Abdullah Azzam and the Omissions of Neocon Historians

In an “editorial” published in the Boston Herald, neocon propagandist—and jackleg historian—Jonah Goldberg gives us a running history lesson on “al-Qaeda,” specifically its purported ideological founder, Sheikh Abdullah Azzam. According to Goldberg, the late Azzam was “one of the founders of the jihadist movement that became al-Qaeda.” Indeed, this is true, although Mr. Goldberg, of course, does not bother to tell us the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey might have it.

Sheikh Abdullah Yusuf Azzam ran Maktab Khadamat al-Mujahidin al-Arab, the recruiting arm of the CIA-ISI operation against the Soviets in Afghanistan, responsible for organizing 35,000 Muslim radicals from 43 Islamic countries in the Middle East, North and East Africa, Central Asia and the Far East, as veteran Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid has noted. “Even conventional sources regard Maktab al-Khadamat (MAK) as a CIA and ISI front organization. Moreover, MAK served as the offices of the World Muslim League and the Muslim Brotherhood in the northern Pakistan city of Peshawar,” I wrote in January, 2006. As I have explained elsewhere, Azzam’s connection to the Muslim Brotherhood is significant:

Azzam’s connection to the Muslim Brotherhood is a significant factor, considering the Muslim organization was long ago penetrated and made to jump through hoops for the sake of MI6 and later the CIA. “According to CIA agent Miles Copeland, the Americans began looking for a Muslim Billy Graham around 1955,” writes the Palestinian-born journalist and author Said K. Aburish. “When finding or creating a Muslim Billy Graham proved elusive, the CIA began to cooperate with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Muslim mass organization founded in Egypt but with followers throughout the Arab Middle East.” In 1957, the CIA and MI6 collaborated to use the Muslim Brotherhood in an effort to destabilize Syria and assassinate its nationalist leaders (see Jean Shaoul, CIA-MI6 planned to assassinate Syrian leaders in 1957), a plan following the successful CIA-instigated overthrow of the popular and democratically elected Iranian leader Mohammed Mossadegh by a few years.

Azzam was simply one of a number of CIA-ISI operatives and patsies:

As is often the case with useful but ultimately disposable Muslim fanatics, Sheikh Abdullah Azzam was assassinated on November 24, 1989 and Osama bin Laden took his place. Indeed… “al-Qaeda” may be considered an outgrowth of MAK—or more precisely, an heir apparent as engineered by the CIA, ISI, and Saudi intelligence. MAK had served its purpose as a recruiter and proselytizer of Wahhabi fanaticism in Afghanistan and after the Soviets were ejected the services of Azzam were no longer required (and he was likely considered a danger to the next phase—the spawning and unleashing of “al-Qaeda” in the Balkans and Chechnya).

“MAK was a front for Pakistan’s CIA, the Inter-Service Intelligence Directorate. The ISI was the first recipient of the vast bulk of CIA and Saudi Arabian covert assistance for the Afghan contras. Bin Laden was one of three people who ran MAK. In 1989, he took overall charge of MAK,” writes Norm Dixon, an indisputable fact admitted by MSNBC in August, 1998, before everything changed, including history as recited by neocons. Hekmatyar, closely associated with bin Laden and Azzam, according to Asia Times, was “an ISI stooge and creation” (see above link).

Lisa Beyer, writing for Time Magazine as the pall of toxic fumes lingered over Ground Zero in New York, tells us: “At the King Abdel Aziz University in Jidda, bin Laden, according to associates, was greatly influenced by one of his teachers, Abdullah Azzam, a Palestinian who was a major figure in the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that has played a large role in the resurgence of Islamic religiosity. Bin Laden, who like most Saudis is a member of the puritanical Wahhabi sect of Sunni Islam, had been pious from childhood, but his encounter with Azzam seemed to deepen his faith. What’s more, through Azzam he became steeped not in the then popular ideology of pan-Arabism, which stresses the unity of all Arabs, but in a more ambitious pan-Islamicism, which reaches out to all the world’s 1 billion Muslims.”

Beyer, of course, does not tell us that it was British intelligence and the CIA and their corrupt clients in the Middle East behind the rise of “pan-Islamicism” at the expense of Arab nationalism. “The CIA was following the example of British Intelligence and sought to use Islam to further its goals,” explains Peter Goodgame (The Globalists and the Islamists: Fomenting the “Clash of Civilizations” for a New World Order). “They wanted to find a charismatic religious leader that they could promote and control and they began to cooperate with groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. With the rise of Nasser the Brotherhood was also courted more seriously by the pro-Western Arab regimes of Saudi Arabia and Jordan. They needed all the popular support that they could muster against the rise of Nasser-inspired Arab nationalism to keep their regimes intact.”

For Jonah Goldberg and the neocons, however, the instrumental beginnings of the Muslim Brotherhood, MAK, and “al-Qaeda,” a name gleaned from an Afghan mujahideen database, are not worthy of mention, as some people would get the idea that “Islamic terrorism”—hardly a concern before the Brits, Americans, and Israelis took up interest for the sake of their own agendas—is something other than what the corporate media tells us it is.

Source: Another Day in the Empire

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Posted in Arab World, History, International Relations, Islamophobia, Journalism, Neocons, Politics, Propaganda, US Foreign Policy, Western Media

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