Donald Trump’s Exceptional Failure

(See also my previous post on this)

…all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government… 

(Declaration of Independence)

An “authentic, fully American history and tradition” is lacking in Trump’s thinking. To wit, reading this article by Daniel Krauthammer titled, Without Exceptionalism, both lifted me up as-well-as saddened me. The article made my spirit sour because of the reinvigorated understanding of “what it means to be an American” by a young man while-at-the-same-time my heart sunk because of the state of the American people in nominating a complete scoundrel in all regards to the Grand Ol’ Party. What a roller-coaster ride that was! I will take Charles Krauthammer’s word for it that Daniel “has the sharpest, most brilliant mind, sharper than mine.” Without further adieu,  here is Michael Medved reading over and commenting on Daniel’s article:

The key point I see in Daniel’s piece is that Trump views markets, wealth, and ultimately America as a zero-sum game:

  • Trump’s world is a zero-sum game, and Trump’s America will start winning again only when everyone else starts losing. This simplistic thinking defies logic and basic economics. But it does appeal to a certain sense of American nationalism: that “we” as a collective need to rally around a strong leader who will make us once again richer and more powerful than everyone else. Why? Because we’re us and they’re them. This kind of nationalism, however, is completely unexceptional. The leaders of literally any other country on earth could—and often do—say the same thing to their people and appeal to the same nationalistic sentiments. There is nothing uniquely American about what Trump espouses. There is no American ideal or philosophy providing a moral reason for this national mission to “win.”The-Crimson-Permanent-Assurance

He shows an almost Keynsein propensity that manifests itself in trying to fit the American Soul into an Excel spreadsheet — viewing “what” we are… kinesthetically… at his deepest understanding [if that even applies to “The Donald”] depicting the United States as the “Crimson Permanent Assurance,” a (mostly) standalone short in Monty Python’s Meaning of Life about “a crew of aged accountants who throw off the yokes of their oppressors, take up the mantle of corporate piracy and set sail on the high seas of international finance.”

What a joke!

What an ass.

Every day I am more-and-more convinced in my decision to leave the Presidential choice BLANK come November. For the first time, since I started voting, I will not vote for the President of These United States. Bill Kristol is right when he says that we have 5-months ahead of us of watching GOP pundits (like Sean Hannity and others) “defending, apologizing for, and excusing” Donald Trump’s obvious zero-sum intelligence.

Good luck with that.

Idiocracy

Gay Patriot (CFA) writes in response to a question by yours-truly that he recognizes that “primary campaigns get nasty,” he adds that he also gets

that our last two elections were decided by Low Information Voters, and that these voters are not moved by, for example, a Scott Walker type who is a brilliant policy reformer but dishwater dull.  My concern is that if a candidate runs a campaign based on childish name-calling, outright lies, violent threats, and conspiracy theories and is rewarded with the presidency; not only will he govern likewise, but his strategy will become the template for all future campaigns. To me, it feels like the onset of Idiocracy.

If that is really where our culture is, then it doesn’t much matter who the president is.

I won’t be a part of it.

Amen to that! I won’t be either.

“America Guided by Wisdom”

(Click to Enlarge)

On the fore ground, Minerva, the goddess of Wisdom, is pointing to a shield, supported by the Genius of America, bearing the arms of the United States, with the motto UNION AND INDEPENDENCE, by which the country enjoys the prosperity signified by the horn of plenty at the feet of America. The second ground is occupied by a Triumphal Arch with the Equestrian Statue of WASHINGTON placed in front, indicating the progress of the liberal arts. On the third ground, Commerce is represented by the figure of Mercury, with one foot resting on bales of American manufactures, pointing out the advantages of encouraging and protecting Navigation, signified by an armed vessel under sail, to Ceres, who is seated with emplements of Agriculture near her. The Bee Hive is emblematic of industry; and the female spinning at the cottage door, shews the first and most useful of domestic manufactures.

~ Benjamin Tanner’s descriptive text.

The first black poet in America to publish a book, Poems on Various Subjects: Religious and Moral, spoke of this wisdom that guided one of our Founding Fathers in a poem entitled, “His Excellency General Washington.”

