Fallout from Reagan’s Afghan War

In the 1980s, President Reagan funded and armed Islamic fundamentalists to defeat a Soviet-backed secular regime in Afghanistan. Now, one of those ex-U.S. clients is throwing his support behind the brutal Islamic State, a lesson about geopolitical expediency, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

By Paul R. Pillar

In a blast from the past in Afghanistan, a warlord who became a model for combining ruthless ambition and destructive methods with radical ideology, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, has advised his followers to support the so-called Islamic State or ISIS in fighting against the Afghan Taliban.

While some in the West might see this as one more indication of ISIS spreading its tentacles with an ever-widening reach, a better lesson flows from observing that this is another instance of ISIS being invoked by a protagonist in a local conflict with local objectives. Hekmatyar’s game has always been about seeking power in Afghanistan and bashing opponents of his efforts to do so.

Ronald Reagan, 40th U.S. President

Ronald Reagan, 40th U.S. President

A further lesson comes from noting that it is the Taliban that Hekmatyar finds to be either too moderate or too inconvenient for him right now. It probably is not coincidental that this statement by Hekmatyar comes just as the Afghan government and representatives of the Taliban have concluded what may be the most promising peace negotiations so far that are aimed at resolution of the long-running conflict in Afghanistan.

All of these players, the government, the Taliban, and Hekmatyar’s Hizb-e-Islami, are focused on struggles for power in their own country and not on transnational causes. Afghanistan is a nation in which politics and policy largely rest on ad hoc deals among various local power-holders, which are struck in ways that do not correspond to what might make sense to Westerners in terms of recognizable left-right, radical-moderate, or religious-secular dimensions.

The outcome of the current multidimensional conflict in Afghanistan will depend on such deals. This ought to call into question the wisdom of calls to extend what has already been a 14-year U.S. military operation in the interests of beating back what gets portrayed as an undifferentiated set of bad guys.

Yet another lesson comes from reflecting on Hekmatyar’s four decades as a major player in turmoil in Afghanistan. Although it is not true, as is sometimes alleged, that the United States once aided Osama bin Laden, it is true that a single-minded U.S. focus on defeating the Soviets in Afghanistan and their client regime under Najibullah led the United States to bestow its favors on some seedy characters.

U.S. aid aimed at beating the Soviets was given, through the intermediary of Pakistan, to seven Afghan resistance organizations. Hekmatyar’s group was probably the most radical of these but also, because it was a favorite of the Pakistanis, probably received as much of the U.S. aid as any other.

The attitude within the Reagan administration toward the question of what further consequences would flow from aiding such radicalism was one of “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” The later chapters of the Hekmatyar story involved fierce fighting against the other resistance groups once Najibullah fell, with Hekmatyar’s forces shelling Kabul even as he was supposed to be the prime minister, and later his group making common cause with the Taliban before the most recent falling out.

A moral of this story is: don’t put off thinking about those future bridge-crossings. In focusing on defeating whoever the enemy of the moment may be, worry also about how our intervention in a conflict may be sustaining others who can spell trouble. That’s always been true in Afghanistan and is true in other places as well, such as Syria.

Paul R. Pillar, in his 28 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, rose to be one of the agency’s top analysts. He is now a visiting professor at Georgetown University for security studies. (This article first appeared as a blog post at The National Interest’s Web site. Reprinted with author’s permission.)

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27 comments for “Fallout from Reagan’s Afghan War

  1. Stefan
    July 11, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    It is not a “fallout”.

    USA (together with Israel as well as its other junior league allies) is more in bed with Al Qaeda or AQ affiliated terrorists today than it has ever been.

    • John
      July 11, 2015 at 5:37 pm

      The sons and daughters of Abraham strike again……and they continue to strike even today ! Victoria, do you have more cookies for us ?

  2. Abe
    July 11, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    “Although it is not true, as is sometimes alleged, that the United States once aided Osama bin Laden…” — Ex-CIA officer Paul Pillar is lying through his teeth here.

    The CIA-created fallout from Reagan’s Afghan war has plagued the world for three and a half decades.

    AFGHANISTAN

    The CIA’s role in laying the foundations of Al Qaeda is confirmed in an 1998 interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, who at the time was National Security Adviser to President Jimmy Carter:

    Brzezinski: “According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahideen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, [on] 24 December 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise. Indeed, it was July 3, 1979, that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the President in which I explained to him that in my opinion, this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.”

