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The Fate of Reagan’s Freedom Fighters

by Jack McCarthy


One of my earliest recollections of Ronald Reagan’s “freedom fighters,” much admired by many in the U.S. press in the early years of Jihad against the secular government of the time, was the hell Alexander Cockburn caught from libs and rads alike for a few critical (now arguably prophetic) sentences he wrote in his old Village Voice Press Clips column.

Cockburn wrote that Reagan’s freedom fighters were in fact a barbarous, atavistic crew who wanted to return Afghanistan back to medieval days.

Talk about the chickens coming home to roost! Coming home to bomb would be more accurate.

The dirty little secret of Day of Infamy 2–and all but taboo as far as discussion goes in the media– is that the U.S. was viciously attacked by Ronald Reagan’s freedom fighters with our own airplanes!

This helps explain why the U.S. Government has personalized the issue in the form of the Taliban’s “guest” Osama bin Laden: “Master terror mind of the world” indeed.

The fact is the U.S. has been attacked by the Government of Afghanistan and not for the first time. The bombing of the Cole, the embassy bombing in Kenya and the Khobar towers bombing all took U.S. lives.

But only now after Reagan’s freedom fighters attacked the U.S. mainland has the U.S. all but conceded that its the Government of Afghanistan behind Bin laden and the infamous “network” that is trained and armed in that country. Only is the U.S. government committed to removing that government, most likely by any means necessary.

According to a little reported article in the British “Guardian” for Sept 21, that paper has seen “Diplomatic cables” outlining the plan for the removal of the Taliban government, replacing it with an “interim administration under United Nations auspices.”

Even more shocking, according to the “Guardian” the U.S. plan is to pressure the so-called “Northern Alliance” opposition to get behind a U.S. plan to reinstall 86-yr-old monarch King Zahir Shah.

There’s been lots of blather(see Roger Rosenblatt in the current issue of “Newsweek”) by U.S. big thinkers that the shocking events of Sept 11 have brought about the “end of irony.”

Au contraire.

If one can’t find irony in the fact that the U.S. suffered its first domestic military attack at the hands of Ronald Reagan’s “freedom fighters” one just isn’t trying.

And speaking of irony, writing in the current issue of the magazine, “Washington Report on Middle East Affairs,” former U.S congress from Illinois Paul Findley (writing before the attack of September 11 took place) points out that George W Bush may owe his victory against Al Gore not to Ralph Nader or butterfly ballots, but the U.S. Muslim vote.

For the first time the U.S. Muslim lobby endorsed a Republican, George W Bush. Bush won 78 percent of the U.S. Muslim nationwide–and by a similar margin in Florida.

Now George W Bush recklessly and foolishly talks of a “crusade” (bin Laden’s “Fatwah” declaration on the U.S. by the way specifically mentions “crusaders”).

The only thing certain at this point is that the attack of September 11th proved beyond a reasonable doubt that both “irony” and “history” were still with us. CP

Jack McCarthy is a writer in Tallahassee, Florida. He can be reached at

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