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US history 'laden' with friends-turned-enemies

Pakistan Military , Iraq , Pakistan News , Afghanistan News , Enemies , Bin Laden , Osama Poem , Taliban History, current world news, World

"For over two decades, bin Laden has been al-Qaeda's leader and symbol and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al-Qaeda." This is what US President Barack Obama said in his long and triumphant address to the nation after the news broke early Monday morning that 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, the most dreaded terrorist in the world with a bounty of $25 million on his head, had been killed in an upscale mansion in Abbotabad, near Islamabad in Pakistan.

It doesn't make much political sense for Barack Obama to remind his jubiliant countrymen that it was the US which created Osama bin Laden in the first place. It's difficult for people not familiar with the checkered history and sordid deals of the Cold War to imagine that most of the people we know today as sworn enemies of the United States were actually its best friends once.

After leaving college in 1979, Osama joined the Afghan resistance against the Soviet invasion, an operation run and funded by the US Central Intelligence Agency. From 1979 through 1989 under US Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, the CIA provided overt and covert financial aid, arms and training to Osama's Islamic Jihad Mujahideen through Operation Cyclone and The Reagan Doctrine. President Reagan even went to the extent of praising Osama's Mujahideens as Afghanistan's 'Freedom Fighters'.

US history 'laden' with friends-turned-enemies

It was after the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of Cold War that Osama and al-Qaeda turned rogue. If fighting the 'godless' Communists was meant to save Islam in Afghanistan, it made sense by the same logic to fight the Americans now who, in the post-Cold War world, had become the biggest enemy of the Islamic world. Iraq invasion, support to Israel in its Palestinian occupation, Afghanistan campaign are only a few major examples of an active US foreign policy often presented as a 'clash of civilizations'. The perceived moral and religious decay of the American society also galvanized the so-called fundamentalist Muslims who joined Osama first in Sudan and later in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Driven by the conservative Wahhabi dream of Islamic rule over the world, Osama became the world's best-known recruit for terrorist activities against the 'enemies' of the Islamic world.

Another case in point is the former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. The 'ruthless' dictator was actually America's closest ally in the long-drawn and bloody Iran-Iraq war (1980-88). The war, which started right after a popular Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979 led to the overthrow of the West-supported Iran's monarchy (Pahlavi dynasty) under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and its replacement with a republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, resulted in a clandestine US operation against Iran with the help of Saddam Hussein.

It was this Saddam who later became America's Enemy No 1 when he invaded Kuwait in 1990, resulting in two US-Iraq wars and thousands of civilian casualties. The Iraqi dictator was pulled out of a 'spider hole' in Baghdad during the second Iraq invasion on Dec 14, 2003 and subsequently hanged on Dec 30, 2006.

It's all about national security, after all. As Obama said at the end of his speech on Sunday night: "Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America."

Read more at:http://ibnlive.in.com/news/us-history-laden-with-friendsturnedenemies/151026-2.html

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