Just a small bio on this American gem before the poem:

  • Phillis Wheatley, the first African-American to publish a book of poetry, was probably born in 1753 or 1754, somewhere in western Africa. At roughly 7 years old, captured by [most likely Arab] slave-traders. She was considered too sickly for hard labor plantations in the Caribbean or Southern U.S. colonies, she became a domestic servant for the Wheatley family in Boston. Though they kept slaves, the Wheatley’s were relatively progressive; after witnessing Phillis copying the alphabet in chalk, instead of punishing her, they decided to cultivate her academic interests. During a period when some states outlawed teaching slaves to read, Phillis was studying Alexander Pope and John Milton. Actually, the education she received from the Wheatley’s was superior even to most Caucasian males’ schooling.

May I also add to History Bitches slightly adapted info above that Phillis was also steeped in the Bible. And being a poet she was well aware of “lady wisdom” in Proverbs. (A more complete bio of her is below):

Celestial choir! enthron’d in realms of light,
Columbia’s scenes of glorious toils I write.
While freedom’s cause her anxious breast alarms,
She flashes dreadful in refulgent arms.
See mother earth her offspring’s fate bemoan,
And nations gaze at scenes before unknown!
See the bright beams of heaven’s revolving light
Involved in sorrows and the veil of night!

The Goddess comes, she moves divinely fair,
Olive and laurel binds Her golden hair:
Wherever shines this native of the skies,
Unnumber’d charms and recent graces rise.

Muse! Bow propitious while my pen relates
How pour her armies through a thousand gates,
As when Eolus heaven’s fair face deforms,
Enwrapp’d in tempest and a night of storms;
Astonish’d ocean feels the wild uproar,
The refluent surges beat the sounding shore;
Or think as leaves in Autumn’s golden reign,
Such, and so many, moves the warrior’s train.
In bright array they seek the work of war,
Where high unfurl’d the ensign waves in air.
Shall I to Washington their praise recite?
Enough thou know’st them in the fields of fight.
Thee, first in peace and honors—we demand
The grace and glory of thy martial band.
Fam’d for thy valour, for thy virtues more,
Hear every tongue thy guardian aid implore!

One century scarce perform’d its destined round,
When Gallic powers Columbia’s fury found;
And so may you, whoever dares disgrace
The land of freedom’s heaven-defended race!
Fix’d are the eyes of nations on the scales,
For in their hopes Columbia’s arm prevails.
Anon Britannia droops the pensive head,
While round increase the rising hills of dead.
Ah! Cruel blindness to Columbia’s state!
Lament thy thirst of boundless power too late.

Proceed, great chief, with virtue on thy side,
Thy ev’ry action let the Goddess guide.
A crown, a mansion, and a throne that shine,
With gold unfading, WASHINGTON! Be thine.

Richard Gamble writes about this “exceptionalism” with a warning…

In 1765, John Adams unwittingly penned one of the proof texts of American exceptionalism. “I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder,” the young lawyer wrote in his diary, “as the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence for the illumination of the ignorant and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth.”

[….]

In 1814, half a century after the publication of his Dissertation on Canon and Feudal Law, John Adams wrote to his Southern adversary John Taylor of Caroline. In the course of defending his constitutional principles, Adams issued a warning that the new exceptionalists will never quote, let alone heed: “We may boast that we are the chosen people; we may even thank God that we are not like other men; but, after all, it will be but flattery, and the delusion, the self-deceit of the Pharisee.”

A people, as surely as an individual, cannot stand in the presence of the world and congratulate itself on its unassailable virtue without leading itself into moral blindness and earning the contempt of others. Nothing about the American achievement is “placed beyond all possibility of failure,” as John Quincy Adams boasted. It would be fatal for a republic to entertain such presumption. There is nothing inevitable about our future, and no facile talk about exceptionalism will make it so. A history and a tradition—an authentic, fully American history and tradition—is available to us, but only if we turn away from the myths of the new exceptionalism.

(The American Conservative)

And so, goodbye…

…The past few days when I’ve been at that window upstairs, I’ve thought a bit of the ‘shining city upon a hill.’ The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we’d call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free. I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.

And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was eight years ago. But more than that: After 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she’s still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.

