The Sordid History of British Manipulation of American Democracy Series: Read it and weep!
“IRAN WAS OF increasing concern to the 6I. The Imperial Throne was under siege from an alliance against nature between Shi’ite fundamentalists and Marxists. Apart from unsubtle repression by the Iranian secret service, the SAVAK, and by the armed forces, little was being done to break the unholy alliance. SAVAK was unversed in the arts of psychological action.”
Brian Crozier knew a lot about alliances against nature. After “spending several days closeted” with General Augusto Pinochet in Chile, helping the dictator draft (in Spanish) fifteen clauses for a new Constitution, he turned his attention in early 1978 to Iran and decided the Shah needed his advice. Warning the Shah that: “The CIA had virtually collapsed and its operational capacity had been reduced to zero,” Crozier counseled that the British alone could not save him and offered him the services of his “shadowy organization,” known as the 6I. A few months later the Shah agreed and Crozier returned with a team of advisors including the Shah’s old friend Antoine Pinay of the Pinay Cercle.
Combined with Vietnam, Iran was cause for a fevered panic inside Brian Crozier’s right-wing fascist circles of power. The Cold War strategy of suppressing Communism with military force had failed spectacularly in Vietnam and was now crumbling in Iran and Crozier, his protégé Robert Moss and Zbigniew Brzezinski were pushing the idea (with no proof) that Moscow’s meddling was behind it. In his book on the Iran fiasco, All Fall Down, former National Security Council staff member Dr. Gary Sick acknowledges Moss’s undeserved influence on Washington’s policy-making by citing Moss’s December 2, 1978 article in the New Republic, “Who’s meddling in Iran?”
“Brzezinski… reproduced the Moss article, circulated it to the president and other top policy makers, and cited it in policy meetings for weeks. Although Moss cited no real evidence and had no apparent qualifications as a specialist on Iran, his article attained the status of a major document in U.S. policy-making circles at a key moment.”
Moss, was of course wrong. As Gary Sick further cites, “the central organizing force of the revolution… was the religious network operating out of the mosques under the strategic control of Khomeini,” and not the Soviets. But the idea that it was the Soviets and not their own policy failures that were wrong, was just what Washington’s bureaucracy wanted to hear.
The Shah’s Persian “empire” was at its core a backward, impoverished third world country with enormous social problems and a crushing military budget. According to a 1974 Newsweek cover story America’s vital Iranian ally had spent $4 billion of his $20 billion dollar oil revenues on arms purchases from the United States in the first six months of 1973 alone, acquiring 289 fighter jets, 500 attack helicopters, 700 tanks, and six destroyers. $10 billion in foreign aid had gone to foreign governments to “expand his sphere of influence” while SAVAK had grown into one of the largest (and most feared) intelligence services in the world with somewhere between 30,000 and 60,000 full-time personnel and an estimated 3 million (12 percent of the population), informers.
Obsessed with the Soviet’s “grand design” to conquer the Middle East, the Shah had even constructed an invasion force for neighboring Afghanistan just in case Prince Mohammed Daoud fell to Soviet subversion, but his plan proved useless given the absence of popular support for Daoud following the bloody April, 1978 Marxist coup.
The CIA’s best laid plans for their “policeman in the Gulf” had proved an expensive farce which the U.S. had no strategy for rescuing and out of desperation, the Shah came begging to Brian Crozier for help. “In November of 1978, the Shah sent the top civilian in the SAVAK hierarchy to London to see me,” Crozier writes in his autobiography Free Agent. “I arranged for him to be closeted with Robert Moss for a whole week… The outcome was a Conflict Study dated November 1978, ‘The Campaign to Destabilize Iran’ by Robert Moss. Shortly after the study had appeared, the Iranian charge d’affaires informed me that the Shah had authorized a first annual payment of £1 million to The 6I for a psychological action operation on the lines we had suggested to him.”
Crozier found a welcome audience with the Shah as he had with numerous other fascist dictators like Chile’s Augusto Pinochet and Spain’s Francisco Franco and would quite soon with U.S. President Ronald Reagan. The Shah had been installed by the U.S. and Britain at the height of its post-World War II power. But confidence in America’s omnipotence had ended with Vietnam and Europe’s old imperialists were quickly filtering back into their old colonies with their old habits to pick up where they’d left off. The British had been running covert and overt operations in the region since the 18th century. Generations of sons, grandsons and great grandsons of operatives who’d served the British Raj remained on the scene as journalists, businessmen and informal agents. One word from Crozier or Britain’s MI6 intelligence service was all they needed to reactivate.
Joining Brian Crozier and his protégé Robert Moss in engaging the Shah that autumn was a senior Chinese intelligence officer and veteran supporter of Mao by the name of Qiao Shi. John K. Cooley writes, “In September of 1978, on the way home to Beijing from one of his Balkan missions, Qiao Shi stopped over in Tehran to see the Shah of Iran, who was ill with cancer… Qiao Shi proposed to the Shah a new alliance to thwart Soviet expansion, especially in neighboring Afghanistan… Agreement was reached to undertake a covert war in Afghanistan, apparently independent of CIA plans for the same country.”
According to Cooley, shortly after the Maoist Qiao Shi’s agreement with the Shah’s SAVAK Chief, General Nasser Moghadam, “Chinese agents began to move into position in Pakistan. Liaising with Pakistan’s ISI was the Iranian ambassador in Islamabad, former head of SAVAK.” Instigated by Brzezinski and backed by the CIA and MI6, the so called China-Iran-Pakistan axis began to flourish with Qiao Shi and other “senior Chinese military intelligence officials,” adding to Brzezinski’s ongoing destabilization.
The American Ambassador Adolph Dubs needn’t have worried about Hafizullah Amin’s well known affiliation to the CIA. He had far bigger problems. Not only were Afghan rebels openly training in Pakistan but by the late fall of 1978 Chinese intelligence risked a Sino/Soviet war by training Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Islamists over the Chinese border in Xinjiang province. In addition there was the CIA’s Saudi-funded stockpile of misfits and malcontents roaming the countryside, manning the Safari Club’s 1,500-strong army of assassins and enforcers. And last but not least were the Chinese supported Maoist groups like Setam-i Melli, Sholah Jaweed and SAMA operating from bases on the Pakistan and Iranian borders and programmed by Beijing to bring down their Pashtun oppressor, Hafizullah Amin.
Thanks to Saudi Intelligence chief Sheikh Kamal Adham and BCCI banker, Sheikh Agha Hasan Abedi, there were ample funds to finance a holy jihad against Russia in Afghanistan but the motives for undermining Russia on its southern border didn’t stop there. Bringing war to Afghanistan provided the opportunity to assist the migration of the heroin trade from Southeast Asia to the Pakistani/Afghan border and to make billions of dollars for the BCCI doing it. Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Provinces had been targeted early on by international drug syndicates eager to find a new home as the Vietnam War wound down. Cited in a French Study by Catherine Lamour and Michel R. Lamberti originally published in 1972 titled Les Grandes Manoeuvres de l’Opium, “Afghanistan and northern Pakistan represent a source of opium as yet virtually untapped by European traffickers… Situated at the junction of the Middle East and Southeast Asia, the two territories are not as far from Marseilles or Munich as are Burma and Laos. The political conditions in their opium producing areas make these places an ideal refuge where racketeers from Europe could go about their business untroubled by international law enforcement agencies.”
As of the early spring of 1978 the narcotics problem in the Golden Crescent, appeared to then Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near East and South Asia Affairs Adolph Dubs to be under control by the governments of the United States, Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. But by January of 1979 the newly unstable region was fast becoming the launch pad for the greatest heroin empire in history and the primary financing source for a terrorist campaign that would transform the world.
The Frankenstein political monster emerging to thwart Dubs’ plan for Afghanistan could only have come from Brzezinski’s ethnic experiment called the Nationalities Working Group. The potential for stirring up Muslim unrest against Soviet/Russian rule had been kicking around for decades but gained little traction within the CIA. But the rise of the neoconservatives following the Vietnam War had brought with it an ethnic strategy that put Saudi Wahhabists, Iranian Shiites, Tajik Maoists, assorted Marxist-Leninists and Afghan extremists together with European and Middle Eastern racketeers – fed by a Trotskyist hatred for all things Russian.
