Wednesday, August 03, 2005

A sobering history

Juan Cole takes a historical look at American cultivation of Islamic militants in the last 25 years in a way that lays the shape and effectiveness of the current terrorist threat uncomfortably close to our own feet. It starts with Reagan's enthusiastic arming of Afghani rebels to fight the Soviets, includes our helping them find private sources of funding (including the bin Laden family), and traces lots of wrangling of ever-better armaments for various factions throughout the Mideast. The kind of dot-connecting that's mighty hard to ignore...
By giving the Muj weaponry like the stinger shoulderheld missile, which could destroy advanced Soviet arms like their helicopter gunships, Reagan demonstrated to the radical Muslims that they could defeat a super power.
. . .
[forward to 2005] The American Right, having created the Mujahideen and having mightily contributed to the creation of al-Qaeda, abruptly announced that there was something deeply wrong with Islam, that it kept producing terrorists.
Sigh. Seems long, but there are lots of pictures, so check it out.

(via a furling at Medley)

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