Inivisible History

Invisible History:
Afghanistan's Untold Story

Tells the story of how Afghanistan brought the United States to this place in time after nearly 60 years of American policy in Eurasia - of its complex multiethnic culture, its deep rooting in mystical Zoroastrian and Sufi traditions and how it has played a pivotal role in the rise and fall of empires.

Invisible History, Afghanistan’s Untold Story provides the sobering facts and details that every American should have known about America’s secret war, but were never told.
The Real Story Behind the Propaganda (read more)

Crossing Zero: The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire

Focuses on the AfPak strategy and the importance of the Durand Line, the border separating Pakistan from Afghanistan but referred to by the military and intelligence community as Zero line. The U.S. fought on the side of extremist-political Islam from Pakistan during the 1980s and against it from Afghanistan since September 11, 2001. It is therefore appropriate to think of the Durand/Zero line as the place where America’s intentions face themselves; the alpha and omega of nearly 60 years of American policy in Eurasia. The Durand line is visible on a map. Zero line is not.(Coming February, 2011) (read more)


"A serious, sobering study... illuminates a critical point of view rarely discussed by our media...results of this willful ignorance have been disastrous to our national well-being."

Oliver Stone


Invisible Sources

Read the document that reveals an invasion of Afghanistan by the Shah of Iran was being prepared years before the Soviets invaded. Read more...

Mystical Imperialism

A 19th century philosophy still in use by Washington that infuses a sense of divine mission into the politics of empire building. Read more...

Invisible History Blog

We'll explore anomalies we discovered while researching the causes of the Soviet and American invasions of Afghanistan. We look forward to your comments. Paul & Liz.

For Immediate Release

September 9th, 2021

Media Contact:

Bruce de Torres


TrineDay Roundtable on History and Way Forward

WALTERVILLE, OR, SEPTEMBER 9, 2021 – TrineDay Publishing will host “Afghanistan and Beyond: American Duplicity Since the 1970s,” a free one-hour Zoom event available to the public on September 15, 2021, at 3 p.m. (eastern). It’s “Roundtable #1” of the series “Creating a Better World for Our Children: The Rise and Fall of Empires and the Narrative Creation Process,” which is inspired by the new book, “The Valediction: Three Nights of Desmond” by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould. Reservations are required at


“We are seeing a paradigm shift,” TrineDay publisher RA “Kris” Millegan said recently. “There are folks in the shadows lie, cheat and steal to scare us into taking sides. Then they can manipulate us. But there are more good, life-loving people than there are of them, and they must be exposed. That’s why I publish books and why I’m excited about this Roundtable.”


Discussing her book and this event, co-author Ms. Gould said, “Americans think they know what happened in Afghanistan in the 1980s once they’ve seen Charlie Wilson’s War. That film is the propaganda story. The mujahideen we funded there brutalized the Afghan people. They were not freedom fighters. The Soviet Union was lured into Afghanistan by Carter’s national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and trapped there and demonized in order to justify the tremendous arms build-up under Reagan, the largest since World War II.”


Also participating in the Roundtable are Dr. Jawied Nawabi, assistant professor of economics, sociology and international studies at the City University of New York, Bronx Community College, and authors Bruce de Torres (God, School, 9/11 and JFK: The Lies That Are Killing Us and The Truth That Sets Us Free) and S.K. Bain, (The Most Dangerous Book in the World: 9/11 as Mass Ritual).


Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, husband and wife, acquired the first visas to enter Afghanistan in 1981 since the expulsion of all Western media one month after the 1979 Soviet invasion. Following their 1981 news story for CBS, they produced a PBS documentary and returned to Kabul for ABC Nightline in 1983. In 2002, they made a documentary about Afghan human rights expert Sima Wali’s first return to Kabul since her exile in 1978. Invisible History: Afghanistan’s Untold Story (2009) and Crossing Zero The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire (2011) were published by City Lights. The Voice, an esoteric adventure story, was published in 2001.

About TrineDay

TrineDay is a small publishing house that arose as a response to the consistent refusal of the corporate press to publish many interesting, well-researched and well-written books with but one key “defect”: a challenge to official history that would tend to rock the boat of America’s corporate “culture.” TrineDay believes in our Constitution and our common right of Free Speech.

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Accolades for The Valediction by Matthew Ehret

September 4th, 2021

In our presently beleaguered era, caught as we are at the final stages of an empire, the region of Afghanistan has become the center of world attention once more. This is a region which is shaped by greater forces of history than most realize. On the one hand, it is a historic bridge between civilizations east and west as a node on the ancient silk road (a role it might hopefully regain today). On the other hand it has earned its title as “The Graveyard of Empires” for any imperial force wishing to dominate this center-piece of the World Island.

In The Valediction Three Nights of Desmond (Book 1), Paul and Liz have painted an earth-shaking picture of the strategic dynamics shaping not only Afghanistan, but also the dynamics shaping the takeover of the US foreign policy establishment over the dead body of JFK and the launching of the Vietnam war.

Having been in the unique position as the sole American journalists permitted into Afghanistan in 1981 and again in 1983, Paul and Liz ran directly into powerful forces shaping the levers of power and mass perception from the highest echelons of media, finance and intelligence agencies then centered around the CIA and Trilateral Commission of Zbigniew Brzezinski and David Rockefeller.

In mapping out their personal experiences, Paul and Liz have reconstructed not only their own process of discovery in an autobiographical format that reads like a detective story, but have also shed light onto the complex forces operating above nation states which maneuvered to assassinate an American Ambassador in Kabul, pull the Soviet Union in an un-winnable quagmire, amplify the international drug trade and grow the monster of Islamic terrorism which plagued humanity for the next 40 years… all while maintaining a veneer of “liberal democracy” for public consumption.

How Paul and Liz were able to render these creatures of the shadows stretching to the highest echelons of the European old nobility and associated secret societies intelligible for readers of any level of awareness is admirable.This book is a must for anyone wishing to understand not only what has so misshapen US foreign policy, artificially lit the Middle East on fire or what possible solutions to this unwinnable Dark Age agenda that is still shaping much of our lives.

Matthew Ehret, Editor-in-Chief of The Canadian Patriot Review, Author of The Clash of the Two Americas, Director of The Rising Tide Foundation, and Senior Fellow of the American University in Moscow

(Ehret synthesizes discoveries from The Valediction as part of a larger research project on Rogue News. Watch the program, titled The Great Game With Mathew Ehret, here.)




