Originally Posted by JimSmith
1. The Bin Laden relationship with the US was one of the US supporting terrorists to conduct an "insurgent-style" resistance to eject the Soviet Union from Afghanistan. No ifs, ands or buts about it. We supported the seeding and feeding of a terror organization that has evolved into Al-Qaeda.
2. The relationship you cite with Saddam is one of conjecture and imaginative invention. It depends on your favorite responses to a bunch of "what ifs?" But, I see that in your view that is but a detail that should be written off because it interferes with your point.
1. easy to see now, nobody foresaw it at the time. In fact, there were lots of folks in Congress and elsewhere who saw support of the mujahedeen as a way to introduce democratic ideals to the Pashtun-dominated mujahedeen. The usual self-delusion of, "If we help them they will love us." Back then, I didn't give a poop about Afghanistan but I sure enjoyed helping the Soviet's dick stuck in the door.
If you recall, Bin laden entered the Afghan fight AFTER we had already begun arming the mujahedeen with stingers and other stuff. At that time, Bin Laden spoke Arabaic, not Dari, Farsi, Urdu, or any of the many other languages spoken in Afghanistan. Thus, he was not a player in their politics until he started spreading his own fortune about in the time-honored tradition of tribal politics. He bought into the Pahtun tribes and over the years, through bribary and murder, shifted alliegences to his favorite Best Boy, Mullah Omar. More than half of the mujahedeen did not follow the Pahtun lead and this resulted in the civil war that began as the Soviet forces withdrew and continues to this day. Mostly the civil war is along language-group lines, again separating the pashto speakers from the Dari, Urdu, Farsi, etc.
It is far more complicated than "we gave guns to Bin Laden." But that fits your agenda.
2. It was based in fact and it is the job of military and intelligence analysts and planners to project worse-case, possible scenarios. But I expect you knew that.