We’ve done our part. And as I walk off into the city streets, a final word to the men and women of the Reagan revolution, the men and women across America who for eight years did the work that brought America back. My friends: We did it. We weren’t just marking time. We made a difference. We made the city stronger, we made the city freer, and we left her in good hands. All in all, not bad, not bad at all.

And so, goodbye, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

(Reagan’s Farewell Speech

 


Phillis Wheatley


Phillis Wheatley was born in Senegal, Africa, in 1753. She was kidnapped at the age of eight and sent on a slave ship to Boston. Purchased by a prosperous Boston tailor, John Wheatley, she was trained as a personal servant for John’s wife, Susannah.

Phillis was quick and perceptive, and Susannah and her daughter Mary were drawn in a special manner to Phillis. Susannah considered Phillis a daughter, and Mary treated her like a sister. Both tutored her in the Scriptures and in morals, and within sixteen months Phillis had so mastered English that she was able to read the most difficult parts of the Bible with ease. Mary then taught Phillis astronomy, geography, ancient history, the Latin classics, and the English poets, all of which Phillis conquered with equal ease. Because of her aptitude for difficult knowledge and her ability as a brilliant conversationalist, Phillis was considered by the Bostonian intellectuals to be a child prodigy.

When she was only thirteen years old, Phillis wrote her first poetic verses; and then three years later, being an admirer of the celebrated Rev. George Whitefield, she authored a special poem about his life. This early interest in poetry continued for the rest of her life, and today Phillis is known as America’s first Black female poet.

In 1771, Phillis became a member of the famous Old South Church. It was later said that “her membership in Old South was an exception to the rule that slaves were not baptized into the church.”

In 1773, her health began to fail. A sea-voyage was recommended, and Mrs. Wheatley promptly saw to it that Phillis was manumitted (freed). Phillis traveled to England, where she was received by British royalty. While abroad, she published her first collection of poems, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral.

In 1775, while still abroad, and while the siege of Boston was underway in America, Phillis wrote a letter to the new Commander-in-Chief, General Washington, containing a special poem she had written for him:

His Excellency George Washington . . . Thee, first in place and honors, – we demand The grace and glory of thy martial band Fam’d for thy valor, for thy virtues more, Here every tongue thy guardian aid implore! . . . Proceed, great chief, with virtue on thy side, Thy every action let the goddess guide. A crown, a mansion, and a throne that shine, With gold unfading, Washington, be thine. . . .

Washington was touched by the poem; and when Phillis returned to America, Washington invited her to his military camp at Cambridge to honor her before his staff.

Phillis had returned to America when she had learned of the declining health of Mrs. Wheatley, who died shortly after her return. Phillis remained close to the family. She continued her writings and purposed to bring out a second volume of poems to be dedicated to Benjamin Franklin. Misfortune, however, intervened.

In 1778, Phillis married John Peters, a free Black. Although he appeared promising (he was a writer and had studied for the law), his character was deeply flawed: he was slothful, did not provide for his new wife, and failed to give her the care that her delicate health required. He also demanded that she isolate herself from her former friends and even required that she cut off all contact with the Wheatleys. Peters finally deserted Phillis.

Under these circumstances, and only five years after her marriage, Phillis died in obscurity at the age of 30, alone and in poverty, buried in an unmarked grave. Of her three children, two died in infancy, and the third was buried alongside her.

Despite the hardships in her life, Phillis never complained. In fact, she found a silver lining – or rather a Divine one – even in her tragic life of slavery. In her poem, “On Being Brought from Africa to America,” she wrote:

‘Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land Taught my benighted soul to understand That there’s a God, that there’s a Savior too: Once I redemption neither sought nor knew. Some view our fable race with scornful eye, “Their color is a diabolic dye.” Remember, Christians, Negroes black as Cain, May be refin’d, and join th’ angelic train.

Phillis’ poetry was popular for generations after her death, and she was considered a heroine by those who fought to end slavery. She remains a shining example of a devout Christian, an accomplished poet, and a gracious and kind woman.

(Wall Builders)

Primary Convention Rules and History ~ Mark Levin

Video description:

Mark Levin opines well on the GOP Convention and it’s rules… which were established BEFORE the candidates ran. So if you hear Trump wining about the GOP not following rules, or people saying things like if it’s not Cruz or Trump it’s a useless convention. The rules negate this thinking.