    Question: “Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?”

    Brzezinski: “It isn’t quite that. We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.”

    Question: “When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn’t believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don’t regret anything today?”

    Brzezinski: “Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.”

    Question: “And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?”

    Brzezinski: “What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?” ( “The CIA’s Intervention in Afghanistan, Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser”, Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, 15-21 January 1998, published in English, Centre for Research on Globalisation, 5 October 2001)

    CIA VIA PAKISTAN CREATED A MILITANT NETWORK

    Consistent with Brzezinski’s account, a “Militant Islamic Network” was created by the CIA.

    The “Islamic Jihad” (or holy war against the Soviets) became an integral part of the CIA’s intelligence ploy. It was supported by the United States and Saudi Arabia, with a significant part of the funding generated from the Golden Crescent drug trade:

    “In March 1985, President Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive 166 … [which] authorize[d] stepped-up covert military aid to the Mujahideen, and it made clear that the secret Afghan war had a new goal: to defeat Soviet troops in Afghanistan through covert action and encourage a Soviet withdrawal. The new covert U.S. assistance began with a dramatic increase in arms supplies — a steady rise to 65,000 tons annually by 1987 … as well as a “ceaseless stream” of CIA and Pentagon specialists who travelled to the secret headquarters of Pakistan’s ISI on the main road near Rawalpindi, Pakistan. There, the CIA specialists met with Pakistani intelligence officers to help plan operations for the Afghan rebels.” (Steve Coll, The Washington Post, July 19, 1992.)

    Referred to them as “Freedom Fighters”, president Ronald Reagan met with Afghan Mujahideen leaders at the White House

    The Central Intelligence Agency used Pakistan’s ISI as a go-between played a key role in training the Mujahideen. In turn, the CIA-sponsored guerrilla training was integrated with the teachings of Islam. The madrasahs were set up by Wahabi fundamentalists financed out of Saudi Arabia.

    CIA covert support to the “Islamic Jihad” operated indirectly through the Pakistani ISI. The CIA did not channel its support directly to the Mujahideen.

    For these covert operations to be “successful”, Washington was careful not to reveal the ultimate objective of the “Jihad”, which consisted not only in destabilising the secular (pro-Soviet) government in Afghanistan, but also destroying the Soviet Union.

    In the words of the CIA’s Milton Beardman, “We didn’t train Arabs.” Yet, according to Abdel Monam Saidali, of the Al-aram Centre for Strategic Studies in Cairo, bin Laden and the “Afghan Arabs” had been imparted “with very sophisticated types of training that was allowed to them by the CIA”. (National Public Radio, Weekend Sunday (NPR) with Eric Weiner and Ted Clark, 16 August 1998).

    The CIA’s Beardman confirmed, in this regard, that Osama bin Laden was not aware of the role he was playing on behalf of Washington. According to bin Laden (as quoted by Beardman): “Neither I, nor my brothers, saw evidence of American help.”

    “BLOWBACK” BS

    According to the official Washington narrative, “we supported” the jihadist crusade against the Soviet Union “for a good cause”, but Osama bin Laden “turned against us” in the wake of the Soviet-Afghan war, which broadly coincided with the end of the Cold War (1946-1989).

    In intelligence parlance, “the blowback” refers to an “intelligence asset” which goes against its sponsors, namely the CIA.

    In the immediate wake of the Cold War, bin Laden was said to have abandoned the jihad. He was portrayed with some hesitation as a “Peace Warrior” involved in humanitarian undertakings.

    Evidence amply confirms that in the wake of the Cold War, Bin Laden maintained his links with the CIA – indirectly through Pakistan’s military intelligence (ISI) – and continued to perform the role of a US sponsored “intelligence asset”.

    BOSNIA / KOSOVO / MACEDONIA

    Al Qaeda was directly involved in the US-NATO sponsored war is Bosnia in the early 1990s, providing support to the Bosnian Muslim Army.

    In the late 1990s, Al Qaeda led by Osama bin Laden acted in liaison with the Western military alliance. Mujahideen mercenaries from the Middle East and Central Asia were recruited to fight in the ranks of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in 1998-99, largely supporting NATO’s war effort.

    The Golden Crescent drug trade was used to finance and equip the Bosnian Muslim Army and the KLA.

    In the early 2000s, the US military and Al Qaeda were collaborating in supporting a self-proclaimed National Liberation Army (NLA), involved in terrorist attacks in Macedonia.

