Fat Steve's Blatherings

Friday, January 27, 2006

Steyn on Osama

        Mark Steyn's latest column (here or here), notes:
        The Left likes to bleat that “America created Osama bin Laden” and, like so many of its cheap sneers, it never thinks beyond that to the logical question: why did it create bin Laden?  Right now, the Democrats and media are engaging in a big ol’ song’n’dance about oversight of intelligence operations.  Congressional oversight, judicial oversight, bureaucratic oversight, the more memos to fill, the more forms to file, the better.  Whether or not any country needs an intelligence service, nobody needs an intelligence service that has to do everything with the lights up, in public, in triplicate.  In the 1970s, Congress dramatically reined in the CIA, gutting clandestine and covert operations.  Then at the end of the decade the Soviets invaded Afghanistan and, with the loss of the Shah in Iran, even the Carter administration was smart enough to wonder: what if they don’t stop in Kabul?  What if they decide to press on — to Tehran and the Gulf?

        So they decide to take the precaution of bogging them down in Afghanistan.  In post-Watergate Washington, you can’t put down “Covert Operation to destabilise the Hindu Kush” as a line item on the Federal budget.  So the administration has a quiet word with their chums in the region, and the House of Saud, whose expenditures are subject to less rigorous audits than the CIA’s, agrees to pony up the cash and run the recruitment ads, and Pakistan’s ISI comes on board as the local liaison.  The Democrats rage all the time about the “outsourcing” of American jobs to the Third World, but the outsourcing of a critical anti-Soviet operation reverberated all the way to 9/11.  It dramatically enhanced both the reach and prestige of Saudi Wahabism and the ISI, and it deluded the jihadi into believing they’d overthrown the Soviet Union because the Great Satan was a big sissy who was too scared to do it himself.

        Read it all.



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