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE “The Valediction” is coming 9/22/21

August 25th, 2021
For Immediate Release
Media Contact:  Bruce de Torres   Marketing Director

Phone: 201-249-3368   Email:


New Book (“The Valediction”) Exposes US Perfidy in Afghanistan
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WALTERVILLE, OR, AUGUST 25, 2021 – The Valediction: Three Nights of Desmond” by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould is their novelized memoir of how the United States lured the Soviet Union into Afghanistan in 1979, demonized it as a threat to world peace, and paid Muslim extremists to destabilize Afghanistan in order to squash détente, scuttle the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, and justify a massive arms build-up that neglects infrastructure investment in America to this day. (

“Afghanistan changed everything,” Mr. Fitzgerald said in a recent interview. “It killed the peace movement that ended the Vietnam War and was trying to end the Cold War with the Soviet Union. Overnight, the left fell silent and let pro-war voices dictate foreign policy. Ms. Gould said, “President Carter called the so-called invasion the greatest threat to peace since World War II. Yet America had been secretly destabilizing the Muslim countries of the Soviet Union for years by that time.”

According to Fitzgerald and Gould, President Reagan’s crusade against the Evil Empire set the stage for endless war by privatizing covert action and spawning an independent financial network that put the planet up for grabs to the highest bidder – and Afghanistan’s mythic dimension as the graveyard of empires is undoing not only the American empire but also the concept of empire itself.


Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, a husband and wife team, were the first American journalists to enter Afghanistan after the 1979 Soviet invasion. Following their 1981 news story for CBS, they produced a PBS documentary and returned to Kabul for ABC Nightline in 1983. They worked on the film version of their experience under contract to Oliver Stone in the 1990s. In 2002, they made a documentary about Afghan human rights expert Sima Wali’s first return to Kabul since her exile in 1978. Invisible History: Afghanistan’s Untold Story (2009) and Crossing Zero The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire (2011) were published by City Lights. The Voice, an esoteric adventure story, was published in 2001.

About TrineDay
TrineDay is a small publishing house that arose as a response to the consistent refusal of the corporate press to publish many interesting, well-researched and well-written books with but one key “defect”: a challenge to official history that would tend to rock the boat of America’s corporate “culture.” TrineDay believes in our Constitution and our common right of Free Speech. Facebookcom/TrineDayPress
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Diplomacy Key To Afghanistan’s New Great Game Amid Superpowers Limited Military Options says Gould and Fitzgerald

August 5th, 2021

Diplomacy will play a major role in achieving stability in Afghanistan and across Central Asia with the United States lacking many military options as it pivots resources towards the Asia-Pacific and Russia reluctant to get stuck in another quagmire, all while doubts loom over the Taliban (outlawed in Russia) desire for a ceasefire, experts told Sputnik.

The next high-level meeting between the Taliban and Afghan delegations in the Qatari capital of Doha is expected to take place in August. Although negotiations appear to remain alive, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said earlier in July that he believes the Taliban have no desire to establish peace in Afghanistan.

US Central Command (CENTCOM) Commander Gen. Frank McKenzie disclosed last week that the United States has increased airstrikes against the Taliban in support of Afghan forces over the last several days and is prepared to continue them in the coming weeks if the Taliban continues its attacks.

The Taliban have made significant military gains in recent months amid the US troop withdrawal, which the Pentagon says is more than 95 percent complete – a campaign that has threatened Afghanistan‘s neighbors. Last week, the Taliban told Sputnik that it now controls 90% of Afghanistan‘s borders with Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Iran.

In a call last week, US President Joe Biden and Ghani said they agreed the Taliban‘s current offensive contradicts the movement’s claim to support a negotiated settlement. On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned the Taliban that it will not gain the international recognition it seeks and lifting of sanctions if it takes over Afghanistan by force.

On Tuesday, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov told Sputnik Washington and Moscow have overlapping interests in Afghanistan and said it is important to launch the process of substantive negotiations between Kabul and the Taliban and form a new coalition transitional leadership.

“Diplomacy is the name of the New Belt and Road Great Game,” foreign policy experts Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald told Sputnik, referring to China‘s regional development initiative.

Gould and Fitzgerald were the first two Western journalists the Afghan communist government allowed back in the country during the 1980s. However, they do not believe the Taliban want to sustain the internecine warfare that has plagued the country since King Zahir Shah was ousted in a family coup in the early 1970s.

“The Taliban want legitimacy and a renewed civil war won’t serve their goals,” the authors of several books on Afghanistan said. “Neither will it serve Pakistan‘s long sought desire to control Afghanistan by keeping it in chaos – when it will only benefit by joining in a full partnership in the Belt and Road initiative.

History repeats itself as Afghanistan proves again to be a game changer for great powers and the United States is no exception, Gould and Fitzgerald added.

Washington should come to grips that its role on the world stage has changed and accept the fact that its military empire has come to an end,” Gould and Fitzgerald said. “All the US can do now is hinder Russia and China from succeeding. The US failure is colossal… Afghanistan is the roundabout of Central Asia. It’s a key hub for trade and the US just lost it.”

Russia has been projecting military power into Central Asia since 2012, which is expected given its historically strategical position in the region, but it is highly doubtful Moscow will be drawn into another quagmire in Afghanistan, especially after watching the United States withdraw, the authors said.

The Russian Central Military District said some one thousand Russian servicemen will take part in joint counterterrorism military drills in Tajikistan along with troops from Uzbekistan in August near the Tajik border with Afghanistan. More than 1,500 servicemen and around 300 units of weapons and military equipment from the three countries are set to be involved in the drills.

Michael O’Hanlon, who specializes in US defense strategy at the Brookings Institution, told Sputnik he expects the United States to prioritize finding ways for contractors to provide technical support and maintenance for the Afghan Air Force.

“Providing American airpower in support of Afghan police and soldiers in the event of a major Taliban attack would be a big help too, but also a big decision by President [Joe] Biden that I cannot confidently predict,” O’Hanlon said.

Although a ceasefire seems a possible option for the Taliban, some say the likelihood of that happening is not very promising.

Last week, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley said about half of the 419 district centers in Afghanistan are under Taliban control, but they have not taken over any of the 34 provincial capitals in the country.

O’Hanlon doubts international legitimacy is enough to persuade the Taliban to halt its advance.

“The ceasefire and Pakistan ideas are theoretically appealing but practically and pragmatically unpromising,” O’Hanlon said. “It won’t be enough by itself [legitimacy]. The Taliban think they are winning and think they will win – comprehensively and across the country. I am not sure they are right. But I am confident that is what they now believe. And our departure won’t tend to change that view, I’m afraid.”

O’Hanlon also warned that a Taliban takeover of Kabul could lead to the formation of a nation-wide caliphate with at least some toleration for the al-Qaeda terrorist group (outlawed in Russia).

ANALYSIS - Diplomacy Key to Afghanistan's 'New Great Game' Amid Superpowers' Limited Military Options

The Valediction-Three Nights of Desmond, our novelized memoir is coming September, 2021!  

July 27th, 2021

By Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould

At the end of the Vietnam War the United States faced a crossroads; either continue along the bloody road to empire or reinvent its democracy. The focus of that struggle centered around the 1976 presidential campaign. With the election of Jimmy Carter it was assumed that the administration would reassess the U.S. role on the world stage and reinvest its energies in rebuilding a war-weary nation. But with the selection of Zbigniew Brzezinski as his national security advisor, President Carter guaranteed that would never be.

