Ronald + Osama
After writing recently about my difficult-to-suppress desire to overthrow rogue governments from within, my Kiwi buddy and former co-worker Julian pointed out this article: Reagan’s Osama Connection – How he turned a jihadist into a terrorist kingpin. After a quick review of the situation—the Reagan administration funneled billions to Afghanistan’s Islamic resistance to the Soviets—the author concludes:
Reagan can’t be blamed for ignoring the threat of Osama Bin Laden… However, Reagan—and those around him—can be blamed for ignoring the rise of Islamic militancy in Afghanistan and for failing to see Gorbachev’s offer to withdraw as an opportunity to clamp the danger.
Of course, Clinton and his whole administration probably deserve a heaping share of the blame for not “clamping the danger,” too. (Makes you just want to slap a tourniquet on the entire Middle East, huh?) Still, overall, the article serves as useful historical background for folks like me, who were just getting into high school around the end of the Reagan administration (and then asleep in history classes in later years).