    In June 2001, a few months before 9/11, former US military officers, which had integrated the ranks of the NLA terror brigades, were caught red-handed together with Al Qaeda mercenaries.

    In other words, in the weeks preceding 9/11, there is evidence of active collaboration between Al Qaeda and US military officers on contract to the Pentagon in blatant contradiction with the 9/11 narrative.

    CHECHNYA

    Also in the 1990s, in Chechnya, an autonomous region of the Russian Federation, the main rebel leaders were trained and indoctrinated in CIA-sponsored camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    According to Yossef Bodansky, director of the U.S. Congress’ Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, the war in Chechnya had been planned during a secret summit of HizbAllah International held in 1996 in Mogadishu, Somalia. (Levon Sevunts, “Who’s Calling The Shots? Chechen conflict finds Islamic roots in Afghanistan and Pakistan”, The Gazette, Montreal, 26 October 1999.)

    The summit was attended by none other than Osama bin Laden, as well as high-ranking Iranian and Pakistani intelligence officers. It’s obvious that the involvement of Pakistan’s ISI in Chechnya “goes far beyond supplying the Chechens with weapons and expertise: The ISI and its radical Islamic proxies are actually calling the shots in this war.”(Ibid)

    Russia’s main pipeline route transits through Chechnya and Dagestan. Despite Washington’s condemnation of “Islamic terrorism”, the indirect beneficiaries of the wars in Chechnya are the Anglo-American oil conglomerates which are vying for complete control over oil resources and pipeline corridors out of the Caspian Sea basin.

    The two main Chechen rebel armies (which at the time were led by the (late) Commander Shamil Basayev and Emir Khattab), were supported by Pakistan’s ISI, which also played a key role in organizing and training the rebel army.

    Following his training and indoctrination, Basayev was assigned to lead the assault against Russian federal troops in the first Chechen war in 1995. His organization had also developed extensive links to criminal syndicates in Moscow as well as ties to Albanian organized crime and the KLA. In 1997-1998, according to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) “Chechen warlords started buying up real estate in Kosovo … through several real estate firms registered as a cover in Yugoslavia.”

    CIA PERFECTS THE BOSNIA-KOSOVO MODEL
    The official 9/11 story is predicated on the “blowback”, namely that Al Qaeda, the alleged perpetrator of the 9/11 attacks “turned against us” in the wake of the Cold War.

    The events in Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia confirm unequivocally that Al Qaeda was an intelligence asset throughout the 1990s up until June 2001, when NLA Al Qaeda operatives were arrested with their US military instructors.

    The strategic objective of the US-NATO military operations in Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia was to destabilize and destroy the Yugoslav Federation using Al Qaeda terrorist operatives as a means to triggering sectarian strife and ethnic divisions within a socially and culturally diverse national society.

    In the post-9/11 era, the Bosnia-Kosovo model has been replicated in Iraq Libya, Syria and now Ukraine.

    For more:

    Al Qaeda and the Global War on Terrorism
    By Michel Chossudovsky
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVVDdgPFQ4U

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 11, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      Abe, your reporting here saved me a lot of time. You also wrote something better than I would have commented with. The part that pretty much said what I was going to say was;

      Brzezinski: “What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?”

      My point being, is how the U.S. uses these terrorist groups for the short term. How evidentially when our main enemy is defeated, then we will worry about dealing with the terrorist victor. This is what we do. This is how America goes to war. This is how insane we have become, and the Brzezinski’s of this mixed up world sit at the head of the table tossing their scraps to the hungry dogs sitting in wait. Only thing is, who will chase the dogs away from the table? It sure won’t be the likes of Brzezinski.

    • Mortimer
      July 11, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      …model has been replicated…

      when will the real “creepy ass cracker” Please Stand Up! ?

      How long will the subterfuge of American Exceptionalism blind the eyes of those who invest in the suggestion that our troops are “Defending America” and “American Values” when we are clearly NOT “spreading democracy” but, in all reality, spreading war, displacement, death and Regime Change ???

      In this context, the nation was led to believe, in a Legal Trial, that the Stalker, George Zimmerman Was Defending himself when he placed his weapon upon the chest/ heart of young Trayvon Martin and with Malice Aforethought pulled the trigger and murdered that person by reason of Deeming him a ‘neighborhood Terrorist’.

      “In the post 9/11 era, the Bosnia-Kosovo model has been replicated in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine” and coming in Russia/Central Asia.