Contrary to Brzezinski’s assertion that Hafizullah Amin was Moscow’s obedient servant, Dubs was learning that his target was not much of a Communist, convincing him to restore and expand a U.S. military training program for Afghan army officers. Russian documents reveal the Kremlin didn’t consider him to be a Communist at all but “a commonplace petty bourgeois and an extreme Pushtu nationalist” with “boundless political ambitions and a craving for power” in addition to most likely being a CIA agent. According to Selig Harrison, Amin had even bragged to him that the Soviets needed him more than he needed them. The trick was to maintain a balance of American influence while not triggering Soviet countermeasures that would bring them in. But for the ambassador who’d been sent to rope Amin closer to the U.S., Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor seemed to be doing everything in his power to put the rope around Dubs’ neck. Still, Dubs continued his mission; Selig Harrison writes, “Dubs, meanwhile was arguing vigorously for keeping American options open, pleading that destabilization of the regime would provoke direct Soviet intervention… Ironically, while Brzezinski was promoting armed opposition to Amin, Dubs was continuing to nurture his dialogue with the Afghan leader.”
A Time magazine article that January suggested Brzezinski’s campaign to frame the Kabul regime as hopelessly pro-Soviet was on the verge of being exposed as a lie. “The new government in Afghanistan of President Noor Mohammed Taraki is commonly thought to be in Moscow’s pocket, especially since it recently signed a friendship treaty with the Soviets. There are signs however, that this too may be an exaggeration. During Taraki’s visit to Moscow last month President Brezhnev reportedly chided him for behaving too obsequiously before the Russians, which he felt made the Afghan leader look bad. As soon as they got back to Kabul, Afghan officials began to drop hints that they would welcome more Western aid. Apparently, the Russians are not altogether satisfied with their new client regime in Kabul.”
But Brzezinski’s objectives were not to be undone by appearances, protests from the ambassador or reasoned political arguments. That same month, Brzezinski’s NSC director of South Asian affairs, Thomas P. Thornton, arrived in Kabul to shut Dubs down. Meeting with Amin, he provided a “negative assessment” of the regime, recommending that any additional aid be cut off.
In the interim between Dubs’ arrival in Kabul in July of 1978 and the fall of the Shah on January 16, 1979 American foreign policy in Iran, China and Afghanistan had shifted into the hands of a neoconservative/right-wing cabal with hardly anyone being the wiser. Backed by Brzezinski’s National Security Council but run by a consortium of right-wing intelligence officers including France’s intelligence chief, Count Alexandre de Marenches and his cohorts at the Pinay Cercle, Safari Club and 6I, the decades-long geopolitical plan to move the United States into alignment with the old European right-wing of Antoine Pinay and Brian Crozier was nearing completion.
Regardless of Brzezinski’s public denials about supporting the Afghan rebels, the CIA’s “secret” program to lure the Soviets into their own Vietnam was becoming so well known it was making headlines in the American papers and a mockery of the Carter administration. Selig Harrison writes: “By early February 1979, this collaboration became an open secret when the Washington Post published an eyewitness report that at least two thousand Afghans were being trained at former Pakistani bases guarded by Pakistani patrols.” Yet President Carter and his Secretary of State never seemed to realize that increased destabilization on the Soviet Union’s southern border would eventually produce Soviet counter moves to offset it.
By mid-February the unholy alliance between Shi’ite fundamentalists and Marxists that Brian Crozier had warned the Shah about only months earlier had been turned against Kabul by remnants of the Shah’s Savak and Chinese intelligence. The Shah had fallen and the Afghan countryside was in open revolt. The Marxist regime of Nur Mohammed Taraki and Hafizullah Amin was calling on Moscow for military assistance and the only man left to hold back a Soviet military takeover in Kabul was the American Ambassador, Adolph Dubs. But on the morning of February 14, 1979 he too would fall into the hands of the covert plan to give Russia its own Vietnam and in a tragic twist of irony, become the vehicle for the very operation he had gone to Kabul to stop.
Copyright © 2018 Fitzgerald & Gould All rights reserved
The Sordid History of British Manipulation of American Democracy Series
Part 1: MI6 intelligence has always been an anti-Soviet/Russian “Rumor Factory”
Part 2: America’s “Soviet problem” is the old “Russia problem” that European Imperialists have been facing since Napoleon’s disastrous march on Moscow in 1812
Part 3: How U.S. foreign policy came to be directed by a diabolical, London-backed, privately funded, neoconservative/right-wing alliance
Part 4: How the Safari Club became the real CIA
Part 5: Brzezinski‘s Safari Club “Friends” Did the Dirty Work Behind the Scenes
Part 6: The Death of Adolph Dubs – Cui bono? ‘To whom is it a benefit?’
Part 7: The Coup d’état –
Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould are the authors of Invisible History: Afghanistan’s Untold Story, Crossing Zero The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire and The Voice. Visit their websites at invisiblehistory and grailwerk.com