Plotting to overthrow the old rules before even gaining access to the Oval office Brzezinski would play a pivotal role in the rise of the neoconservative agenda and their politicization of American foreign policy. And by stage-managing perceptions of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, he would permanently shift the management of the national security state from the pragmatic to the ideological. As journalists we followed this transformation for over 40 years as the Brzezinski agenda to weaponize extremist Islam on behalf of American empire spread across the globe while documenting the course of a deep-state movement that led to 9/11 and endless war.

In the end Brzezinski honored his duty to the elites by warning them in 2010 that for the first time in history a totally new reality had taken hold. Mankind was now politically awake and aware of their economic inequalities and politically active for the first time in human history.

Brzezinski was already concerned about the public’s growing dissatisfaction following the 2008 financial catastrophe. He warned the elites that bailing out failed banks while ignoring human suffering would not end well. But his 2010 lecture revealed that something even more profound was underway and that despite their mastery of the world’s economy, the global elitists he’d spent his career advancing were facing something beyond their control.

Ironically it was Brzezinski who guaranteed this tragic ending by merging the political objectives of the global elites to extremist Islam and in so doing, undid the very empire he thought he was advancing. But beyond the impacts of 9/11and the so called “war on terror,” Brzezinski’s involvement helped us uncover hints of a deeper agenda and as we traced its roots we discovered that it led to the ancient past.

Over the next few months as the beast slides closer to Bethlehem we’ll be posting articles we have researched, written and published at different stages of our understanding. These articles not only form the basis of our discoveries, but have become more relevant than when they were originally published. In a unique way, each article plays a part that is revealed in The Valediction, Three Nights of Desmond.

Jay Dyer’s interview and Afghanistan and Mystical Imperialism Presentation

February 15th, 2021


–Jay Dyer’s 2015 interview with Gould and Fitzgerald    Veteran researchers, historians, writers and geopolitical analysts Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould joined me to discuss their scholarly works, notably Invisible History: The Untold Story of Afghanistan, Crossing Zero and The Voice. In this interview, we dive into mystical imperialism, the Great Game, black ops in Afghanistan, the role of geopolitical strategist Zbigniew Brzezinski and the Mujahideen, the Cold War and the Rand Corporation, Soviet espionage and British Intelligence, spy games, the history of Templarism, Roman Catholicism, BCCI and the drug trade, and much, much more! Click here for our 2 hour interview at Jay’s Analysis.

 —Afghanistan has always contained an esoteric element known to insiders. Now that “hidden” Afghan story is available to all who seek it. Our 2012 INN World Studio presentation of  Afghanistan and Mystical Imperialism: An expose of the esoteric underpinnings of American foreign policy will open the world to an Afghanistan most have never seen. Our 90 minute presentation is available here.  You can read Afghanistan bedeviled by ‘Mystical Imperialism,’ a review by journalist Michael Hughes.

Our interview about President Carter’s true role in starting the longest war in US history

October 26th, 2020    OpEdNews


This week on Talk Nation Radio, as we begin year number 20 of the U.S. war on Afghanistan that Obama pretended to end, Trump promised to end, and it seems every U.S. presidential candidate from here on out (including Trump again) will promise to end, we look at how exactly destroying Afghanistan got started over 40 years ago. Our guests are Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, whose article at World Beyond War dot org is called “President Carter, Do You Swear to Tell the Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth?.” Total run time: 29:00

Listen to our interview with David Swanson, host of Talk Nation Radio here.

President Carter, Do You Swear to Tell the Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth?

October 7th, 2020
Dear Ones,
October 7th is the 19th anniversary of the longest war in American history.   The real start of the longest US “war”was when the Carter/Brzezinski agenda succeeded on December 27, 1979 in drawing the Soviets into the “Afghan Trap.”  It is the back story leading up to the Soviet invasion that Americans desperately need to know today. Please click on the URL to read the footnotes.
Thanks! Paul & Liz

President Carter, Do You Swear to Tell the Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth?

By Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould October 6, 2020  World BEYOND

Conor Tobin’s January 9, 2020 Diplomatic History article titled: The Myth of the ‘Afghan Trap’: Zbigniew Brzezinski and Afghanistan attempts to “dismantle the notion that President Jimmy Carter, at the urging of National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, aided the Afghan Mujahedin intentionally to lure the Soviet Union into invading Afghanistan in 1979.” As Todd Greentree acknowledges in his July17, 2020 review of Tobin’s article, the stakes are high because the “the notion” calls into question not just President Carter’s legacy, but the conduct, the reputation and the “strategic behavior of the United States during the Cold War and beyond.”

Central to the issue of what Tobin refers to as “the Afghan Trap thesis,” is French journalist Vincent Jauvert’s infamous January 1998 Nouvel Observateur interview with Brzezinski in which he brags about a secret program launched by him and President Carter six months before the Soviet invasion “that had the effect of drawing the Russians into the afghan trap…” “According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahideen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise.” Brzezinski is on record as saying. “Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.”

Despite the fact that the secret program had already been revealed by the CIA’s former chief of the directorate of Operations for the Near East and South Asia Dr. Charles Cogan and former CIA Director Robert Gates and was largely ignored, Brzezinski’s admission brings attention to a glaring misconception about Soviet intentions in Afghanistan that many historians would rather leave unexplained. From the moment Brzezinski’s interview appeared in 1998 there has been a fanatical effort on both the left and the right to deny its validity as an idle boast, a misinterpretation of what he meant, or a bad translation from French to English. Brzezinski’s admission is so sensitive amongst the CIA’s insiders, Charles Cogan felt it necessary to come out for a Cambridge Forum discussion of our book on Afghanistan (Invisible History: Afghanistan’s Untold Story) in 2009 to claim that even though our view that the Soviets were reluctant to invade was authentic, Brzezinski’s Nouvel Observateur interview had to be wrong.

Tobin expands on this complaint by lamenting that the French interview has so corrupted the historiography as to have become the almost sole basis to prove the existence of a plot to lure Moscow into the “Afghan Trap.” He then goes on to write that since Brzezinski asserts the interview was technically not an interview but excerpts from an interview and was never approved in the form it appeared and that since Brzezinski has subsequently repeatedly denied it on numerous occasions—“the ‘trap’ thesis has little basis in fact.” Tobin then proceeds to cite official documents to prove “Brzezinski’s actions through 1979 exhibited a meaningful effort to dissuade [emphasis added] Moscow from intervening… In sum, a Soviet military intervention was neither sought nor desired by the Carter administration and the covert program initiated in the summer of 1979 is insufficient to charge Carter and Brzezinski with actively attempting to ensnare Moscow in the ‘Afghan trap.’”

