Monday, March 09, 2009

Is Counterpunch doing covert CIA propaganda now?

"Peter Lee is a business man who has spent thirty years observing, analyzing, and writing on Asian affairs."
Is he really? Is that all he's doing?

Mr. Lee invites us to:

Meet Gulbuddin Hekmatyar

Pretty condescending, yes, as some of us have been acquainted for 10-20 years with the name. But, see, the thing that stands out most in Hekmatyar's history is something that Lee doesn't mention at all. Hekmatyar was the biggest DRUG SMUGGLER in Afghanistan and he was also working closely with CIA/ISI.

Drugs/CIA, drugs/CIA. Pretty hard meme to forget. Pretty hard to write 2800 words on Hekmatyar and omit such a meaty fact -- unless one is motivated to do so for some reason.

Mr. Lee goes so far as to put the drug issue squarely on the shoulders of the Taliban (omitting the puppet president's own role which is public). He blames drugs on the "old Khalq government" and even on "Al Qaeda."

But not one word acknowledging that Hekmatyar was a huge drug lord with intelligence agency connections for many years. It's apparently okay to call Hekmatyar "a brutal, capricious and violently anti-American warlord," but CounterPunch and Mr. Peter Lee can't seem to get around to the narcotics activity. Now, why is that?

There's quite an overt agenda at work here.

"The Worst-Best Hope in Afghanistan?"

Mr. Lee is trying to sell Hekmatyar to an American audience as the next Afghan leader.
"Then, in a November 2008 article entitled Afghan Rebel Positioned for Key Role, the Washington Post gave a hint that Gulbuddin Hekmatyar might be the kind of guy we can do business with:"
"We?" Who the fuck is "we" Mr. Peter Lee? And what is the extent of this "business" which you have conventiently omitted from your propaganda?
"As the Taliban grows in strength, Hekmatyar fades, and the hopes for a native Afghan government able to dictate terms to Mullah Omar fades with him."
The CIA's old drug lord client appears to be losing steam. We are to side with CIA elements who see Hekmatyar as the sort of drug lord, murderer whom they "can do business with." We are to forget all about the heroin (as Peter Lee and CounterPunch have explicitly done for us), and which the CIA would like to have disappear down the memory hole. The CIA's interests and this article would seem to be in perfect synchronization.

Given Counterpunch's previous absurd positions (see 9/11, Cockburn) this isn't all too surprising to me. It may come as a shocker to some of Cockburn's loyal readers.

See Hekmatyar in An Unholy Alliance, part 2 I believe. When Counterpunch brings up the CIA/drug connections I may change my opinion of them. Not until.