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History Repeats: Rebels Repel Oppressors

Updated on December 3, 2009

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it” – George Santayana (1863-1952)

This is one of the most famous quotes of all time and yet we continue to prove its merits by ignoring history.

Look at Afghanistan.

While writing this article, I had to take great care not to confuse the events which occurred during the Soviet occupation and those of recent history. Often, there is no difference with the exception of the dates – fighting along the Pakistan border, fighting in Kandahar, fierce battles and use of terrorism even on civilians.

The United States somewhat covertly aided the Islamist Mujahideen Resistance following the Soviet 'invasion' in 1979. (They were actually invited by the Afghan government to fight the Mujahideen).

Osama bin Laden asserted the credit for "the collapse of the Soviet Union ... goes to Allah (God) and the Mujahideen in Afghanistan ... the US had no mentionable role," but "collapse made the US more haughty and arrogant." He would eventually used his new power base to begin jihad against all perceived “infidels.”

President Jimmy Carter insisted that what he termed "Soviet aggression" was not of limited geographical importance but had to be contested as a potential threat to US influence in the entire Persian Gulf region.

Between 1980 and 1985 heavy fighting occurred in the provinces neighboring Pakistan, where cities were constantly attacked by the Mujahideen. Massive operations were launched to break major sieges but the Mujahideen always returned.

Contingents of foreign fighters who yearned to wage jihad flooded into the country. One then-unknown-Saudi named Osama bin Laden, whose Arab group eventually evolved into al-Qaeda, rose to power and esteem in the conflict.

From 1985 through 1987, there was an average of more than 600 "terrorist acts" a year recorded. In the border region with Pakistan, the Mujahideen often launched an average of 800 rockets per day.

As is the norm today, targets were both civilian and military.

Osama bin Laden asserted the credit for "the collapse of the Soviet Union ... goes to Allah (God) and the Mujahideen in Afghanistan ... the US had no mentionable role," but "collapse made the US more haughty and arrogant." He would eventually used his new power base to begin jihad against all perceived “infidels.”

He had the opportunity to claim victory after forcing another super power – the US – out of Somalia after the downing of two Black Hawk helicopters in Mogadishu. Bin Laden later claimed responsibility for the deaths of 18 soldiers in the battle.

The United States spent $600 million a year to help the Mujahideen during the Soviet conflict. Now we spend $6.3 BILLION a MONTH to fight against many of those whom we had trained and armed! (and we have a deficit why?)

With worldwide jihad, we cannot win the wars in which we are embattled. When we leave Iraq and Afghanistan, if there is one extremist standing, they win. If we were to somehow eliminate all pockets of extremists, more would rise up in their place. Many come from poor countries and have nothing else to fill their sense of purpose.

The oppressed will always rise up. To see this you need only to look into our very own history in America.


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      7 years ago

      Actually, many of these terrorists come from the upper middle class of their society when concerning wealth (Osama was a Multi-millionaire) as opposed to being poor.


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