So what does this reveal about a secret U.S. government operation taken six months prior to the Soviet invasion of December 1979 and not bragged about by Brzezinski until January of 1998? To summarize Tobin’s complaint; Brzezinski’s alleged boast of luring the Soviets into an “Afghan trap” has little basis in fact. Brzezinski did say something but what—is not clear, but whatever he said, there is no historical record of it and anyway it wasn’t enough to lure the Soviets into Afghanistan because he and Carter didn’t want the Soviets to invade anyway because it would jeopardize détente and the SALT II negotiations. So what’s all the fuss about?

Tobin’s assumption that the President of the United States and his CIA would never intentionally set out to exacerbate the Cold War in the middle of such a hostile environment, may reveal more about Conor Tobin’s bias than his understanding of what Brzezinski’s strategy of confrontation was all about. To read his article is to step through the looking glass into an alternative universe where (to paraphrase T.E. Lawrence) facts are replaced by daydreams and the dreamers act-out with their eyes wide open. From our experience with Afghanistan and the people who made it happen, Tobin’s “valuable service of traditional diplomatic history” (as quoted from Todd Greentree’s review) does no service to history at all.

Looking back at what Brzezinski admitted to in 1998 doesn’t require a top secret clearance to verify. The Great Game-like motivations behind the Afghan trap thesis were well known at the time of the invasion to anyone with an understanding of the history of the region’s strategic value. M.S. Agwani of the Jawaharlal Nehru School of International Studies stated as much in the October-December 1980 issue of the Schools Quarterly Journal citing a number of complicating factors that support the Afghan trap thesis: “Our own conclusion from the foregoing is twofold. First, the Soviet Union had in all probability walked into a trap laid by its adversaries. For its military action did not give it any advantage in terms of Soviet security which it did not enjoy under the previous regimes. On the contrary, it can and does affect its dealings with the Third World in general and the Muslim countries in particular. Secondly, the strong American reaction to Soviet intervention cannot be taken as proof of Washington’s genuine concern about the fate of Afghanistan. It is indeed possible to argue that its vital interests in the Gulf would be better served by an extended Soviet embroilment with Afghanistan inasmuch as the latter could be taken advantage to ostracize the Soviets from that region. The happenings in Afghanistan also seem to have come in handy for the United States to increase its military presence in and around the Gulf substantially without evoking any serious protest from the littoral states.”

Whenever questioned over the nearly two decades after the Nouvel Observateur article appeared until his death in 2017, Brzezinski’s responses to the accuracy of the translation often varied from acceptance to rejection to somewhere in between which should raise questions about relying too heavily on the veracity of his reflections. Yet Conor Tobin chose to cite only a 2010 interview with Paul Jay of the Real News Network in which Brzezinski denied it, to make his case. In this 2006 interview with filmmaker Samira Goetschelhe states that it’s a “very free translation,” but fundamentally admits the secret program “probably convinced the Soviets even more to do what they were planning to do.” Brzezinski defaults to his long held ideological justification (shared with neoconservatives) that since the Soviets were in the process of expanding into Afghanistan anyway as part of a master plan for achieving hegemony in Southwest Asia and the Gulf oil-producing states, (a position rejected by Secretary of State Cyrus Vance) the fact that he might have been provoking an invasion was of little significance.

Having dispensed with the implications of Brzezinski’s exact words, Tobin then blames the growth and acceptance of the Afghan trap thesis largely on an over-reliance on Brzezinski’s “reputation” which he then proceeds to dismiss by citing Brzezinski’s “post-invasion memos [which] reveal concern, not opportunity, which belies the claim that inducing an invasion was his objective.” But to dismiss Brzezinski’s well known ideological motivation to undermine U.S./Soviet relations at every turn is to miss the raison d’être of Brzezinski’s career prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Accepting his denials at face value ignores his role in bringing the post-Vietnam neoconservative agenda (known as Team B) into the White House not to mention the opportunity to permanently shift American foreign policy into his anti-Russian ideological world view by provoking the Soviets at every step.

Anne Hessing Cahn, currently Scholar in Residence at American University who served as Chief of the Social Impact Staff at the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency from 1977–81 and Special Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense 1980–81, had this to say about Brzezinski’s reputation in her 1998 book, Killing Détente: “When President Carter named Zbigniew Brzezinski as his national security advisor, it was foreordained that détente with the Soviet Union was in for rough times. First came the March 1977 ill-fated arms control proposal, which departed from the Vladivostok Agreement and was leaked to the press before it was presented to the Soviets. By April Carter was pressing NATO allies to rearm, demanding a firm commitment from all NATO members to start increasing their defense budgets by 3 percent per year. In the summer of 1977 Carter’s Presidential Review Memorandum-10called for an ‘ability to prevail’ if war should come, wording that smacked of the Team B view.”

Within a year of taking office Carter had already signaled the Soviets multiple times that he was turning the administration away from cooperation to confrontation and the Soviets were listening. In an address drafted by Brzezinski and delivered at Wake Forest University on March 17, 1978, “Carter reaffirmed American support for SALT and arms control, [but] the tone was markedly different from a year earlier. Now he included all the qualifiers beloved by Senator Jackson and the JCS… As for détente—a word never actually mentioned in the address—cooperation with the Soviet Union was possible to meet common goals. ‘But if they fail to demonstrate restraint in missile programs and other force levels or in the projection of Soviet or proxy forces into other lands and continents then popular support in the United States for such cooperation with the Soviets will certainly erode.’”   The Soviets got the message from Carter’s address and immediately responded in a TAAS News Agency editorial that: “‘Soviet goals abroad’ had been distorted as an excuse to escalate the arms race.’”

At a Nobel conference on the Cold War in the fall of 1995, Harvard/MIT Senior Security Studies Advisor, Dr. Carol Saivetz addressed the tendency to neglect the importance of Brzezinski’s ideology in the Cold War decision-making process and why that led to such a fundamental misunderstanding of each side’s intentions. “What I learned over the last couple of days was that ideology—a factor which we in the West who were writing about Soviet foreign policy tended to dismiss as pure rationalization… To some extent, an ideological perspective—an ideological world view, let us call it—played an important role… Whether or not Zbig was from Poland or from someplace else, he had a world view, and he tended to interpret events as they unfolded in the light of it. To some extent, his fears became self-fulfilling prophecies. He was looking for certain kinds of behaviors, and he saw them—rightly or wrongly.”

To understand how Brzezinski’s “fears” became self-fulfilling prophecies is to understand how his hard line against the Soviets in Afghanistan provoked the results he wanted and became adopted as American foreign policy in line with Team B’s neoconservative objectives; “to destroy détente and to steer U.S. foreign policy back to a more militant stance viz-à-viz the Soviet Union.”

