Long before 9/11, Osama bin Laden’s terrorist activities around the world were being cited as a classic case of “blowback.” Quite obviously, the CIA’s support for bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and other radical Islamists in Afghanistan in the 1980s, ostensibly to counter the Soviets, had indeed helped spawn a virulently anti-American global terror network that was returning to haunt us.
Unfortunately, aiding al-Qaeda is far from the only “mistake” of this sort to be made by our government. In fact, the top policymakers at the State Department and National Security Council — in both Republican and Democratic administrations — seem to have a perverse proclivity for backing some of the most brutal terrorist organizations and terror-sponsoring regimes, time after time after time.
Here are a few disturbing examples of the absurd and indefensible “war on terror” policies that are aiding our enemies and undermining our security — and that are certain to bring a torrent of deadly blowback to America for years, if not decades, to come.
• Kosovo: In Kosovo, President Bush has continued the Clinton policy of supporting Hashim Thaci, the Islamo-Leninist leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) terrorists. Thaci came to power in this province of Serbia as a result of our military intervention on behalf of the KLA. For years now, the KLA has been carrying out a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Orthodox Christians who still live in Kosovo. Thaci is also the head of the Drenica Group of the fearsome Albanian mafia. Under his leadership, hundreds of Christian churches and monasteries, many dating to Medieval times, have been desecrated and destroyed. Christians have been murdered, robbed, persecuted, and driven out. Kosovo, the cradle of Serbia’s Orthodox Christianity, has been transformed into a Marxist-Islamic thugocracy. President Bush’s recognition of Kosovo’s claim of independence in February of this year will accelerate the radical Islamification of Europe.
• Albania: The Bush administration is intensifying the love affair begun by President Clinton and Secretary Albright with the Albanian regime of Sali Berisha. During his historic trip to Albania in 2007 (the first by a U.S. president), President Bush praised Albania as “a model of religious tolerance” and congratulated Berisha for his desire “to fight corruption.” Religious tolerance? Virtually all non-Muslims have been driven out of Albania under Berisha, who is broadly recognized as one of the most corrupt rulers in Europe. As president of Albania from 1992-1997, Berisha welcomed Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda cadres into Albania. Now the country’s prime minister, Berisha is the beneficiary of U.S. and NATO assistance, even as he continues to back Islamic terrorists in neighboring Bosnia and Kosovo.
• Iraq: The U.S. government has sacrificed the lives of thousands of American troops, along with hundreds of billions of dollars, to back the government of Nouri al-Maliki. But the Maliki government is closely allied with Iran — which, the administration tells us, is our deadly enemy. In Iraq’s violent inter-sectarian and intra-sectarian violence, the administration is backing “good” Sunni and Shia factions, which have terrorist pedigrees equally as vulgar as those of the “bad” Sunni and Shia factions we are opposing. Hence we find the U.S. military arming and training the Iranian-backed Badr Brigades and other forces of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI). In fact, our underpaid soldiers are now tasked with literally handing out truckloads of cash in stacks of hundred dollar bills to Iraqi militia members, many of whom are members of (or allies of) al-Qaeda and other groups that are killing our troops. In a February 19, 2008 article entitled “Money Day in Baghdad,” U.S. News & World Report correspondent Alex Kingsbury describes the U.S. “microgrants” program, in which a U.S. Army captain with a backpack jammed full with $110,000 in hundred dollar bills hands out packets of $2,500 to (supposedly) worthy recipients.
That, of course, represents but a molecule compared to the billions of dollars that were flown into Baghdad on C-130s in the first couple years of the war — literally hundreds of tons of hundred dollar bills stacked and shrink-wrapped on pallets — that disappeared without any accounting. According to an investigation last year by the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, the total of “lost” cash may be more than $12 billion. But that’s just part of the price of placing “moderates” in Iraq’s government, right? Moderates like terrorist Member of Parliament Jamal Jaafar Mohammed, who was convicted of helping plan the 1983 suicide bombing of the U.S. embassy in Kuwait. Or Abdul Aziz al-Halim, a leader of both the radical SCIRI mullahs and the United Iraqi Alliance, which dominates the Maliki government. Jamal Jaafar Mohammed and Abdul Azziz al-Hakim are two of Iran’s most ardent supporters in the Maliki regime.
It was precisely these same types of interventionist policies (by the usual coterie of policy elites at the State Department, the National Security Council, and the CIA) during the 1980s that produced the Saddam Hussein threat. Saddam, we were told way back then — against all evidence to the contrary — was going to be our great ally against revolutionary Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini. Billions of dollars in military, technical, and financial aid were showered on “ally” Saddam by the “Bush 41” foreign-policy team during the Reagan-Bush years.
We know, of course, what that toxic alliance with Saddam ultimately begat: not one, but two major wars in Iraq — to make the world safe from Saddam.
It was during that same period that the same omniscient brain trust devised the grand strategy that produced the al-Qaeda threat. With the ostensible object of checking the Soviet takeover of Afghanistan, our CIA-State Department went shopping for Mujahedeen allies. But instead of supporting the proven pro-American, anti-communist forces under Younas Khalis, Abdul Haq, and Abdul Qadir, they lavished aid instead on the most virulently anti-American Muslims, such as Gulbadin Hekmatyar (a cutthroat warlord who killed more of his fellow Afghans than he did Soviets), and the al-Qaeda Arabs under the command of the fanatical Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri.
However, even during the late 1990s, after the Clinton State Department had declared al-Qaeda to be a terrorist organization, our CIA continued knowingly to arm, train, and finance al-Qaeda’s most violent subcontractors in Bosnia, Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia, even as those open bin Laden allies carried out terrible atrocities and built their global terror networks. Incredibly, the Bush administration has continued arming and supporting the same sadistic thugs to this day.
Countless victims in these lands have already experienced the awful reality of blowback resulting from the fateful decisions of our government to side with the terrorists. On September 11, 2001, America received a bitter lesson in how terrible blowback can be, as terrorists who had once been hailed as our allies brought death and destruction to our shores. How many more deadly attacks will be unleashed upon us in the future by terrorists whom our government today supports as allies?