> By Sam Tanenhaus.
> But blunt language of that kind is distinctly absent from current
> discussions of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
> Why the romantic language? The message seems to be that we must not > confuse "good" terrorists, like those who belonged to the Weather > Underground, with "bad" terrorists, like those who claimed some 5,000 > lives on Sept. 11. But are the two really so easily distinguished?
Well, I don't think they are. Certainly Ronnie Raygun couldn't
distinguish. Here's a good synopsis, from
It all started on 27 April, 1978, when the People's
Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA), a Marxist organization
led by Nur Mohammed Taraki, seized control of Afghanistan and set
up a revolutionary government. Babrak Karmal and Hafizullah
Amin, key figures in the unfolding drama, also assumed prominent
posts in the new regime. Soon after seizing power, the Taraki
regime announced a traditional
Marxist-Leninist reform program, including the establishment of
full women's rights and the implementation of land reform. These
reforms were seen as undermining Afghan religious and cultural
traditions, and thus elicited huge opposition from Afghan Islamic
By September 1978, revolts had spread throughout
Afghanistan's provinces and cities against the new government.
On 14 February, 1979, in one of these outbursts of violence, the
U.S. Ambassador Adolph Dubs was killed. This led to the
elimination of any U.S. presence in the country.
On 28 March 1979, Taraki was removed from power, and
Hafizullah Amin became prime minister. When anarchy continued to
spread through the country, Amin asked for, and received,
additional Soviet aid. Conditions continued to deteriorate, and
on 14 September 1979, Taraki died in a confrontation with Amin's
supporters. Babrak Karmal fled to Moscow. Finally, on the
night of 24 December 1979, the Soviets began a full scale
invasion and occupation of Afghanistan; Amin died three days
later. Babrak Karmal was returned from the Soviet Union and
became the new prime minister. He became essentially a Soviet
Meanwhile, Muslim fighters known as Mujahidden (Arabic word for
fighter) flooded Afghanistan to join in the Afghan Jihad (Holy
War) to extricate the Soviet 'infidels' from Islamic
Afghanistan. One of the warriors who answered the call for jihad
in Afghanistan was the Saudi millionaire Osama bin Laden. These
"Afghans-Arabs," as they came to be called because they were
non-Afghans who came primarily from Islamic countries, and
consisted of Baluchis, Algerians, Egyptians, Saudis, Filipinos,
Palestinians and others.
In the Cold War era, any move to defeat the guardians of
Communism proved to be music to the ears of the USA and her
Western allies. The US government embraced the Mujahidden cause
The US president at the time, Ronald Reagan, was effusive in his
praise for the group as this quotation from him in the 1980's
reflects: "The Afghan Mujaheddin are the moral equivalent of the
Founding Fathers of America"!!! The US government through the
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), wasted no time, nor resources
in funding, training, and arming the Mujaheddin at covert camps
in Pakistan with the tacit and
unflinching support of the Pakistani government of General Zia-ul
Huq. By the time it was all over, the US had poured in at least
3 billion dollars into the Afghan resistance.
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