Then I excerpt a small blurb from Levin’s larger audio about “Dwight Eisenhower and Abraham Lincoln never complaining about having a contested convention, so why is Donald Trump? When previous candidates had to go to a contested convention, they knew what they had to do and what the rules were.”

Both segments are from 4/6/16 and 4/7/16 shows respectively.
_________________________________________
For more clear thinking like this from Mark “the Great One” Levin… I invite you to visit: http://www.marklevinshow.com/

Larry Elder On This Election w/Some Historical Perspective

Mind you, this Larry Elder audio opens with Ronald Reagan discussing Milton Friedman.

In this fill in for Dennis Prager on Monday, Larry Elder’s first two segments of the show are really a “GOP vs Ideals” 101 course. Economics, Donald Trump, GOP nominees since 1988, Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan, Obama, and more are covered in “Sage” fashion.

As usual I learn from Larry and I share this with you in the hopes you will as well.


For more clear thinking like this from Larry Elder… I invite you to visit: http://www.larryelder.com/ ~AND~ http://www.elderstatement.com/

Larry Elder v. Tavis Smiley w/Reagan Stats (Updated Graph)

The larger interview of both Tavis Smiley and Cornel West can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/ls6nrtw

In this portion Larry Elder deconstructs Tavis Smiley’s view of Ronald Reagan and his impact on the black community in the 1980’s. In fact, even though Tavis promises to rebut Larry’s stats… to date Larry has received no such response. And Larry often notes this in his radio show and in writing:

Black America — What if Obama Were White?

Smiley: Every stat you cited, vis-a-vis people of color, does not measure up when you talk to the people of color who had to live through the hell of those eight years of Ronald Reagan.

Elder: What do mean, “talk to the people”? I’ve just given you labor stats, census stats — these are facts, Tavis. Unemployment fell faster in the black community than the white community — it fell faster for teens, it fell faster for adults, it fell faster for Hispanics. And you’re telling me when you talk to people, they don’t like Reagan, so therefore stats go out of the window?

Smiley: Larry, your numbers are not true. When I get back to my office, later today or tomorrow, I’ll send you some more numbers. You know this — numbers don’t lie, but people do. The numbers are very clear.

[….]

And Tavis Smiley’s “more” numbers have yet to arrive.

Trump’s “Conversion” and Bank Account (Updated File)

This first audio is just uploaded and it quite long. The other audio/videos below it are shorter, so you may want to skip this first media file to get the gist of the post:

Trump-Darth-Vader

This seems to be a popular rejoinder when people confront Trump supporters about him being a Democrat:

  • Yeah, but Reagan was a Democrat before being a Republican.

Brent Bozell responds to this non-sequitur in the National Review special edition on Trump:

A real conservative walks with us. Ronald Reagan read National Review and Human Events for intellectual sustenance; spoke annually to the Conservative Political Action Conference, Young Americans for Freedom, and other organizations to rally the troops; supported Barry Goldwater when the GOP mainstream turned its back on him; raised money for countless conservative groups; wrote hundreds of op-eds; and delivered even more speeches, everywhere championing our cause. Until he decided to run for the GOP nomination a few months ago, Trump had done none of these things, perhaps because he was too distracted publicly raising money for liberals such as the Clintons; championing Planned Parenthood, tax increases, and single-payer health coverage; and demonstrating his allegiance to the Democratic party.

Its called a “moral bank account,” Reagan spent years involved in the conservative movement before running. Trump has just “changed”… but wants single-payer health care (more left than Obama-Care), wanting to put his extremely left wing-sister on the Supreme Court, etc.

Prager explains this to the first caller in this two call upload:

The “A Time for Choosing” speech given by Reagan in 1964 could never be made by Trump:

However, I agree with George Will that this delineation with the common man of what a Republican “is” versus “isn’t” is past it’s time of any fruit:

On this weekend’s broadcast of “Fox News Sunday,” while discussing the National Review’s special edition in opposition to  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, conservative commentator George Will said  it might be too late.