Although not generally considered a neoconservative and opposed to linking Israel’s objectives in Palestine with American objectives, Brzezinski’s method for creating self-fulfilling prophecies and the neoconservative movement’s geopolitical aims of moving the U.S. into a hardline stance against the Soviet Union found a common objective in Afghanistan. Their shared method as Cold warriors came together to attack détente and SALT II wherever possible while destroying the foundations of any working relationship with the Soviets. In a 1993 interview we conducted with SALT II negotiator Paul Warnke, he affirmed his belief that the Soviets would never have invaded Afghanistan in the first place had President Carter not fallen victim to Brzezinski and Team B’s hostile attitude toward détente and their undermining of Soviet confidence that SALT II would be ratified. Brzezinski saw the Soviet invasion as a great vindication of his claim that the U.S. had encouraged Soviet aggression through a foreign policy of weakness which therefore justified his hardline position inside the Carter administration. But how could he claim vindication for Soviet actions when he had played such a crucial role in provoking the circumstances to which they reacted?

President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s science advisor George B. Kistiakowsky and former deputy director of the CIA, Herbert Scoville answered that question in a Boston Globe Op-ed barely two months after the event. “In reality, it was actions by the President designed to appease his hardline political opponents at home that destroyed the fragile balance in the Soviet bureaucracy… The arguments that stilled the voices of the Kremlin moderates grew out of the approaching demise of the SALT II treaty and the sharply anti-Soviet drift of Carter’s policies. His increasing propensity for accepting the views of National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski led to the anticipation of dominance in the United States by the hawks for many years to come…”

In an April 1981 article in the British journal The Round Table, author Dev Murarka reveals that the Soviets had refused to intervene militarily on thirteen separate occasions after being asked by the Afghan government of Nur Mohammed Taraki and Hafizullah Amin—knowing a military intervention would provide their enemies with exactly what they had been seeking. Only on the fourteenth request did the Soviets comply “when information was received in Moscow that Amin had made a deal with one of the dissident groups.” Murarka observes that “A close scrutiny of the circumstances of the Soviet decision to intervene underlines two things. One, that the decision was not taken in haste without proper consideration. Two, that an intervention was not a predetermined inevitable consequence of growing Soviet involvement in Afghanistan. In different circumstances it could have been avoided.”

But instead of being avoided, the circumstances for a Soviet invasion were fostered by covert action taken by Carter, Brzezinski and the CIA directly and through proxies in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Egypt ensuring that Soviet intervention was not avoided but encouraged. Additionally absent from the Tobin analysis is the fact that anybody who tried to work with Brzezinski at the Carter White House—as testified to by SALT II negotiator Paul Warnke and Carter CIA Director Stansfield Turner—knew him as a Polish nationalist and a driven ideologue. And even if the Nouvel Observateur interview did not exist it wouldn’t alter the weight of evidence that without Brzezinski and Carter’s covert and overt provocations, the Soviets would never have felt the need to cross the border and invade Afghanistan.

In a January 8, 1972 article in the New Yorker Magazine, titled Reflections: In Thrall To Fear, Senator J. William Fulbright described the neoconservative system for creating endless war that was keeping the U.S. bogged down in Vietnam. “The truly remarkable thing about this Cold War psychology is the totally illogical transfer of the burden of proof from those who make charges to those who question them… The Cold Warriors, instead of having to say how they knew that Vietnam was part of a plan for the Communization of the world, so manipulated the terms of the public discussion as to be able to demand that the skeptics prove that it was not. If the skeptics could not then the war must go on—to end it would be recklessly risking the national security.”

Fulbright realized that Washington’s neoconservative Cold Warriors had turned the logic for making war inside out by concluding, “We come to the ultimate illogic: war is the course of prudence and sobriety until the case for peace is proved under impossible rules of evidence–or until the enemy surrenders. Rational men cannot deal with each other on this basis.” But these “men” and their system were ideological; not rational and their drive to further their mandate to defeat Soviet Communism only intensified with the official loss of the Vietnam War in 1975. Because of Brzezinski, U.S. policy formation surrounding the Carter administration on Afghanistan, SALT, détente and the Soviet Union lived outside the realm of what had passed for traditional diplomatic policy-making in the Nixon and Ford administrations while succumbing to the toxic neoconservative influence of Team B that was gaining control at the time.

Tobin ignores this glaring historical conjunction of likeminded ideologists. He insists on relying on the official record to come to his conclusions but then ignores how that record was framed by Brzezinski and influenced by Washington’s cult of neoconservatives to deliver on their ideological self-fulfilling prophecy. He then cherry-picks facts that support his anti-Afghan trap thesis while ignoring the wealth of evidence from those who opposed Brzezinski’s efforts to control the narrative and exclude opposing points of view.

According to numerous studies Brzezinski transformed the role of national security advisor far beyond its intended function. In a planning session with President Carter on St. Simon Island before even entering the White House he took control of policy creation by narrowing access to the president down to two committees (the Policy Review Committee PRC, and the Special Coordinating Committee SCC). He then had Carter transfer power over the CIA to the SCC which he chaired. At the first cabinet meeting after taking office Carter announced that he was elevating the national security advisor to cabinet level and Brzezinski’s lock on covert action was complete. According to political scientist and author David J. Rothkopf, “It was a bureaucratic first strike of the first order. The system essentially gave responsibility for the most important and sensitive issues to Brzezinski.”

According to one academic study, over the course of four years Brzezinski often took actions without the knowledge or approval of the president; intercepted communications sent to the White House from around the world and carefully selected only those communications for the president to see that conformed to his ideology. His Special Coordinating Committee, the SCC was a stovepipe operation which acted solely in his interest and denied information and access to those who might oppose him, including Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and CIA Director Stansfield Turner. As a cabinet member he occupied a White House office diagonally across the lobby from the Oval Office and met so often with the President, the in-house record-keepers stopped keeping track of the meetings. By agreement with President Carter, he would then type up three page memos of these and any meetings and deliver them to the president in person. He used this unique authority to single himself out as the primary spokesman for the administration and a barrier between the White House and the president’s other advisors and went so far as to create a press secretary to convey his policy decisions directly to the Mainstream Media.

He was also on the record as singlehandedly establishing a rapprochement with China in May of 1978 on an anti-Soviet basis which ran counter to U.S. policy at the time while renowned for misleading the president on critical issues to falsely justify his positions. So how did this work in Afghanistan? Tobin rejects the very idea that Brzezinski would ever advise Carter to actively endorse a policy that would risk SALT and détente, jeopardize his election campaign and threaten Iran, Pakistan and the Persian Gulf to future Soviet infiltration—because to Tobin “it is largely inconceivable.”

As proof of his support for Brzezinski’s belief in the Soviet’s long term ambitions to invade the Middle East through Afghanistan, Tobin cites how Brzezinski “reminded Carter of ‘Russia’s traditional push to the south, and briefed him specifically on Molotov’s proposal to Hitler in late 1940 that the Nazis recognize the Soviet claims of pre-eminence in the region south of Batum and Baku.’” But Tobin fails to mention that what Brzezinski presented to the president as proof of Soviet aims in Afghanistan was a well-known misinterpretation of what Hitler and Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentropp had proposed to Molotov—and which Molotov rejected. In other words, the very opposite of what Brzezinski presented to Carter—yet Tobin ignores this fact.

