–Us Gov supported the Taliban during the 90s because of desire in Gov/Corp (!) for a stable power to provide for a pipeline through Afghanistan.
##So the whole idea that we *ONLY* went into Afghanistan to punish Taliban and find Al Qaeda is suspect. And it shows why nation-building was the only option considered, rather than a punitive expedition.
–Taliban eventually got hard to handle because they resisted giving up Osama bin Laden. Plus they were embarrassing.
–In the 90s one State department official seems to has mentioned “carpet bombing” to the Taliban as the only option to cooperation with US interests (offering “a carpet of gold” as the carrot to go with the stick). When questioned, claimed he was just joking and drunk and can’t be sure if he said that or not.
–bin Laden family enmeshed in Saudi kingdom as a major Corp.
–OBL enmeshed in bin Laden family businesses. “Black Sheep” of the family may be an exaggeration or even a lie. Saudi “rejection” of OBL may be more appearance than reality.
–Qaddafi was the first (and only?) regime to seriously pursue OBL via InterPol, etc because he was a target of Al Qaeda enmity. This was a minor sidenote in the book used to compare Libya’s reaction to the lethargic Western reaction (or contrary reactionS within the West). But in light of recent events it stood out. Qaddafi was a modernizer and relative secularist. His story shows how the term “Islamofascism” is misleading since the Islamic Fundamentalist forces tend to be at odds with the secular, Western-influenced leaders like Gaddafi or Saddam Hussein.
–Huge part of the book is dedicated to showing the immense connections/entanglements between Saudi-Western-and Terrorist banking. BCCI is only an extreme example of many related institutions. The Bush family and co. is especially invested (literally!) in these groups.
Short book, dated by now, but essential.