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How I Got on Osama’s Reading List

Written by Gary North on May 23, 2015

The U.S. government has released a list of English-language books in the library of the fellow who got killed in Pakistan by the Seals in 2011. Here is the book list.

One of them is Antony Sutton’s The Best Enemy Money Can Buy (1986). I wrote the Foreword. You can read it here. Who knows? Maybe Osama read it.

Because the printed edition did not mention me as the Foreword’s author in the Table of Contents, my Osama connection is not visible to anyone who does not get past the Table of Contents.

Of all the items on the list, my Foreword was by far most relevant to Osama bin Laden and his movement. I began the Foreword with one of the most remarkable facts of modern American history ever to be dropped down the memory hole. My Foreword began as follows:

In December of 1979, the Soviet Union launched a lightning-fast military offensive against the backward nation of Afghanistan. It was after this invasion that President Jimmy Carter admitted publicly that it had taught him more about the intentions of the Soviets than everything he had ever learned. Never again would he kiss the cheeks of Premier Brezhnev before the television cameras of the West. . . .

The invasion of Afghanistan was a landmark shift in Soviet military tactics. Departing from half a century of slow, plodding, “smother the enemy with raw power” tactics, the Soviet military leadership adopted the lightning strike. Overnight, the Soviets had captured the Kabul airfield and had surrounded the capital city with tanks.

Tanks? In an overnight invasion? How did 30-ton Soviet tanks roll from the Soviet border to the interior city of Kabul in one day? What about the rugged Afghan terrain?

The answer is simple: there are two highways from the Soviet Union to Kabul, including one which is 647 miles long. Their bridges can support tanks. Do you think that Afghan peasants built these roads for yak-drawn carts? Do you think that Afghan peasants built these roads at all? No, you built them.

In 1966, reports on this huge construction project began to appear in obscure U.S. magazines. The project was completed the following year. It was part of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. Soviet and U.S. engineers worked side by side, spending U.S. foreign aid money and Soviet money, to get the highways built. One strip of road, 67 miles long, north through the Salang Pass to the U.S.S.R., cost $42 million, or $643,000 per mile. John W. Millers, the leader of the United National survey team in Afghanistan, commented at the time that it was the most expensive bit of road he had ever seen. The Soviets trained and used 8,000 Afghans to build it.

If there were any justice in this world of international foreign aid, the Soviet tanks should have rolled by signs that read: “U.S. Highway Tax Dollars at Work.”

Nice guys, the Soviets. They just wanted to help a technologically backward nation. Nice guys, American foreign aid officials. They also just wanted to help a technologically backward nation . . . the Soviet Union.

Multiply the dollar figures by seven, minimum, to see the construction costs in today’s money.

Fact: the United States government, under Lyndon Johnson’s leadership, paid for the roads, designed the roads, and jointly built the roads with the USSR. This enabled Soviet tanks to roll into Kabul in 1979.

(For the rest of the story, click the link.)

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