Will said, “General Douglas MacArthur said that in war, every disaster can be explained in two words ‘too late.’ The question is whether the conservative wing of the Republican Party, AKA the Republican wing of the Republican Party, is beginning too late to rally against Mr. Trump.”

(Breitbart)

Mark Levin Reminisces the GOP’s “Support” for Reagan

The following is from Caffeinated Thoughts:

…FAULT LINE 2: Former Republican Senator Chuck Percy of Illinois in 1975 to the New York Times: “A Reagan nomination and the crushing defeat likely to follow could signal the beginning of the end of our party as an effective force in American life.”

Translation: (Like Cruz) Reagan is stopping us from addressing the topics we say we totally want to address, but never did before he came on the scene. Because he interrupted us. Now I’ve gone and lost my train of thought.

FAULT LINE 3: Representative John Rhodes, Republican of Arizona, who became leader of the Republicans in the House, in 1975 said, “As soon as Reagan gets away from his clichés and his campaign slogans, he’s in trouble.”

Translation: He’s an amateur. He’s not a scholar even though he’s read more books than us, and he’s uneducated even though he’s studied more than us. He’s not qualified to bring up any case to the American people, because we haven’t been able to do it already. Reminds me of all the people accusing Ted Cruz of utter ignorance about the Supreme Court’s Heller decision on gun control. Frothy-mouthed opponents demand he read the Heller decision, totally ignorant of the fact that HE WAS THE ATTORNEY WHO ARGUED HELLER AND WON. Sorry for raising my voice, I just hate it when we don’t do our homework before attacking each other. That would have made an awesome political commercial on the idiocy of his opponents, but I’m sure the GOP decided to make a commercial about how well they will run liberal programs when they win.

FAULT LINE 4: Republican Vice President Nelson Rockefeller warned Republicans governors in 1975: “No major American party can long endure by directing its appeal to a narrow minority. It will not serve the nation to have our major parties polarized at ideological extremes.”

Translation: Reagan can’t win, because he’s going to run in a primary. Running against an incumbent is unpatriotic, and if there are differences with the incumbent, it is the challenger who is to blame for the differences. Our party can’t handle differences, so our country clearly cannot either.

FAULT LINE 5: Republican Representative Pete McCloskey of California in 1976: “A Reagan win would be a disaster for the GOP.”

FAULT LINE 6: Republican Representative James Cleveland of New Hampshire predicted another Goldwater debacle if Reagan is the GOP nominee.

Translation: Reagan is not a good Republican, and yet he runs under the Republican Party. I’m jealous of such audacity, so I declare him a future disaster. Because change is hard.

FAULT LINE 7: In 1976, Reagan was publicly told by two Republican governors to get out of the race against Ford: Virginia Governor Mills Godwin and North Carolina Governor James Holshouser. On the eve of the North Carolina primary, the Ford White House prepared a telegram signed by a DOZEN Republican governors, telling Reagan to get out of the race. The dastardly Reagan ended up winning North Carolina, the little rascal. Later, Ford lost to Carter, and then the establishment Republicans blamed Reagan.

Translation: Reagan, you are weak, so you should get out. Also Reagan, you are strong, so you should get out. Just get out. If you stay in, we will blame you for our loses. Remind anyone of the Tea Party? The Tea Party is both trodden underfoot and utterly defeated, but also the taskmaster and cutthroat ruler of the Republican Party, holding hostage the other Republicans. PICK ONE! Cruz, Reagan, the Tea Party… are they pathetic losers, or are they masterfully strong winners?…

What Does It Mean To “Conserve” ~ Conservatism and Gay Marriage

This is a really good article from The American Spectator, with thanks to Paul Kengor. He starts with a quote from Gutfeld:

  • “Gay marriage, in my opinion, is a conservative idea.” ~ Greg Gutfeld

….With all respect to Greg Gutfeld, who I usually agree with, gay marriage is absolutely not a conservative idea. Not unless, as liberals do with marriage, one redefines conservatism.