      The “creepy ass crackers” operate freely On the Assumption that they can and will Get Away With Murder anywhere in the world by Right of Superiority.
      Or, as the Father of colonialist imperialism proclaimed, “We[the Anglo-Saxons] are the first race in the world, and the more of the world we inherit better it is for the human race”. —- Cecil Rhodes
      Trayvon Martins’ description, on that rainy night, to his cellphone correspondent was broached in a language they equally understood – “creepy ass cracker” – in their idiom/ in that setting, clearly meant the representation of danger. But to those in the courtroom, and those who watched or read, “cracker” was understood as simply a pejorative when, in reality the teenager was declaring his imminent danger to his correspondent.

      Equally, in the Middle East, we see death, displacement, overthrow/regime change in some hideous light of ‘spreading democracy’ or removing “dictators” and put our ‘trust’ in the broadside of Defending Our Freedoms as we excuse our murderous brutality in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of world-wide treyvon martin’s with middle-east/african/central asaian/east asaian/latin american names — all those Unknowns who suffer and die as we celebrate our (diminishing) “freedoms”.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 11, 2015 at 11:47 pm

        Mortimer, I agree. We don’t need any more Rhodes Scholar’s to lead the way. What we could use is someone with some compassion. I agree with your statement where you point out how America is enforcing (or at least trying to enforce) America’s values onto the world. Only, what if in the end of all this violence we are left with a country without any real values of respect for humanity? If I understand you correctly, you are stating how America by waging all this war is devolving into a racist apartheid government. This is what Reverend Wright meant when he declared, ‘the chickens have come home to roost’. Even with that pastor’s warning the American MSM had a field day with that good reverends well meaning sermon. Now, would that same MSM turn the same screws on Billy Graham? Never, Graham is white, while Wright is black.

        • Apeon
          July 12, 2015 at 12:04 am

          It is turning into what ALL gov’ts turn into—-CONTROLLERS—they control all things—–Wright did not have well meaning motives—-he is like everyone else—seeking control, power, money–phame

          • July 13, 2015 at 12:40 am

            Do you really KNOW that about Wright?

            Or are you saying it because you disagree with him or don’t like him or his politics? Or because he is black?

            Or because you are completely cynical about everybody and everything?

      • Apeon
        July 12, 2015 at 12:00 am

        You can leave here and move there anytime dude

        • Apeon
          July 12, 2015 at 12:02 am

          that was for mortimer

        • Mortimer
          July 12, 2015 at 8:48 am

          Our history books basically praise and admire Rhodes’ lapdog, Winston Churchill. Truth be told, Churchill was another in the long history of racist, supremacist murderers.

          You must find and read the works of Carroll Quigley in order to realize that the lives of ‘Others’ just don’t matter to the Exceptionalists of this world. A quick read of Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” will give you a clue, Apeon.

        • ABC123
          July 12, 2015 at 12:29 pm

          Where can a person go in the world to escape the negative influence OF the US?

    • John B
      July 12, 2015 at 8:25 am

      Juan Cole confirms indirect US support of Bin Laden here:
      http://www.juancole.com/2015/07/washington-syrias-taliban.html

    • John P
      July 14, 2015 at 12:17 pm

      I agree with you Abe, it has always been my understanding that Zbigniew Brzezinski was the one who formulated the game to get rid of Russian influence in Afghanistan. How much Carter and Reagan really understood the politics of the region I don’t know but Brzezinski was the force behind it all.
      Very good response.

  3. F. G. Sanford
    July 12, 2015 at 4:27 am

    “Although it is not true, as is sometimes alleged, that the United States once aided Osama bin Laden…”

    Talk about ‘fall off your chair’ in jaw-dropping incredulity material, one can’t help but wonder if we’re dealing with chutzpah, historical revisionism or terminal Reaganoid psychotic dementia here. I guess these folks expect we’ve all forgotten that video footage of Zbig Brzezinski looking dapper in his flight jacket and aviator sunglasses. He was standing in front of a UH-53, as I recall, telling the Mujahideen, “Your cause is just, your God is great, and with our help, you’ll prevail”. That was probably 1979, but the plan goes back farther than that. Carter wasn’t in charge either. There is an unbroken thread of foreign policy ‘behavior’ which, if examined objectively, doesn’t contradict the ‘doctrine’, but rather enjoys a parallel existence. I sometimes wonder that the PNACkers, for all their despicable subterfuge, weren’t willing ‘cutouts’ in a much grander scheme. We’ve got an administration that dresses itself in the garb of Reagan Republicanism, but nobody notices. The economic and foreign policy strategies they espouse have remained consistent through the Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43 and the current administrations. If elected, it will be interesting to watch how fast Bernie Sanders changes his tune. That won’t answer the question: “Who’s in charge”. But it should confirm the suspicion that it ain’t the elected government.

    • Abe
      July 12, 2015 at 12:19 pm

      all depends on how you define “in charge”
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o95GXf3_ms0

    • Mortimer
      July 12, 2015 at 2:40 pm

      “Reaganoid psychotic dementia”

      Exactly.

      Reagan worship as a guiding principle for conservatives. A man they look up to in awe. The man who announced his presidential bid in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where three civil rights workers were brutally murdered by racists. In his announcement, Reagan declared, “The civil rights era is over!” — Reagan’s presidency was, in so many ways, the beginning of the Dismantling of these United States.

      Iran/Contra was as low down and dirty a ploy as any in the history of U S dirty tricks and was just the beginning of his administration’s decadent political maneuvers which have, for example, nearly destroyed the middle class in our nation. —- Do I need to remind you of how Reagan vastly increased the (now hallowed) budget deficit by dramatically increased military spending?

      This fellow Reagan, revered by warmongers, bible thumpers, trickle-downers, union busters, Thatcherite defrauders (“There’s no such thing as society”), privatizers, factory closers who, to this day, continue to ship jobs overseas, following Reagan’s lead.

      From Iran Contra to arming & training jihadists to funding the right wing Contra militia through the sale of cocaine in urban america which unleashed a criminal reign of terror upon our “inner-cities” from which they’ve, to this day , not recovered.

      Indeed! America has not recovered from the devastating Reagan presidency – the downward spiral gained momentum when the Y2K “supreme court” intervened and INSTALLED Mr Bush into office — THAT is proving itself to be the greatest dirty trick of them all as we now see all sorts of WAR and wars in every continent!!!

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 12, 2015 at 3:45 pm

        Mortimer, you are really hitting all the bases with your comments here. I would like to add to your Reagan post, how H.W. Bush actually was the president who started us down this long and terrible road of war in the Middle East. Also, how Clinton continued what Reagan had started regarding the American economy. You are so right pointing towards the Reagan years as the beginning of the end of the American middle class. I just wish I had the answer to how we could turn this all around. Maybe, start with Citizens United. Also, reinstate AntiTrust laws, and tame this out of control corporate empire we have become.

      • F. G. Sanford
        July 12, 2015 at 3:46 pm

        Thanks, Mort – I’m glad I’m not alone here.

      • Eddie
        July 12, 2015 at 4:54 pm

        Exactly right, Mortimer! Beyond your excellent, factual points, to me, Reagan marks the beginning of the electorate getting a notch ‘sillier’ in their selection of presidents — taking a break from ‘seriousness’ and flippantly electing a ‘B’ grade actor who could deliver them the desired pandering lies with a phony schmaltzy-ness that earned him the sobriquet ‘The Great Communicator’.

  4. Stefan
    July 12, 2015 at 6:55 am

    Mr Pillar,

    I ( and many of my fellow readers on this site I am sure ) would appreciate a follow up article where you elaborate the following you wrote in this article:

    Mr Pillar wrote:
    “it is not true(…)that the United States once aided Osama bin Laden”

    To back up such a statement you have to provide us with enough data as to invalidate the solid evidence, which effectively undermines your assertion.

    Thank you
    Stefan

  5. ABC123
    July 12, 2015 at 8:42 am

    A simple but serious question: What would motivate Mr Pillar and consortiumnews to make the claim that the US did not support Al Queada through th 80’s when that fact has been established for quite some time?

  6. Abe
    July 12, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    No effort has been made to stem the flow of supplies to ISIS from NATO territory, with the Turkish government officially denying the trucks DW videotaped and reported on even exist. This indicates clear NATO complicity in the arming and supplying of ISIS and other Al Qaeda affiliates who are in fact invading Syria from NATO-territory, as well as from US-ally Jordan.

