Might add the US could not have accomplished this without compliance of western European allies. At first the old colonial powers with self interest for oil, gas, uranium and expansion of corporate capitalism. Later with the addition of New Europe, the new “democratic” states of Eastern Europe still fumigating with anger from decades of suppression by the former Soviet Union.
With the extreme rise of inequality since the Reagan years of the eighties, continued for over a decade by neoliberal Third Way economics, the anger of the voter base was easy prey to nationalists like UKIP’s Farage, Dutch Geert Wilders and the ultimate hero of American alt-right and fascism Donald Trump.
[Links added are mine – Oui]
The CIA poured billions into a jihad against Soviet-occupied Afghanistan, creating a militant Islamist Abraham Lincoln Brigade believed to have been involved in bombings from Islamabad to New York. Is Bosnia next?
One Friday evening, just after sunset prayers, Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman climbed into a camouflaged truck in Peshawar, Pakistan, and set off for his first trip inside Afghanistan. It was 1985, he told me later, and he had just spent three years in Egyptian prisons, where he had been severely tortured as he awaited trial on charges of issuing a fatwa resulting in the assassination of President Anwar Sadat [by the Muslim Brotherhood and Ayman al-Zawahiri]; and a military court later acquitted him of that, and of a related conspiracy charge. (Last January in New York the sheikh was sentenced to life imprisonment for seditious conspiracy to wage a “war of urban terrorism against the United States.”) As he settled into the back seat of the U.S.-supplied truck, the sheikh, who was then forty-seven and had been blind since infancy, was helped into a flak jacket by the fundamentalist Afghan resistance leader Gulbaddin Hekmatyar.
At that time the Soviet Union was occupying Afghanistan, and the United States was supporting the Afghan resistance; Hekmatyar, though he was one of the most stridently anti-Western of the resistance leaders, was receiving roughly half the arms that the CIA was supplying. The sheikh had first met Hekmatyar in Saudi Arabia a number of years before, and they were friends. They had much in common: both were exceedingly charismatic religious populists; both had committed their lives to jihad, or Islamic holy war; both were fiery orators. They were both given to elliptical, colorful turns of phrase, and their shared message was clear: the imperative to overthrow a secular government — whether in Afghanistan or Egypt — and establish an Islamic state.
SIXTEEN years have passed since the CIA began providing weapons and funds — eventually totaling more than $3 billion — to a fratricidal alliance of seven Afghan resistance groups, none of whose leaders are by nature democratic, and all of which are fundamentalist in religion to some extent, autocratic in politics, and venomously anti-American. Washington’s financial commitment to the jihad was exceeded only by Saudi Arabia’s. At the time the jihad was getting under way there was no significant Islamist opposition movement in Saudi Arabia, and it apparently never occurred to the Saudi rulers, who feared the Soviets as much as Washington did, that the volunteers it sent might be converted by the jihad’s ideology. Therein lies the greatest paradox of the bombing in Riyadh: it and the explosions in Peshawar and Islamabad could well prove to be part of the negative fallout — or “blowback,” in intelligence parlance — of the U.S.- and Saudi-orchestrated Afghan jihad.
The bombings — the first such terrorist attack in Saudi history, and among the worst in Pakistan’s — were the clearest warnings yet of an ominous escalation in the conflicts between the governments in Cairo and Riyadh and their Islamist foes. And the carnage in Islamabad — the fourth attack against the Egyptian govrnment abroad in recent months (Mubarak narrowly survived an assassination attempt in Addis Ababa) — indicated that Egypt’s militant Islamic groups, facing an increasingly vengeful crackdown at home, were transferring their four-year-old war to the international front. U.S. policymakers were stunned. In less than a week the vulnerabilities of three of Washington’s pivotal regional allies had become clear.
Came across this excellent front-page article by BooMan …