From the moment Afghanistan declared its independence from Britain in 1919 until the “Marxist coup” of 1978 the main goal of Soviet foreign policy had been to maintain friendly but cautious relations with Afghanistan, while preserving Soviet interests. U.S. involvement was always minimal with the U.S. represented by allies Pakistan and Iran in the region. By the 1970s the U.S. considered the country to already be within the Soviet sphere of influence having defacto signed on to that arrangement at the start of the Cold War. As two long term American experts on Afghanistan explained quite simply in 1981, “The Soviet influence was predominant but not intimidating until 1978.” Contrary to Brzezinski’s claim of a Soviet grand design, Secretary of State Cyrus Vance saw no evidence of Moscow’s hand in the 78’overthrow of the previous government but much evidence to prove the coup had caught them by surprise. In fact it appears the coup leader Hafizullah Amin feared the Soviets would have stopped him had they discovered the plot. Selig Harrison writes, “The overall impression left by the available evidence is one of an improvised ad hoc Soviet response to an unexpected situation… Later, the KGB ‘learned that the Amin’s instructions about the uprising included a severe ban on letting the Russians know about the planned actions.’”

Moscow considered Hafizullah Amin to be aligned with the CIA and labelled him “‘a commonplace petty bourgeois and extreme Pashtu nationalist… with boundless political ambitions and a craving for power,’ which he would ‘stoop to anything and commit any crimes to fulfill.’” As early as May 1978 the Soviets were engineering a plan to remove and replace him and by the summer of 1979 contacting former non-communist members of the King and Mohammed Daoud’s government to build a “non-communist, or coalition, government to succeed the Taraki-Amin regime,” all the while keeping U.S. embassy charge d’affaires Bruce Amstutz fully informed.

To others who had a personal experience in the events surrounding the Soviet invasion, there is little doubt that Brzezinski wanted to raise the stakes for the Soviets in Afghanistan and had been doing it at least since April of 1978 with the help of the Chinese. During Brzezinski’s historic mission to China only weeks after the Marxist takeover in Afghanistan, he raised the issue of Chinese support for countering the recent Marxist coup.

In support of his theory that Brzezinski was not provoking a Soviet invasion, Tobin cites a memo from NSC director for South Asian Affairs, Thomas Thornton on May 3, 1978 reporting that “the CIA was unwilling to consider covert action” at the time and warned on July 14, that “no official encouragement” be given to “coup plotters.” The actual incident to which Thornton refers regards a contact by the second highest Afghan military official who probed the U.S. embassy chargé d’Affaires Bruce Amstutz on whether the U.S. would support overthrowing the newly installed “Marxist regime” of Nur Mohammed Taraki and Hafizullah Amin.

Tobin then cites Thornton’s warning to Brzezinski that the result of “giving a helping hand… would likely be an invitation for massive Soviet involvement,” and adds that Brzezinski wrote “yes” in the margins.Tobin assumes the warning from Thornton is further evidence that Brzezinski was discouraging provocative action by signaling a “yes” to his warning. But what Brzezinski meant by writing in the margin is anybody’s guess, especially given his bitter policy conflict over the issue of destabilizing the regime with the incoming U.S. ambassador Adolph Dubs who arrived that July as well.

“I can only tell you that Brzezinski really had a struggle for American policy toward Afghanistan in 1978 and 79 between Brzezinski and Dubs” journalist and scholar Selig Harrison told us in an interview we conducted in 1993. “Dubs was a Soviet specialist… with a very sophisticated conception of what he was going to do politically; which was to try to make Amin into a Tito – or the closest thing to a Tito – detach him. And Brzezinski of course thought that was all nonsense… Dubs represented a policy of not wanting the U.S. to get involved with aiding antagonistic groups because he was trying to deal with the Afghan Communist leadership and give it off-setting and economic help and other things that would enable it to be less dependent on the Soviet Union… Now Brzezinski represented a different approach, which is to say was all part of a self-anointed prophecy. It was all very useful to the people who, like Brzezinski had a certain conception of the overall relationship with the Soviet Union.”

In his book with Diego Cordovez Out of Afghanistan, Harrison recalls his visit with Dubs in August of 1978 and how over the next six months his conflict with Brzezinski made life extremely difficult and dangerous for him to implement the State Department’s policy. “Brzezinski and Dubs were working at cross purposes during late 1978 and early 1979.” Harrison writes. “This control over covert operations enabled Brzezinski to take the first steps toward a more aggressive anti-Soviet Afghan policy without the State Department’s knowing much about it.”

According to the State Department’s 1978 “Post Profile” for the ambassador’s job, Afghanistan was considered a difficult assignment subject “to unpredictable – possibly violent – political developments affecting the stability of the region… As Chief of mission, with eight different agencies, almost 150 official Americans, in a remote and unhealthful environment,” the ambassador’s job was dangerous enough. But with Ambassador Dubs directly opposed to Brzezinski’s secret internal policy of destabilization it was becoming deadly. Dubs was clearly aware from the outset that the ongoing program of destabilization might cause the Soviets to invade and explained his strategy to Selig Harrison. “The trick for the United States, he [Dubs] explained would be to sustain cautious increases in aid and other links without provoking Soviet counter pressures on Amin and possibly military intervention.”

According to former CIA analyst Henry Bradsher, Dubs attempted to warn the State Department that destabilization would result in a Soviet invasion. Before leaving for Kabul he recommended that the Carter administration do contingency planning for a Soviet military response and within a few months of arriving repeated the recommendation. But the State Department was so out of Brzezinski’s loop, Dubs’ request was never taken seriously.

By early 1979 the fear and confusion over whether Hafizullah Amin was secretly working for the CIA, had so destabilized the US. embassy, Ambassador Dubs confronted his own station chief and demanded answers, only to be told Amin had never worked for the CIA. But rumors that Amin had contacts with Pakistan’s Intelligence Directorate the ISI and the Afghan Islamists backed by them, especially Gulbuddin Hekmatyar are most likely true. Despite the obstacles Dubs persisted in advancing his plans with Hafizullah Amin against the obvious pressure coming from Brzezinski and his NSC. Harrison writes. “Dubs meanwhile was arguing vigorously for keeping American options open, pleading that destabilization of the regime could provoke direct Soviet intervention.”

Harrison goes on to say; “Brzezinski emphasized in an interview after he left the White House that he had remained strictly within the confines of the President’s policy at that stage not to provide direct aid to the Afghan insurgency [which has since been revealed as not true]. Since there was no taboo on indirect support, however, the CIA had encouraged the newly entrenched Zia Ul-Haq to launch its own program of military support for the insurgents. The CIA and the Pakistani Interservices Intelligence Directorate (ISI) he said, worked together closely on planning training programs for the insurgents and on coordinating the Chinese, Saudi Arabian, Egyptian and Kuwaiti aid that was beginning to trickle in. By early February 1979, this collaboration became an open secret when the Washington Post published [February 2] an eyewitness report that at least two thousand Afghans were being trained at former Pakistani Army bases guarded by Pakistani patrols.”

