole of opposition, not under the Empire's control. The ultimate targets of this strategy: China, India and especially the former Soviet Republics.

Other smaller or weaker states have been forcefully targeted for national destruction during the 1990s. The most brutal example is Congo, in which literally millions of people have been killed by African proxy forces of the U.S.-led Empire. But the best-known case is Yugoslavia, which has the misfortune to be strategically placed. In attacking Yugoslavia, the Empire has perfected never-before-equaled techniques of media distortion and covert penetration. The breakup of Yugoslavia in an orgy of fascism, Islamic fundamentalism and national destruction, has been heralded by the mass media worldwide as a victory of democracy and nation building!

Meanwhile, all over the former Soviet Union, the US-led Empire has been penetrating the media and governments. The Empire takes over their militaries and sets up military bases. It sponsors phony democratic organizations and also Islamist and fascist movements with as much popular support as possible. The goal is to reshape the political makeup and national boundaries of the Eurasian landmass. Wherever possible, the big multiethnic states are to be broken up into smaller territories under the domination of controllable Islamic fundamentalist or fascist or other quisling governments.

In the process of turning national states into weak territories, and as a means towards this goal, the Empire strives to keep these states in poverty and debilitating strife. It assaults them with quislings, Islamic terrorists and fascists even as it penetrates them with military, political and economic advisers and 'aid.' Some of the fascists appear to the world as opponents of the Empire, even using Left-wing rhetoric, calling themselves anti-Imperialists. At the same time, the Empire funds Western-controlled 'democrats' and NGOs. It buys and creates media organizations that demonize real resistance while promoting negative alternatives and thoroughly confusing every issue.

It is inevitable that forces within national states try to resist destruction by Islamic terrorists or Fifth Column 'democratic movements' or other destructive forces connected with the Empire. (Sometimes we can actually trace the funding of such groups to the Empire's semi-covert organizations based in the US or Germany or Saudi Arabia or Norway or Holland...)

When a targeted state resists, the Empire's mass media and politicians blast the resistance as racist. The Empire sends in phony human rights groups to accuse those who resist of committing all manner of human rights abuses. By means of this and other stratagems, well-intentioned people in the Empire are drawn into movements which either justify Imperial actions or, though they may seem to oppose Imperial actions, are controlled by the Empire and serve its goals. This is possible because the mass media and the Empire's many-tentacled covert apparatus sow confusion. Ordinary people are misled about the Empire's most basic goals.

Thus, those trying to preserve the integrity of national states are continually thrown off balance. The Empire's main goal is to permanently prevent movements and states - and especially China, Russia and India - from achieving the independence of organization *and thinking*, and therefore the morale, needed to unite in resistance to this powerful attack. The point is not that the governments of these or other targeted states are necessarily virtuous. The Empire does not choose its targets based on virtue. The point is that regardless of the character of their current governments, the destruction of nation states means terrible suffering to ordinary people and renders resistance to the Empire much more difficult. The US-led Empire is *not* nostalgic. Just as it does not choose its targets based on virtue, it also does not spare them because they are 'old friends.'

Yugoslavia was a loyal servant of the Empire during the Cold War - but Yugoslavia was attacked as soon as the Cold War ended.

The Baath fascists were backed to the hilt as the alternative to the Reds, whom they slaughtered; but even before the Cold War ended, Iraq was bombed.

Perhaps the best example is Israel. Because of the alignment during the Cold War, people still view the U.S. as defending Israel and opposing the Palestinian organizations. But the facts say otherwise. The U.S. covert apparatus has been funding and training anti-Israel organizations all over the Middle East, including in the West Bank, Gaza and Israel itself, for several years; US-sponsored states, like Qatar, run non-stop, government-funded anti-Israel and anti-Semitic Television programming; and the CIA has been 'training' the PLO's key forces in military and covert operations since shortly after the Oslo accords were signed, if not before. All this is public information. (Emperor's Clothes now has a whole archive of documentation concerning the involvement of the CIA and other parts of the Empire's covert apparatus with the PLO, which we will publish.) Truly is it said: This Empire has no friends; it only has future victims. The shattering of the Soviet Union was Zalmay Khalilzad's big concern when he was the State Department's 'special adviser' on Afghanistan during the 1980s.

