from the Bullpen by bitterclinger
The article referenced is in response to a foreign policy speech given by Rand Paul at the Heritage Foundation. The author took one paragraph from this speech and breaks it down to discuss what he thinks it means.
Here is the paragraph from Rand’s speech:
In the 1980s, the war caucus in Congress armed bin Laden and the mujaheddin in their fight with the Soviet Union. In fact, it was the official position of the State Department to support radical jihad against the Soviets. We all know how well that worked out.
Now here are the first two paragraphs of the author’s analysis:
Let’s leave aside for now the insulting, utterly asinine, sickening, inexcusable use of the phrase “war caucus” to describe those (including Reagan!) who supported the mujaheddin against the Soviets. That word choice alone is almost entirely disqualifying for its purveyor to ever be president.
Instead, let’s just look at a little history here — because the ignorance evident in this paragraph is truly astonishing. One would be hard pressed to find even a single historian, whether right, left, or center, who would argue anything other than that the Soviet failure in Afghanistan was not just a huge factor, but probably an essential one, in the Soviets’ ultimate loss of the Cold War. The mujaheddin did much to help bleed the Soviets dry, at a comparatively negligible cost to the United States (for smuggled military hardware and some intelligence). “We all know how well that worked out,” said Sen. Paul, dismissively, of the work of our “war caucus” to support the mujaheddin. Yes, we do: It played a key role in helping us win the Cold War. Anybody who doesn’t understand that is either foolish or invincibly ignorant.
This is my comment on the Bullpen thread:
Hummm, I read the paragraph before I read the article. I was not terribly upset by what Rand said.
I interpreted it to mean that our (US and Israel) involvement with bin Laden helped create the infrastructure for al-qaeda in Afghanistan. Rand’s point, “We all know how well that worked out.” was just what he said, we helped create a monster. I don’t think he was talking about the failure of the Soviet Union there.
I see the author’s points but I don’t think it was the anti-Semitic manifesto that he makes it out to be. I’m not saying that I think Rand Paul is pure, just not convinced by one little paragraph taken out from a much larger speech.
Then I looked at who the author was. By golly, Quin Hillyer. I’m glad I didn’t notice that before, or I may not have read the article. I have had issues with this author before. I don’t have any specifics, but I feel that he takes too many liberties with interpretation and made conclusions that don’t seem to make sense to me.
He writes for American Spectator (at least I think he still does). I haven’t been there much in the last six months or so. Seems almost every article I read of his, I had some issues with.
That said, I am not saying he is totally wrong, just suspect. I’ll keep my eyes open.
What do you think?