Sunday, June 13, 2004

The Blowback Myth

One of the left's favorite myths is the idea of "blowback", the concept that just about everything bad that happens in the world is the result of an American intelligence operation gone awry. One example of how this concept is used involves Iraq, where it is frequently claimed that "America created Saddam". This is based on the fact that the US gave Saddam an estimated $200 million in military assistance, as well as intelligence and economic aid, during the Iran-Iraq War. Nevermind that the USSR and France were by far Saddam's largest source of military assistance, that the US did not even have full diplomatic relations with Iraq until 1984, and that Saddam had spearheaded the Arab opposition to the Camp David peace accord. Similarly, the sad fact that some US technology went into Saddam's WMD programs is used as the basis for claiming that America is solely to blame for those programs. That Iraq purchased WMD materials from a variety of sources, and that the bulk of these materials came from Europe, is conveniently ignored.

Another use of the blowback myth involves American aid to the anti-Soviet Afghan resistance in the 1980's. For many leftists, the equation is simple: The US supported the resistance; Osama bin Laden supported the resistance; therefore, the US supported Osama bin Laden. In effect, the theory goes, America created al-Qaeda. Nevermind the major leaps of logic required to believe this. Nevermind that every reputable researcher, such as Peter Bergin and Steve Coll, who has studied the role of the CIA in Afghanistan, has found absolutely no evidence of bin Laden-CIA ties. Nevermind that the Taliban weren't created until the mid-1990's, and were much more a Pakistani than an Afghan movement.

Fortunately, the indispensable Arthur Chrenkoff has written a post demolishing the myth that US aid to the Afghan jihad created al-Qaeda. Read the whole thing, as they say.


Anonymous said...

Thank you. Too many "libertarians" (such as Ron Paul) and even some American conservatives have swallowed the blowback myth, which is mainly a Trot propaganda line. Sure, the U.S. Gov't has made big mistakes but this is not the main source of Islamic terrorism.

12:09 AM  

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