Today, this area of the world remains his focus of concern. Thus, for example, in a speech delivered at a meeting in 2000, which is quoted elsewhere in this article, Khalilzad called for removing the Taliban *because their policies were driving the Central Asian Republics into the arms of Russia.* [M]

Why would he care? Because Russia, despite its myriad weaknesses, was once the center of opposition - a counter-balance to US power - and Khalilzad and his Imperial associates do not want this to happen again. [5A]

There is no way that a US-led Empire can dominate the modern world *simply through military force*. The people who do the strategic planning for this Empire are aware of that axiom. They are smart, and Dr. Khalilzad is one of the smartest. They, and he, know: political power trumps military power. Therefore the US-led Empire focuses on *politics* in the most basic sense: ideology and organization. It is concerned with:

A) Creating two immense political forces. One opposes Islamic fundamentalism and believes the media hype that the US government is fighting Islamist terrorism. The leaders of this camp portray US military power as a liberating force and US hegemony as necessary in order to guarantee democracy, protect minorities against racism and racist ideas, such as anti-Semitism, and defeat terrorist regimes. They argue that it is OK to violate national sovereignty - e.g., invade other countries - if the governments of those countries violate, or are portrayed as violating, certain standards of behavior. Thus US leaders can wage what they portray as 'humanitarian' war (supposedly aimed at protecting minorities) or 'democratic' war or 'anti-terrorist' war.

At the same time, the US-led Empire fosters oppposition movements whose leaders are covert agents of the Empire. These leaders claim to oppose US hegemony, while at the same time they support Arab, Albanian and other forms of chauvinism, Islamic fundamentalism and anti-Semitism. The traditional left wing idea of anti-imperialism is merged with the fascist idea that high placed Jews are behind the problems of the world. This is often put forward under the guise of opposing a few Jewish conservatives, or Israel, or both.

B) Winning many millions of people in Eurasia to Islamic fundamentalism. In this way, the US-led Empire hopes to destabilize China from the West, (Xingiang), India from the North (Kashmir) and Russian from the south and west (the Caucasus and Central Asia), thus hobbling its most obvious potential opponents.

C) By fomenting various kinds of racism and also Islamic fundamentalism, the Empire can breath new life into the most backward-looking forces around the world. This greatly multiplies the Empire's military power and also its ability to rule subject peoples. That is why during the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, the U.S.-led Empire mobilized the erstwhile allies of Nazi Germany throughout the Balkans - the Croatian clerical-fascist Ustashas, [8] the Bosnian Islamic fundamentalists and Serb-hating racists among Albanians. That is why they stir up anti-Semitism throughout the Muslim world, anti-Slav bigotry in the Baltic States, the Balkans and elsewhere, anti-Semitism in Russia and the rest of Europe, and so on, and on.

* Footnotes and Further Reading Follow the Appeal *


* Appeal from the Editors *


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* Footnotes & Further Reading *


[1] See, official U.S. government announcement, "White House Report: Bush on Iraq; Foreign Policy Appointments. Zalmay Khalilzad, Elliot Abrahms named to new positions," at Scroll half way down the page to subhead, "Bush, Rice Announce Foreign Policy Appointments."

[2] See map at

[3] Saying that U.S. envoy Khalilzad picked Hamid Karzai to be President of Afghanistan is not hyperbole. It is well known that Karzai was elected at an Afghan grand assembly, a loya jirga, held in Germany two years ago. Here's how the LA Times described the process of choosing Karzai:

"Although challenged by two other candidates, his victory was preordained by the controversial influence of U.S. and other foreign advisors, which could taint the credibility of his tenure. Mohammad Zaher Shah, the nation's former king, withdrew from the political stage on the advice of President Bush's envoy [Zalmay Khalilzad]. Former President Burhanuddin Rabbani's departure from the race is believed to have been arranged in return for a prestigious title to be bestowed later. Still, Karzai's selection--he received 1,295 of the 1,575 votes cast--clearly reflected majority sentiment among those gathered for the weeklong convocation. Even his rivals joined in the spirit of celebration over what they see as the beginning of a new age in their homeland." -- Los Angeles Times June 14, 2002 Friday Home Edition Section: Part A Main News; Part 1; Page 1; Foreign Desk Headline: The World; Karzai Chosen As Leader, Vows To Rebuild Nation;

Note that the first part of the quote, where the Times states that the envoy (that's Khalilzad) got two candidates to withdraw, renders humorous the second part, about how the result reflected everybody's wishes. In today's Afghanistan, the elite, convened by Khalilzad, are free to democratically decide whatever Khalilzad proposes, followed by merriment.

