Given the billions of shrink-wrapped, palletized US Treasury dollars finding their way from Baghdad’s Green Zone into private Swiss bank accounts these days, I suppose it’s hard for most Americans to get excited about a few hundred million being squandered in Afghanistan. But in the case of Creative Associates International — unlike Halliburton and other war profiteers — the contracts that enable their enrichment are for education, not destruction.
What caught my attention, though, was that in order to satisfy their USAID contract with minimal exertion and maximum profit, Creative Associates subcontracted textbook printing to an extant publishing house in Pakistan (run jointly by the University of Nebraska), that was originally established in cooperation with the CIA to undermine the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s. By simply reprinting the old school texts for use in revitalizing the Afghan public school system today, Creative Associates stood to make a bundle for doing next to nothing. Hardly a novel scenario under the current US regime, but noteworthy given the content of the books.
As it turns out, the texts were originally used in Pakistani madrassas as material to incite jihad against kafirs occupying Islamic lands, and were directly responsible for brainwashing Afghan boys who grew up to be the Taliban and Mujahideen. In an astonishing exercise of privatizing US imperial policy implementation, the book once used exclusively in fundamentalist boot camps, is now being distributed to primary schools all across Afghanistan. As an interesting aside, the books were authored by Saudi Arabians afilliated with the 9/11 bombers.