|The Mujahideen, c 1985|
And so, at long last, Osama Bin Laden has been slain and America rejoices. People crowd the White House lawn and spontaneously sing the Star Spangled Banner in a spasm of patriotism. All this is made ironic to those of us who note that the assassination took place on the eighth anniversary of President W's "Mission Accomplished" speech.
I don't begrudge them their moment of celebration. There has been precious little good news of late. However no one, in all of the copious news coverage, mentions that 25 years ago he was a C.I.A. asset or that the Carter and Reagan administrations shoveled somewhere around $40 billion in Stinger missiles and other weapons to him and the rest of the Mujahideen in the late 80s because the enemy of my enemy is my friend no matter how bad his manners are. It's not like we actually have to keep those promises we made after the current unplesantness is over.
So a few years later in the 90s a pissed off Mujahideen shows up in the middle of the driveway at Langley C.I.A. headquarters and opens fire with an AK. About the same time a truck full of fertilizer and diesel fuel parks at the World Trade Center.
Tragically, they were more successful the next time after that.
None of this is to say that Bin Laden wasn't a rat bastard. That is beyond doubt.
I am saying that our country seems to make this same mistake every few years.
Ho Chi Minh
These were all our boys. Allies approached and armed by the C.I.A. or the D.O.D. or both. Then later promises were broken or the honeymoon was over and it's "Why don't you call me anymore?" Before you know it there is a terrible threat or an attack or something and there's a land war and a few million people have to die, most of them civilians. The worst part is our soldiers are often being killed with weapons that America paid for.
The man behind the destruction of the Twin Towers is finally dead. Tomorrow there will still be three wars to be fought and more good men and women will die. If we don't learn a lesson from this they will die in vain.
Be seeing you.