[4] The notion that Khalilzad is a flunky of the oil industry is eviscerated in "Zbigniew And Zalmay's Excellent Afghan Pro-Terrorist Propaganda Adventure," at

For more on the myth that U.S. actions in Central Asia are aimed at making money for the oil industry, see 'The Empire Isn't in Afghanistan for the Oil!' by Jared Israel at

[5] Robert Fisk, apparently trying to start the year by cornering the award for "Least Original Thought with Most Factual Errors of 2003," wrote:

"Zalmay Khalilzad, the former Unocal Corporation oil industry consultant who became US special envoy to Afghanistan - where Unocal tried to cut a deal with the Taliban for a gas pipeline across Afghan territory - and who now, miracle of miracles, has been appointed a special Bush official for - you guessed it - Iraq." --The Independent (London) January 18, 2003, Saturday Section: Comment; Pg. 18 Headline: This Looming War Isn't About Chemical Warheads Or Human Rights: It's About Oil;

All Fisk leaves out is that:

* A) Khalilzad was never a "Unocal Corporation oil industry consultant." He was apparently briefly associated with Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) an energy-and-geopolitics outfit whose luminaries move in and out of government including national security. CERA did some work with Unocal six years ago, and Khalilzad was involved. Defining Khalilzad based on this minor association with Unocal is simply ludicrous;

* B) The Taliban never rejected building a pipeline. Why on earth would they? They needed money, and a pipeline is a cash cow, producing vast fees simply for letting oil or gas pass through one's country. Every Central Asian country wants a pipeline.

So it was the Taliban who pushed for a gas pipeline while powerful figures in the US-led Empire, like Zalmay Khalilzad, made such a pipeline contingent on the creation of a stable government in Afghanistan. When it was clear that the Taliban could not achieve even a modicum of stability, it was Unocal - not the Taliban - that rejected the deal. They pulled out in 1998, that is, two years before Bush came to Washington. For more on this go to

* C) Khalilzad now runs Afghanistan and still no pipeline. Not even any potential plans for a pipeline. This does not bother those who tell us that, "it's-all-about-oil." Their beliefs survive the inconvenience of contradicting the evidence.

* D) Khalilzad has been a big player in the Bush government since before Bush got elected. In my estimate he is *much* higher on the real ladder of power than George, Jr. It is commonplace for the biggest players to run things through jobs without big titles. A good example in recent U.S. history is Averill Harriman, for more on whom see 'Nazis in the Attic,' at

[5A] See, 'What's the Target of the U.S. Move into Central Asia?' at

[5B] The Washington Post November 23, 2001, Friday, Final Edition Section: A Section; Pg. A41 Length: 1260 Words Headline: Afghan Roots Keep Adviser Firmly In The Inner Circle; Consultant's Policy Influence Goes Back To The Reagan Era Byline: Joe Stephens And David B. Ottaway, Washington Post Staff Writers

[5C] A book has been written and widely distributed arguing that the Afghan war is about oil. The authors' standards of argument and research are so bad it is breathtaking. We discuss their arguments and methods a few articles, including:

* 'A Reader Asks: 'What About Bush's Carpet-Of-Bombs Threat?"' at

* 'Waiting For Gold...Is Brisard And Dasquié's Book Theater Of The Absurd? Or Is It Worse?' at

[7] We have smoking-gun evidence that the U.S. in fact militarily supported the Taliban against the Northern Alliance in the late 1990s. This changed, apparently because it became clear that the Taliban were incapable of, and/or unwilling to unite *all* the Islamic fundamentalist forces in Afghanistan; so the U.S.-led Empire took Afghanistan into receivership and set up a unified Islamist government.

Regarding covert US support for the Taliban, check out the stunning debate between Cong. Rohrabacher and the State Department in 'Congressman: U.S. Set Up Anti-Taliban to be Slaughtered,' at

[8] Regarding the Croatian Ustashas, who were so bad that Hitler called them "our Nazis," see, "The Croatian Ustashi: Meet The Nazis The CIA Married," at


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