Six Years Out
How did we get to this place?
Porcupine has been thinking about this while reading an excellent book – Legacy of Ashes by Tim Weinart of the New York Times. Working with documents that have only been declassified for a couple of years, Mr. Weinart has written a compelling and frightening history of the Central Intelligence Agency, from its inception under Truman through the current day. It is not a pretty picture, and in many ways it is a frightening one.
Much can be learned from the book. For those worried about warrantless wiretaps and FISA eavesdropping, it may come as a shock to know that the CIA began its program of opening and reading first class mail in the United States in the 1940’s. Literally every American President since the inception of the agency has been starkly misled by bad intelligence into military adventure – some, more than once like John Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs fiasco and the Cuban missile crisis. This is bad news for the 'Bush Lied, People Died' crwod, as it appears that every President has been guilty of being given bad intelligence from the CIA, and reliance on it is not a 'lie'. Bobby Kennedy, Attorney General, was inexplicably included in foreign policy decisions, and personally ran the CIA operations to assassinate Castro, which convinced him that his brother’s death was simple retribution. Bill Clinton really does not deserve the rap he gets for letting Osama Bin Laden escape; he had signed a kill order and made it clear that the CIA should take any opportunity to kill him. It was George Tenet, not Clinton, who pulled the plug on those chances in Afghasnistan. The book speaks volumes about how we arrived at our intelligence problems in the current day, and how we as a nation scorned to spy, and began in an arena where the powers arrayed against us had hundreds of years of experience.
But Porcupine was taken aback by an incident which is little known, and which may well be the flash point which begins the modern Jihad against the West. In 1955, the leader of Indonesia, President Sukarno, called together a summit of Asian, African and Arab chiefs in Bandung – in fact, a world conference of Islamic nations. Sukarno, a brilliant orator whom the CIA had approved of when he was merely a former Dutch colonial ruler with a large pool of oil to be tapped, announced that he intended to chart a course with his fellow Islamic nations that would depend upon neither Moscow nor Washington. The brothers in charge of American foreign policy – Allen Dulles as head of the CIA and John Foster Dulles as Secretary of State – could not grasp Sukarno, a leader who would quote Thomas Jefferson one day and communist theory the next. Obviously, he had to be assassinated, and a more malleable leader installed in his place.
Of course, the CIA failed – and Sukarno knew of that failure. It was the beginning of a simmering resentment and hatred of the West on the part of the Islamic nations of the world, and we were totally oblivious to it – possibly because it was merely those Muslims, and not a serious nation like East Berlin.
For fifty years, this relationship with the Muslim world has deteriorated. European colonialism and Soviet expansion played their roles in souring Muslim relations with the West, but an imperviousness on the part of all the 'First World' powers to the ancient cultures and antipathies of Jihad bears an equally large burden.
Last week, Osama bin Laden gave us our 'last chance'. Embrace Islam, or die. This is a new video, making reference to Pres. Sarkosky, and is a Jihad Warrior giving us our final chance. On the newer video released for 9/11, he orders up a 'caravan of martyrs'.
As one who does not wish to embrace Islam, let alone Sharia law, Porcupine hopes that looking at how this began - with the West underestimating its enemy, or thinking they must be motivated by profit or economics - will remind us that we have an earnest foe, principled, sincere and deadly.
It is time to remember why we are here in the first place, and time to resolve to fight back against the forces of mideavalism.