March 4, 2014
“What we have is the war of terror. And the terrorists really have been the UK and the US armed forces and the governments behind them,” Mike Raddie from London-based anti-war group Democracy Village told The Voice of Russia.
It was rather unusually emotional interview by Hamid Karzai. Do you agree the US led war in Afghanistan was fought for the US security and the interests of the US rather than Afghan population?
For the interest of the US but also for the interests of the big corporations, the big banks, the big oil companies. If you remember before 9-11 oil companies and the Bush administration were actually negotiating with the Taliban for pipeline across Afghanistan. I think the Taliban lost confidence in negotiations. There was a lot of bad behavior on behalf of the Bush administration and the oil companies. And their final offer to the Taliban, this has long been gone but it was an offer of carpet of gold or a carpet of bombs. Obviously that happened in August and within months 9-11 happened and then whole war on terror kicked off. So I think that played a big part and the fact that the agreement was not reached on the oil pipeline, which is still obviously a major goal of the oil companies. They want to extract oil from the Caspian Sea, from the Caspian Basin, deliver it down and deport it to directly to Pakistan. It is still probably going to happen one way or another. I suspect what will happen now, is that if the US forces do plan then they will just privatize the army and they will have US or private contractors from all around the world and they will be protecting the oil interests.
At the same time, some news analysts say that the war in Afghanistan has caused the US a fortune. So it was very costly war. Do you share this view?
Yes, I think in terms of pounds, it was 400 billion pounds, whatever that is in dollars today. I don’t know. That’s what they declared of having spent. But very little of that money actually reached the Afghan civilians or the population of Afghanistan. Most of it was obviously spent on weapons and on industrial military complex. So it barely left America or the shores of America. It was all spent within that country on weapons, drones, development program that costs billions of pounds. That obviously was field tested in Afghanistan so despite the hundred of billions of dollars being spent, we can see what is happening on the ground, 60% of children are malnourished in Afghanistan, only 27% of Afghans have access to clean drinking water. On the flip side of this, we can see some increases, for instance, in the opium production has increased by over 1000% since 9-11. So that is the cash crop and even the Afghan government sources are now saying that country is now ran by gangsters and warlords.
Mr. Karzai specifically mentioned the casualties sustained in the war. Do you think that the number of deaths was disproportionally high?
Yes, it is actually unlikely… whether has been two very good landfilled studies on civilian casualties. There have been no real official statistics on the civilian casualties in Afghanistan. It is obviously tens, if not hundreds of thousands but those are all undocumented people, we know that has been a few thousand UK and US troops have been killed but maths of civilian casualties, who knows what the real number is, it is a horrific price to pay for war that was completely unnecessary in that country. The countries that border Afghanistan, such as Pakistan, and other countries in the Gulf region, like Saudi Arabia; these are the real sponsors of terrorism. The people in Afghanistan have been doubly hard done to, have their economy completely wrecked, and they have had their population dismantled by bombs and drones and even American soldiers just killing civilians. We know that this security agreement and I am really glad that President Karzai refused to sign the agreement because effectively it wasn’t mentioned in the Guardian article but effectively what it was going to mean that the US troops to stay until 2014 would have immunity from prosecution. This was the deal that was proposed in Iraq. And Iraqi government refused to sign up to it, which is why the Americans left Iraq. That was the only reason the left Iraq in fact, they would prefer to be still there but what happened, what took their place as I said before were legions of private mercenaries and all went there to protect the oil industry. If it’s not, American forces, it’s a private army effectively and this is what is going to happen in Afghanistan, I fear.
And finally, the final question, do you think that the war on terror declared by the US back in 2001 and specifically the war against al-Qaeda was a success?
No, even the name the war on terror. You can’t have a war on terror. What we have is the war of terror. And the terrorists really have been the UK and the US armed forces and the governments behind them. I actually think that the risks have escalated. We have hypocrisy of the war on terror has been played out in the places like Libya and Syria where the West, the UK and certainly the US has been allied with Islamic fundamentalists. Those who were on the ground and killing civilians, raping women and children, the guys that killed Muammar Gaddafi and obviously those tens of thousands of foreign mercenaries in Syria, these are all supposedly our enemy and yet we have been supporting them, we have been financing them. The US special forces have been training al-Qaeda in Turkey just so they could cross the border into Syria and create mayhem over there, again it was all to do with regime change in Libya and we look at Libya now and it was a country with better stands of living than most African nations. Certainly in terms of health care and education, it is all in chaos now. I think Syria may be different, there is obviously no UN, no fly zone authorized because Russia and China wisely vetoed that decision this time. I suspect that Assad has pretty much won that war now but I think in terms of what the US is trying to do in Ukraine and Crimea that’s basically to shut off the Russian navy who wouldn’t be supplying Syria, completely legitimately obviously but if Ukraine falls completely and Crimea falls that might be it for the Russian fleet in the Black Sea. And this is all part of the same game and we can see the hypocrisy by the way the US and the UK and other Western countries obviously, have been publicly fighting al-Qaeda but privately funding and training them.