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Liberals Blame Reagan for bin Laden


 Wednesday, June 9, 2004 2:27 p.m. EDT

Libs' New Tack: Blame Reagan for bin Laden

Driven half-crazy by five days' worth of tributes to Ronald Reagan, some liberals have finally snapped and are now blaming the American icon for the rise of Osama bin Laden.

On - a Web site run by refugees from the Clinton-Gore administration - one liberal academic writes:

"Although it would be an exaggeration to say that Ronald Reagan created al Qaeda, it would not be a vast exaggeration. ... By the mid-1980s, Reagan was giving the holy warriors half a billion dollars a year. His officials strong-armed the Saudis into matching the US contribution, so that Saudi Intelligence chief Faisal al-Turki turned to Osama Bin Laden to funnel the money to the Afghans."

Actually, WABC Radio's resident communist Ron Kuby has been arguing that bin Laden was Reagan's fault since the moment he hit the airwaves on Monday. But by Wednesday, even mainstream liberal venues had begun to incorporate the claim into their storyline.

Wednesday morning the Washington Post front-paged an analysis on Reagan's Legacy that contained this gem:

"Following in the footsteps of the Democratic Carter administration, Reagan surreptitiously supported mujaheddin rebels in Afghanistan in their prolonged battle against occupying Soviet forces. As part of that initiative, the CIA supported Muslim radicals from other Islamic countries. One of the first non-Afghan volunteers to join the ranks of the mujaheddin was Osama bin Laden."

By mid-morning the Post's report was featured prominently on

Even Reagan critics on the other side of the Atlantic have picked up this theme.

Here's how Glasgow's Herald newspaper handled it:

"Of course, there was his support to Osama bin Laden, now U.S. public enemy number one. The Reagan administration channeled millions of dollars and sophisticated training to bin Laden and the Afghan Arabs to help them in their struggle against the Soviet invasion, with no thought being given as to what bin Laden might do with all the training and weaponry afterwards. We know now, don't we?"

A Reuters report also featured a paragraph contending that Reagan had helped bin Laden.

Of course, if the same logic was applied to FDR's relationship with "Uncle Joe" Stalin, journalists might blame him today for the deaths of nearly 100,000 Americans who died fighting Cold War battles in Vietnam and Korea. But if the Washington Post has ever front-paged that analytical tidbit, somehow we missed it.

None of the aforementioned media outlets, by the way, have seen fit to report Bill Clinton's admission two years ago that he turned down a chance for the U.S. to take the 9/11 mastermind into custody.

Clinton even noted at the time that he nixed bin Laden's arrest "though we knew he wanted to commit crimes against America."

No wonder frustrated Democrats want Ronald Reagan to take the fall for this one.


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