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"Turkistan, Afghanistan, Transcaspia, Persia....are the pieces on a chessboard upon which is being played out a game for the dominance of the world." -- Lord Curzon, Russia in Central Asia
"No Western bank would finance a pipeline in a country at war with itself. `The players in the game of pipeline politics must remind themselves that that peace can bring a pipeline, but a pipeline cannot bring peace,' said Robert Ebel [in 1997]. The Great Game had entered a new dimension." -- Ahmed Rashid, Taliban, 169
"The Afghan war had made Pakistan the world's largest supplier of heroin, and by 1989 drugs were bringing in at least $4 billion a year -- more foreign exchange than all Pakistan's legal exports combined." -- Christina Lamb, Waiting for Allah, 195, citing Pakistan Narcotics Control Board figures; also Melvyn Levitsky, US Assistant Secretary of States for International Narcotics, to House Committee, Washington, 8 January 1989.
"You can't separate terrorism from drugs, and I don't think many people understand that." -- Maureen Orth, Vanity Fair, March 2002, 85.
"If you do not like the image in the mirror do not break the mirror, break your face" -- Old Persian proverb, quoted re Afghanistan by Barnett Rubin and Ahmed Rashid
"As a result of two successful campaigns, of the employment of an enormous force, and of the expenditure of large sums of money, all that has been accomplished has been the disintegration of the State [Afghanistan] which it was desired to see strong, friendly and independent". -- Lord Hartington, after second British campaign of 1880
"By walking away from Afghanistan as early as it did [in 1989], the USA faced in a few years dead diplomats, destroyed embassies, bombs in New York and cheap heroin on its streets, as Afghanistan became a sanctuary for international terrorism and the drugs mafia....Today the USA, by picking up single issues and creating entire policies around them, whether it be oil pipelines, the treatment of women or terrorism, is only demonstrating that it has learnt little." -- Ahmed Rashid, Taliban (2000), 209
"Terrorist campaigns aren't directed just against the enemy. They are campaigns of recruitment as well, and by demonizing bin Laden, by holding him up as the master-mind of the attacks and as the archenemy, we have assured that the disillusioned, the angry, the desperate young men of the Muslim world will flock to his cause, whether he's dead or alive to lead it. And yes, there are more men like that than we could ever count." -- Robert Baer, See No Evil, 269
"The three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together." -- Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard, 40
"Muslims burn with anger at America. For its own good, America should leave [Saudi Arabia]." -- Usama bin Ladin
"War is God's way of teaching Americans geography" -- Ambrose Bierce
"This is the established Order of Things, when a Nation has grown to such an height of Power as to become dangerous to Mankind, she never fails to loose her Wisdom, her Justice and her Moderation, and with these she never fails to loose her Power; which however returns again, if those Virtues return." -- John Adams, Autobiography, IV, 158
"A Sino-Russian alliance embracing Iran is the sort of nightmare few in the United States wish to think about but there is considerable speculation about this possibility in Russian writings, espcially if NATO expansion continues east to the Russian border." -- Geoffrey Kemp and Robert E. Harkavy, Strategic Geography and the Changing Middle East, xii