Well-Intentioned Misadventures v Self-Interested Disengagement: Which is the better of the two evils?
Submitted by Sword of Islam & The Babies of Beslan (United Kingdom), Jun 6, 2006 at 16:23
Nice to hear from you again.
Can't argue with much of what you say. Short and sweet. However, there are more urban myths surrounding this issue than there are facts, insofar as apologists for Islam are concerned. Bear in mind that the Mujahadeen fell into two distinct camps, ie the native Afghanis and the Arab jihadists who poured into Afghanistan to make a holy war against the Infidel invader. The Pakistanis and CIA kept their dealings with the Arab component of the conflict to a bare minimum as the Arabs were far too difficult to control, and dealt mainly with the bonafide Afghani fighters; far better to deal with warriors who are fighting for their homes and families than those gatecrashers following a warped death cult. The two 'types' of fighter were a lot less compatible than people might think. The wisdom of that strategy is all too apparent today.
However, the urban myth that CIA somehow funded Bin Laden directly, or by proxy, has never been substantiated and given the general incompetence of all the Western intelligence services in matters Islamic it seems rather ridiculous to imagine that a papertrail would not have emerged by now in the public domain clearly demonstrating a link between the two in one had actually existed. Any such links are tenuous at best - 'six degrees of separation, etc'. However, the ignorant still persist in maintaining that this is a case of the 'chickens coming home to roost'. It makes for good TV. Bad logic, though!
CIA's involvement in Afghanistan was far from altruistic but it seems ridiculous to me that they somehow are perceived as being at fault for helping the Afghani's eject the Russians from the country. Maybe it's a mental defect on my part but where I come from gratitude would be seen to be a more appropriate response toward a country that had armed me in my struggle against an invading force. Unfortunately, these guys seem unable to distinguish between us Infidels - maybe we all 'look the same' to them! But I think that we've all come to learn that sincere expectations of gratitude from a Muslim is like waiting aound for the Second Coming - a very long wait!!!
How could we have handled the Afghani situation differently? Nation rebuilding is a relatively new concept. It used to be called colonialism - not a popular concept in this part of the world. We couldn't have sent in troops. It would have brought us in to direct confrontation with the Russians AND the Muhjahadeen. Should we have poured money into the country? Why? Who would we have given it to? The warlords? Should the US have maintained the pre-WWII political of isolationism and not gotten involved?
If the Soviets had prevailed in Afghanistan I have every reason to believe that the world would be an even darker place than it presently is. And Iran would have had 'The Bomb' many moons ago. And probably used it. However, we can all speculate till the cows come home. We need to dwell on the 'here and now' as you imply.
But, put it this way, while Afghanistan was being invaded the Arab League was too busy counting their Petro-Dollars to actually do anything to help their Muslim brothers - that is, those of them who weren't Soviet puppets in the same way that Saddam was initially a Western puppet. But when has the Arab League ever done anything other than complain? The West AND The Arabs are quick to wring their hands and wail about the 30,000 people killed since the invasion of Iraq. But where are there tears for the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS who have died in Muslim Sudan? It obviously doesn't matter given that it's a civil war and is being waged in the name of Islam rather than democracy. None of our business. Just like Afghanistan. Am I right? Or, am I right?
One point which I've made repeatedly is that I believe that there is a far bigger picture than people are aware of. Obviously, governments generally need to paint issues in very simple terms when presenting their motives to their electorate. The point being that in the years leading up to the recent regime changes in Afghanistan and Iraq these countries coincidentally provided the highest numbers of migrants to the UK. This is no longer the case. Today, Iranian migrants are the largest single group. I pray that this pattern indicates a growing awareness of the threat that the Islamic Fifth Columnists present to the civilised world and a covert attempt to close Pandora's Box. It's not as far fetched as it sounds. After all, WMD is a far more politically correct pretext for regime change that is a policy of discriminating against refugees on the basis of following a cult (I don't believe that Islam qualifies as a religion in the same way that Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism does) by taking pre-emptive action against them at their point of origin. Food for thought?! Maybe it's wishful thinking on my part!!!!!!!!
Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".
Reader comments (155) on this item
Comment on this item
You can help support Daniel Pipes' work by making a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum. Daniel J. Pipes