David Frum

02.07.13

Rand Paul's Wrong on Bin Laden

Video screenshot

Quin Hillyer dismantles a woefully misleading paragraph from Rand Paul's foreign policy speech (first paragraph from Paul, second from Hillyer):

"In the 1980s, the war caucus in Congress armed bin Laden and the mujaheddin in their fight with the Soviet Union. In fact, it was the official position of the State Department to support radical jihad against the Soviets. We all know how well that worked out." ...

[E]very element of Sen. Paul’s paragraph was wrong: 1) Reagan was not the head of a “war caucus.” 2) The U.S. did not arm bin Laden. 3) The U.S. support had nothing to do with “radical jihad.” 4) The Afghani/mujaheddin effort as a whole was only tangentially jihadist. And 5) The war in Afghanistan that kicked out the Soviets worked out not badly, but very, very well for the United States, for the Western world, and for the hundreds of millions of people freed from behind the Iron Curtain and for millions elsewhere whose “non-aligned states” were freed from fear of the Soviets and thus could move more towards free markets and towards Western prosperity.