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Correction: The Terrorist Refused to ‘Pal Around’ With Reagan.
Posted By Jim Lobe On October 13, 2008 @ 3:28 pm In News | Comments Disabled
I made a mistake and rush to correct it. The photo of the Afghan mujahadin  does not include Gulbuddin Hekmatyar because, contrary to my contention in this post , he did not meet with Ronald Reagan in the White House. It was not for lack of an invitation, however. In fact, it was Hekmatyar who spurned the White Houseâ€™s invitation.
Hekmatyar came to the U.S. in 1985 as part of a delegation of mujahadin leaders to lobby diplomats at the U.N. General Assembly. Despite enormous pressure by Pakistanâ€™s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which channeled a disproportionate amount of CIA and Saudi covert aid to him, Hekmatyar reportedly refused to meet with Reagan, arguing that any â€œpalling aroundâ€ with the leader of the Free World would be used by the Soviet Union and the Afghan secret police, the KHAD, to discredit his nationalist and religious credentials.
This doesnâ€™t undermine the central point of the post, however: Reagan had intended to publicly meet with and presumably praise Hekmatyar as a â€œfreedom fighterâ€ â€” the moniker he used to describe the mujahadin depicted in the photo â€” at the White House and had invited him there for that purpose. But it was Hekmatyar, whose use of terrorism over more than three decades is undisputed, who turned Reagan down.
A propos, did anyone notice the elevation (due in major part to pressure from western embassies in Kabul, according to the New York Times ) of a former KHAD special forces officer, Hanif Atmar, to head the Interior Ministry under President Hamid Karzai? What goes around comes around; one manâ€™s terrorist is another manâ€™s freedom fighter. In any event, I apologize for the mistaken identity.
Article printed from Antiwar.com Blog: http://antiwar.com/blog
URL to article: http://antiwar.com/blog/2008/10/13/correction-the-terrorist-refused-to-pal-around-with-reagan/
URLs in this post:
 photo of the Afghan mujahadin: http://ipsnews.net/lobelog/ovaloffice.jpg
 my contention in this post: http://www.ips.org/blog/jimlobe/?p=194
 New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/12/world/asia/12afghan.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
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