Saturday, May 7, 2011

No "We" Did Not Create Bin Laden

One linguistic tic I can't condone is the way leftist writers so commonly use "we" to mean the United States government, or even the Central Intelligence Agency.  If James Ridgeway wants to admit culpability for the rise of Islamic aggression, that is fine by me.  It would make him more honest than most leftists, anyway.  For my part, though, I'm pretty sure if I were with the CIA I would be aware of it.

We had nothing to do with Bin Laden, or the Taliban, or Saddam Hussein, or any of that.  Neocon/Trotskyite elites and their antecedents in the Lyndon Johnson and Franklin Roosevelt administrations are not us and they are not America and they damn well did not have America's interests in mind when they redefined America as the world's policeman.


Cameron said...

As far as I know the narrative that the CIA funded/supplied Bin Laden when he was organising foreign jihadist to fight the Russians in Afghanistan is false. The US did supply stinger anti-aircraft missiles which played a major role in turning the war from '86 afterwards by removing the Soviets air dominance. I'm not sure if these were supplied to Bin Ladens fighters or only the Afghan mujahideen. I think a common mistake (maybe intended) in all this is to confuse Bin Laden's troops with the indigenous Afghanis, which the CIA did fund and supply. For Ridgeway to say that bin Laden was on the CIA payroll or the US created bin Laden is nonsense.

bgc said...

This may be a kind of inversion of the magical thinking which underlies political correctness/ Leftism morality - which is that *if only* we could purify our own motives and behaviors, *then* the world would become a kind of utopia.

'Blaming ourselves' for everything bad that happens in the world sounds humble, but is in fact a kind of solipsism.

In the late sixties culture of hippie radicalism there seems to have been an impression that if you could fix your own mind (by deranging it) the world would be fixed.

(Of course - from a Christian perspective - we must indeed 'fix' our own minds (although not with drugs!) but even if successful (which is very difficult) then this will not fix *the world*, nor is it intended to fix the world - the objective is to 'fix' our orientation towards the next world.

Olave d'Estienne said...

Thanks for both your comments.

Cameron, I suppose the difference between "wealthy Arab interloper" and "indigenous troops from what may be the hardest region in the world" is too subtle for a lot of leftists to figure out. Good catch.

There is half a point, though, in noting that it was incautious of the Reagan Administration to supply anti-aircraft missiles to Muslims. Smashing the Soviets was job one, but I worry that the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" mantra may be amateur thinking in a world that demands professionalism. We helped Stalin because of such thinking, and 35 years later we were helping Afghanistan's future theocrats.

Even still, I'm only a moderate isolationist. Even the despised NATO could theoretically come in handy to face Muslim aggression, though it certainly hasn't yet and it wouldn't be necessary if Europe (mainly the UK, Spain, and France) would show some statesmanship. I wouldn't dream of helping out a European country that won't stop Muslim immigration, but the first Euros who make the sensible moves (Finland? Denmark? Italy?) get my support.

Olave d'Estienne said...

'Blaming ourselves' for everything bad that happens in the world sounds humble, but is in fact a kind of solipsism.

Excellent prose. I've been fumbling around for something that concise for years. I tried to convince people decades ago that maybe, just maybe, Chile had more to do with Pinochet than the US. Like, Chileans are adults and have free will and ...

NO! It was all the damn CIA!

... They all acted like I was "blaming the baby for crying" or something.