David Newsom, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs who’d met the new Afghan government in the summer of 1978 told Harrison, “From the beginning, Zbig had a much more confrontational view of the situation than Vance and most of us at State. He thought we should be doing something covertly to frustrate Soviet ambitions in that part of the world. On some occasions I was not alone in raising questions about the wisdom and feasibility of what he wanted to do.” ‘CIA Director Stansfield Turner, for example,’ “was more cautious than Zbig, often arguing that something wouldn’t work. Zbig wasn’t worried about provoking the Russians, as some of us were…”

Although noting Ambassador Dubs’ subsequent murder on February 14 at the hands of the Afghan police as a major turning point for Brzezinski to shift Afghan policy further against the Soviets, Tobin entirely avoids the drama that led up to the Dubs’ assassination, his conflict with Brzezinski and his overtly expressed fear that provoking the Soviets through destabilization would result in an invasion.

By the early spring of 1979 the “Russia’s Vietnam” meme was circulating widely in the international press as evidence of Chinese support for the Afghan insurgency began to filter out. An April article in the Canadian MacLean’s Magazine reported the presence of Chinese army officers and instructors in Pakistan training and equipping “right-wing Afghan Moslem guerillas for their ‘holy war’ against the Moscow-back Kabul regime of Noor Mohammed Taraki.” A May 5 article in the Washington Post titled “Afghanistan: Moscow’s Vietnam?” went right to the point saying, “the Soviets’ option to pull out entirely is no longer available. They are stuck.”

But despite his claim of responsibility in the Nouvelle Observateur article, the decision to keep the Russians stuck in Afghanistan may already have become a fait accompli that Brzezinski simply took advantage of. In his 1996 From the Shadows, former CIA director Robert Gates and Brzezinski aid at the NSC confirms that the CIA was on the case long before the Soviets felt any need to invade. “The Carter administration began looking at the possibility of covert assistance to the insurgents opposing the pro-Soviet, Marxist government of President Taraki at the beginning of 1979. On March 9, 1979, CIA sent several covert action options relating to Afghanistan to the SCC… The DO informed DDCI Carlucci late in March that the government of Pakistan might be more forthcoming in terms of helping the insurgents than previously believed, citing an approach by a senior Pakistani official to an Agency officer.”

Aside from the purely geopolitical objectives associated with Brzezinski’s ideology, Gates’ statement reveals an additional motive behind the Afghan trap thesis: The long term objectives of drug kingpins in the opium trade and the personal ambitions of the Pakistani General credited with making the Afghan trap a reality. In 1989 Pakistan’s Lieutenant General Fazle Haq identified himself as the senior Pakistani official who’d influenced Brzezinski into backing the ISI’s clients and to get the operation to fund the insurgents underway. “I told Brzezinski you screwed up in Vietnam and Korea; you’d better get it right this time” he told British journalist Christina Lamb in an interview for her book, Waiting for Allah.

Far from absolving Brzezinski of any responsibility for luring the Soviets into an Afghan trap, Haq’s 1989 admission combined with the Gates 1996 revelation confirm a premeditated willingness to use destabilization to provoke the Soviets into a military response and then use that response to trigger the massive military upgrade that was referred to in the Soviet reaction to Carter’s Wake Forest address in March of 1978. It also links Fazle Haq’s motives to President Carter and Brzezinski and in so doing, makes both witting accessories to the spread of illicit drugs at the expense of Carter’s own “Federal strategy for prevention of drug abuse and drug trafficking.”

In late 1977 Dr. David Musto, a Yale psychiatrist had accepted Carter’s appointment to the White House Strategy Council on Drug Abuse. “Over the next two years, Musto found that the CIA and other intelligence agencies denied the council—whose members included the secretary of state and the attorney general—access to all classified information on drugs, even when it was necessary for framing new policy.” When Musto informed the White House about the CIA’s lying about their involvement he got no response. But when Carter began openly funding the mujahideen guerrillas following the Soviet invasion Musto told the council. “‘[T]hat we were going into Afghanistan to support opium growers in their rebellion against the Soviets. Shouldn’t we try to avoid what we had done in Laos? Shouldn’t we try to pay the growers if they eradicate their opium production? There was silence.’ As heroin from Afghanistan and Pakistan poured into America throughout 1979, Musto noted that the number of drug-related deaths in New York City rose by 77 percent.”

Golden Triangle heroin had provided a secret source of funding for the CIA’s anti-communist operations during the Vietnam War. “By 1971, 34 percent of all US soldiers in South Vietnam were heroin addicts – all supplied from laboratories operated by CIA assets.” Thanks to Dr. David Musto, Haq’s use of the Tribal heroin trade to secretly fund Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s rebel forces was already exposed, but because of Fazle Haq, Zbigniew Brzezinski and a man named Agha Hassan Abedi and his Bank of Commerce and Credit International, the rules of the game would be turned inside out.

By 1981, Haq had made the Afghan/Pakistan border the world’s top heroin supplier with 60 percent of U.S. heroin coming through his program and by 1982 Interpol was listing Brzezinski’s strategic ally Fazle Haq as an international narcotics trafficker. In the aftermath of Vietnam, Haq was positioned to take advantage of an historic shift in the illicit drug trade from Southeast Asia and the Golden Triangle to South Central Asia and the Golden Crescent, where it came to be protected by Pakistani intelligence and the CIA and where it thrives today.

Haq and Abedi together revolutionized the drug trade under the cover of President Carter’s anti-Soviet Afghan war making it safe for all the world’s intelligence agencies to privatize what had up to then been secret government-run programs. And it is Abedi who then brought in a retired President Carter as his front man to legitimize the face of his bank’s illicit activities as it continued to finance Islamic terrorism’s spread around the world.

There are many who prefer to believe that President Carter’s involvement with Agha Hassan Abedi was the result of ignorance or naiveté and that in his heart President Carter was just trying to be a good man. But even a cursory examination of BCCI reveals deep connections to Carter’s Democratic Party circle that cannot be explained away by ignorance. It can however be explained by a calculated pattern of deception and to a president that to this day refuses to answer any questions about it.

