On Steve Goddard’s RealScience site, he links an article describing (in 1989) our supplying of arms to jihadists in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union:
U.S. Is Reported to Send Arms To Revive Afghan Rebels’ Drive
By ROBERT PEAR, Special to The New York Times
Published: July 17, 1989
American officials said today that the United States was sending new mine-clearing equipment, missiles, mortars, artillery shells and other weapons to the Afghan guerrillas in the hope that they could regain momentum in fighting Afghan Government troops.
Steve Goddard leads into this with the line, “In 1989, the US sent weaponry to an al Qaeda rebel named Osama bin Laden.” I responded:
This wasn’t quite as bad as you’re thinking, it seems to me. (Though doing it now is inexcusable!) By the time of the article above, we’d been doing this for a decade, and Usama bin Ladin had only just formed al Qaida as an evolution of MAK. Perhaps no one in the US had yet heard the phrase, outside of a very few in intelligence circles (still reeling from the Church Committee cuts to their ranks).
The difference here is that these people were not already “al Qaida, the force behind the attacks on the embassies, the Cole, 9/11, et cetera”. They were radical hotheads imported from various countries specifically to go after the Soviets (instead of our own direct involvement), and that strategy worked. It also produced a surprising level of cooperation across the Middle East, a Carter success that he squandered very shortly thereafter in the Shah/revolution fiasco.
The mujahideen imported into Afghanistan did not like the US much, even then. Thus, these weapons typically were channeled through intermediaries. Usama bin Ladin (educated in an elite Saudi school by Muslim Brotherhood leader’s brother Muhammad Qutb) famously would not touch anything he thought was supplied directly by the US. We did not see what was going to happen in the future. (Sort of ironically, bin Ladin’s people were running mosques in New York City which were important resources for him for years. But these were not US government resources, they were fellow Muslim Brotherhood jihadists and thus acceptable.)
Now, we are supplying weapons to jihadists after all of these attacks upon us. Many of the rebels involved (and this was true of Libya as well) got fighting experience attempting to kill US soldiers in Iraq, and slaughtering Iraqi citizens.If someone complains that we should have seen this coming in the 1980s, what can they say about supplying these same jihadists in 2013?
Now we know exactly what we’re getting into. And we’re doing it anyway.
===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle