Re: Aid for Afghanistan

From: Brian D Williams (
Date: Mon Dec 31 2001 - 12:26:15 MST

From: Geraint Rees <>

>The Taliban emerged around 1993, well after the Soviet withdrawal
>- so you are literally correct. But I think it is perhaps a little
>disingenuous to imply that the USA had nothing to do with the
>Taliban. The CIA channeled large amounts of funding and arms via
>the ISI to support militant Islamic groups in opposing the Soviet
>invasion. Individuals supported (indirectly) by the USA at that
>time included Usama bin Laden. From the wreckage at the
>end of the Soviet withdrawal emerged the Taliban, utilising
>weaponry and training that had previously been provided by the

The Taliban are actually a student movement that started in the
Maddrassas of Pakistan who later allied with Ossama "the weasel"
bin laden. The U.S. did not directly support them, nor was it our
intention to support such a group.

Our efforts did have unfortunate unintended consequences. This is
a different thing from causation and therefore direct

>The ultimate consequences of this (9/11) is clearly wholly
>unanticipated, and in that sense no 'blame' can be attributed to
>US foreign policy in the late 80s/early 90s. Terrorists, harboured
>by the Taliban, were responsible for 9/11; not the USA.


>However, this unfortunate sequence of events should certainly
>alert everyone to the fact that foreign policy that at the time
>might seem sensible (fight the Soviet invasion') can have wholly
>unanticipated (and fatal) consequences for US citizens and Afghani
>civilians caught in the crossfire.

Indeed, something to take into consideration in the future. But I
have no intention of letting rival tribes in Afghanistan who's
bickering was the actual cause of the bloodshed try to pass it off
on the U.S.

>I agree there is no direct chain of causality here; the US is not
>'responsible' in that sense. But in its foreign policy, the US
>shapes attitudes and events that have consequences. One of the
>goals of foreign policy (or covert operations?) must surely be to
>limit as much as possible any unintended consequences. So in that
>sense at least, US foreign policy of the late 80s might be said to
>have failed.

In some sense maybe, but there were many good consequences as well.

Communism has been vanquished, and I think the world is in better
shape now than ever.

Not that there isn't room for improvement.

I certainly see many hopefull signs, from things like the USMC's
warrior/knight concept....


Extropy Institute,
National Rifle Association,, 1.800.672.3888
SBC/Ameritech Data Center Chicago, IL, Local 134 I.B.E.W

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