juan cole: hate-mail addict

I was just catching up on local History professor Juan Cole’s site and thought that you might enjoy his article, “Fisking the War on Terror,” in which he does an admirable job of tracing the roots of our current “War on Terror” back to the office of Ronald Wilson Reagan. Here’s how it begins:

Once upon a time, a dangerous radical gained control of the US Republican Party.

Reagan increased the budget for support of the radical Muslim Mujahidin conducting terrorism against the Afghanistan government to half a billion dollars a year.

One fifth of the money, which the CIA mostly turned over to Pakistani military intelligence to distribute, went to Gulbuddin Hikmatyar, a violent extremist who as a youth used to throw acid on the faces of unveiled girls in Afghanistan.

Not content with creating a vast terrorist network to harass the Soviets, Reagan then pressured the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia to match US contributions. He had earlier imposed on Fahd to give money to the Contras in Nicaragua, some of which was used to create rightwing death squads. (Reagan liked to sidestep Congress in creating private terrorist organizations for his foreign policy purposes, which he branded “freedom fighters,” giving terrorists the idea that it was all right to inflict vast damage on civilians in order to achieve their goals)…

It’s all stuff we’ve talked about here before, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it all in one place, said so succinctly. If you have the time, check it out. (Once again, I have to wonder what kind of mail Dr. Cole must get, and what kind of price he must be paying for being so vocal with his opinions. One has to think that campus conservatives must be after him to some extent… or, then again, maybe they have better things to do with their time.)

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