To some members of the Carter White House who interacted with Brzezinski during his four years at the wheel from 1977 to 1981 his intention to provoke the Russians into doing something in Afghanistan was always clear. According to John Helmer a White House staffer who was tasked with investigating two of Brzezinski’s policy recommendations to Carter, Brzezinski would risk anything to undermine the Soviets and his operations in Afghanistan were well known. “Brzezinski was an obsessive Russia-hater to the end. That led to the monumental failures of Carter’s term in office; the hatreds Brzezinski released had an impact which continues to be catastrophic for the rest of the world.” Helmer wrote in 2017, “To Brzezinski goes the credit for starting most of the ills – the organization, financing, and armament of the mujahideen the Islamic fundamentalists who have metastasized – with US money and arms still – into Islamic terrorist armies operating far from Afghanistan and Pakistan, where Brzezinski started them off.”

Helmer insists that Brzezinski exercised an almost hypnotic power over Carter that bent him towards Brzezinski’s ideological agenda while blinding him to the consequences from the outset of his presidency. “From the start… in the first six months of 1977, Carter was also warned explicitly by his own staff, inside the White House… not to allow Brzezinski to dominate his policy-making to the exclusion of all other advice, and the erasure of the evidence on which the advice was based.” Yet the warning fell on Carter’s deaf ears while the responsibility for Brzezinski’s actions falls on his shoulders. According to Carter’s CIA Director Stansfield Turner; “The ultimate responsibility is totally Jimmy Carter’s. It’s got to be the President who sifts out these different strains of advice.” But to this day Carter refuses to address his role in creating the disaster that Afghanistan has become.

In 2015 we began work on a documentary to finally clear the air on some of the unresolved questions surrounding America’s role in Afghanistan and reconnected with Dr. Charles Cogan for an interview. Soon after the camera rolled, Cogan interrupted to tell us he had talked to Brzezinski in the spring of 2009 about the 1998 Nouvel Observateur interview and been disturbed to learn that the “Afghan trap thesis” as stated by Brzezinski was indeed legitimate. “I had an exchange with him. This was a ceremony for Samuel Huntington. Brzezinski was there. I’d never met him before and I went up to him and introduced myself and I said I agree with everything you’re doing and saying except for one thing. You gave an interview with the Nouvel Observateur some years back saying that we sucked the Soviets into Afghanistan. I said I’ve never heard or accepted that idea and he said to me, ‘You may have had your perspective from the Agency but we had our different perspective from the White House,’ and he insisted that this was correct. And I still… that was obviously the way he felt about it.  But I didn’t get any whiff of that when I was Chief Near East South Asia at the time of the Afghan war against the Soviets.

In the end it seems that Brzezinski had lured the Soviets into their own Vietnam with intent and wanted his colleague—as one of the highest level CIA officials to participate in the largest American intelligence operations since WWII—to know it. Brzezinski had worked the system to serve his ideological objectives and managed to keep it secret and out of the official record. He had lured the Soviets into the Afghan trap and they had fallen for the bait.

For Brzezinski, getting the Soviets to invade Afghanistan was an opportunity to shift the Washington consensus toward an unrelenting hard line against the Soviet Union. Without any oversight for his use of covert action as chair of the SCC, he’d created the conditions needed to provoke a Soviet defensive response which he’d then used as evidence of unrelenting Soviet expansion and used the media, which he controlled, to affirm it, thereby creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. However, once his Russophobic system of exaggerations and lies about his covert operation became accepted, they found a home in America’s institutions and continue to haunt those institutions to this day. US policy since that time has operated in a Russophobic haze of triumphalism that both provokes international incidents and then capitalizes on the chaos. And to Brzezinski’s dismay he discovered he couldn’t turn the process off.

In 2016, the year before his death Brzezinski delivered a profound revelation in an article titled “Toward a Global Realignment” warning that “the United States is still the world’s politically, economically, and militarily most powerful entity, but given complex geopolitical shifts in regional balances, it is no longer the globally imperial power.” But after years of witnessing American missteps regarding its use of imperial power, he realized his dream of an American-led transformation to a new world order would never be. Though unapologetic at using his imperial hubris to lure the Soviets into Afghanistan, he did not expect his beloved American Empire to fall into the same trap and ultimately lived long enough to understand that he had won only a Pyrrhic victory.

Why would Conor Tobin eradicate critical evidence regarding the US role in the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan NOW?  In light of what’s been done to the historical record through Conor Tobin’s effort to debunk “the Afghan Trap thesis” and clear Zbigniew Brzezinski and President Carter’s reputations the facts of the matter remain clear. Discrediting Brzezinski’s Nouvel Observateur interview is insufficient to his task in view of our 2015 interview with former CIA chief Charles Cogan and the overwhelming body of evidence that totally disproves his anti “Afghan Trap” thesis.

Were Tobin a “lone scholar” with an obsession to clean up Brzezinski’s reputation for posterity on a school project his effort would be one thing. But to position his narrow thesis in a mainstream authoritative journal of international studies as a definitive rethinking of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan beggars the imagination. But then, the circumstances surrounding the Soviet invasion, President Carter’s premeditated actions beforehand, his overtly duplicitous response to it and his post-presidency participation with the CIA’s covert funder Agha Hassan Abedi, leave little to the imagination.

Of all the evidence disproving Tobin’s anti-Afghan Trap thesis, the most accessible and problematic for the managers of the ‘official narrative’ regarding the U.S. role in the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan remains journalist Vincent Jauvert’s 1998 Nouvel Observateur interview. Whether this effort to wipe the record clean is the motive behind Conor Tobin’s essay remains to be determined. It is likely that the distance between now and Brzezinski’s death signaled that the time was right for redefining his public statements for the official record.

It was fortunate that we were able to discover Conor Tobin’s effort and correct it as best we could. But Afghanistan is only one instance of where Americans have been misled. We all must become far more aware of how our narrative-creation process has been coopted by the powers-that-be from the start. It is critical that we learn how to take it back.

Copyright © 2020 Fitzgerald & Gould All rights reserved

US Remains Mired in Afghanistan 19 Years Later – Rising Up with Sonali

October 7th, 2020

View our interview here    Listen to our interview on mp3 (Duration: 21:20 — 19.5MB)

FEATURING PAUL FITZGERALD AND ELIZABETH GOULD – Wednesday October 7th marks the 19th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan – the longest official war the U.S. has even been in in the modern era. The war is so long that some soldiers who served when the war first began are now seeing their own sons and daughters deploying to the same war. While peace talks are underway between the Taliban and the US-backed Afghan government, violence still continues to plague the nation with relentless bombs and attacks by domestic groups and outside countries like the U.S.  But the U.S.’s intervention in Afghanistan goes back much further than 2001. It can be traced back to 1979, a year before the Soviet Union invaded. And that history is in danger now of being rewritten.


Dr. Charles Cogan Interview

September 24th, 2020

An  interview by Paul Fitzgerald, Elizabeth Gould and Bob Nesson filming with Dr. Charles Cogan former Chief of the Directorate of Operations for the Near East, South Asia Division of the CIA from 1979 to 1984 discusses the CIA’s Afghanistan Operation against the Soviet Union in detail; including the Zbigniew Brzezinski “Trap” admission. The 1 hour 30 minute interview was filmed February 8, 2015.