    For the West, which feigns indignation in the wake of recent ISIS attacks on France, Tunisia, and Kuwait, while posing as the primary force engaged in war with ISIS directly, it would be a simple matter to close the Turkish-Syrian border with NATO troops to ensure ISIS was shut off completely from the supplies it depends on to maintain its fighting capacity. That the borders are intentionally left open for this extensive daily torrent of supplies, weapons, and fighters to pass over unopposed, is proof positive that ISIS is and has been from the beginning a proxy force intentionally created to stoke fear and support at home for unending war abroad.

    Without the threat of ISIS and the chaos it is creating across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the ability for the West to wage war on its enemies and justify extraterritorial meddling would be severely limited. In fact, the very ISIS forces clearly being armed and supplied by NATO directly, are being used as a pretext by US policymakers to execute recently laid plans to incrementally invade and occupy Syria with US military forces.

    The Brookings Institute from which these plans originated, recently used an ISIS assault on Kobani to call for “US boots on the ground” in Syria, an assault which would have been logistically impossible were it not for the daily torrent of supplies the US and its NATO-ally Turkey have themselves intentionally enabled for years to cross into Syria.

    To defeat ISIS, its supply lines must be cut – a simple matter to perform that requires only Turkish and other NATO troops to move in and disrupt overt ISIS logistical networks running within their own territory. Instead, the US State Department and US-operated NGOs have even gone as far as condemning what little attempts have been made to control Turkey’s border with Syria. The US State Department’s Voice of America in their article, “Turkish Border Crackdown Imperils Syrian Refugees,” used the pretext of “human rights” to condemn Turkey for what meager control measures it has attempted to put in place.

    The fact that the US, with a military base in Turkey itself, has elected not to call for or attempt to implement stricter border security to stem the flow of ISIS supplies, and instead has gone as far as bombing Syrian territory in feigned efforts to “fight ISIS,” proves that the terrorist organization is both a proxy and a pretext. No serious military campaign would be launched against an enemy without identifying and cutting off its supply lines, especially when those supply lines run through that military’s own territory.

    TIME Admits ISIS Bringing Arms, Fighters in From NATO Territory
    By Tony Cartalucci
    http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2015/07/time-admits-isis-bringing-arms-fighters.html

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 12, 2015 at 2:18 pm

      Abe, over at Moon of Alabama, and Juan Cole, they are talking about how the Washinton Post ran an Op-Ed piece about Ahrar al-Sham. Ahrar al-Sham is being hailed as ‘moderate Syrian freedom fighters’. This would be okay except for the fact Ahrar Al-Sham has strong ties to Al-Qaeda. Whether the U.S. backs extremist in the Middle East, or Ukraine, we Americans should demand much better of our country’s alignments.

      • Abe
        July 12, 2015 at 4:54 pm

        Ahrar ash-Sham was founded by Sunni militants, including members of Al-Qaeda, who had been detained for years at the Sednaya prison until they were released as part of an amnesty by the Syrian Government in the spring of 2011.

        Al-Qaeda operates within the senior ranks of Ahrar ash-Sham. In January 2014, a former senior leader of Ahrar ash-Sham, the now deceased Abu Khalid al-Suri, acknowledged his long-time membership in al-Qaeda and role as Ayman al-Zawahiri’s representative in the Levant.

        In its first audio address, Ahrar ash-Sham stated its goal was to replace the Assad government with an Islamic state, ostensibly as a jihad against a “Safawi” plot.

        The word “Safawi”, as used by Sunnis, came to be associated with any expansionist Shia groups acting against Sunnis or their interests. The label is especially used against Iran or Iranian-backed groups and has particularly found currency during the sectarian turmoil in the Middle-East in the early 21st century, e.g. in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen.

        Al Qaeda groups like Ahrar ash-Sham use the same propaganda memes the CIA has been peddling since the fall of the Shah.

  7. Bill
    July 14, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Hold the horses here chief !!!! I was told and informed by the Left and Hollywood that this was “Charlie Wilson’s War.”

  8. Mark
    July 21, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Not only was there fallout from Reagan’s wars, the US is experiencing extreme distress due to the fundamental tenants of Reagan’s political philosophy to: lie, cheat, steal, deal drugs and incarcerate the users in order fund Reagan’s right wing death squads in So. America, give money away to bankers without even knowing who received it, bust the unions and start deregulation and talking up NAFTA and making propaganda legal by doing away with the Fair Reporting Act.

    In consideration of the long term damage done to the citizens of the USA, there was no president that did more harm to America than Reagan, though there may arguably be an equal.

Comments are closed.