How is that? What is conservatism? That itself can be problematic. If you ask 10 self-identified conservatives for a definition, you might get 10 different answers. This much, however, can be said:

Conservatism aims to conserve the time-tested values, ideas, and principles that have been sustained over time by previous generations and traditions. (Here, a crucial correction to Greg Gutfeld: gay marriage is not a tradition.) These are values, ideas, and principles—usually with a Judeo-Christian basis—that have endured for good reason and for the best of society, citizens, country, culture, and order. That’s a brief summation that the late Russell Kirk, probably conservatism’s preeminent philosophical spokesman, would endorse—as would Ronald Reagan, the face of modern conservatism.

In an important speech at CPAC in February 1977, Reagan stated this: “Conservative wisdom and principles are derived from willingness to learn, not just from what is going on now, but from what has happened before. The principles of conservatism are sound because they are based on what men and women have discovered through experience in not just one generation or a dozen, but in all the combined experience of mankind. When we conservatives say that we know something about political affairs, and that we know can be stated as principles, we are saying that the principles we hold dear are those that have been found, through experience, to be ultimately beneficial for individuals, for families, for communities and for nations—found through the often bitter testing of pain or sacrifice and sorrow.”

That’s a solid definition of conservatism. Gay marriage, merely by its total newness alone, fails that rudimentary definition. Gay marriage has never been done before. One would never expect a conservative to rush into something as utterly unprecedented—and that directly repudiates the laws of nature and nature’s God—as this completely novel concept called “gay marriage.” Same-sex marriage not only revolutionizes marriage but also human nature generally and family specifically, the latter of which conservatives have always understood as the fundamental building block of civilization.

One would expect a progressive to support redefining marriage, because for progressives, everything is always in a state of never-ending, always-evolving flux…. Redefine family, parenthood, motherhood, fatherhood, womanhood, manhood, gender? Sure, says the progressive.

For conservatives, however, this is unthinkable. Indeed, a conservative cannot even “conserve” when it comes to gay marriage, because gay marriage is an untried idea unimaginable by any people until only very recent days.

To be sure, conservatives, especially those whose conservatism springs from religious underpinnings, should recognize and respect the inherent human dignity of all gay people—being fellow human beings made in the image of God—and should not mistreat them. But those conservatives cannot, in turn, blatantly violate (if not blaspheme) the teachings of their faith and their God on the sanctity of male-female matrimony.

[….]

The point: a radical leftist is eagerly willing to remake marriage and family in his own image, but a conservative is not. To the contrary, the task of the conservative is to fight that rebellion, to affirm and defend and preserve and conserve the natural-traditional-biblical family—i.e., that time-tested institution that Reagan called “the most important unit in society,” “the most durable of all institutions,” “the nucleus of civilization,” “the cornerstone of American society.” And children, said Reagan, “belong in a family” with a mom and dad. In fact, Reagan maintained that it is in a family that children are not only cared for but “taught the moral values and traditions that give order and stability to our lives and to society as a whole.” America’s families must “preserve and pass on to each succeeding generation the values we share and cherish.” Above all, Reagan stated that our “concept of the family” “must withstand the trends of lifestyle and legislation.”

And yet, gay marriage is no mere trend of lifestyle and legislation. By breaking the ancient Western standard of marriage between one man and one woman, it will forever alter our concept of family that has formed the nucleus of civilization….

…read it all…

The 96th Congress Would Have Liked Jeb, the 114th? Not So Much

silver-datalab-jeb-1

The above nugget comes by way of Dr. Thies (professor of statistics and econometrics at Shenandoah Univ. in VA.), and I will highlight what I thought was important within this important post via Libertarian Republican:

….Nate Silvers, the uber-geek of politics, amasses a lot of data: candidates’s voting records (if they served in Congress), their public positions on issues, and fundraising sources. Based on the average of the two or three scores he develops, Jeb Bush comes out like Mitt Romney, John McCain and Bob Dole, three fellows who did win the nomination of the party in open years, although less conservative than George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan.

The bad news for Jeb Bush is that the Republican Party has been shifting to the right and what might have been acceptable in the past may no longer be. Looking at where the average Republican in Congress stood immediately before Ronald Reagan became President, they pretty much lined up with Romney, McCain and Dole. Back then, Reagan was considerably to the right. But, today, the average Republican in Congress stands more or less where Reagan stood….

Democrats Rewriting History on Amnesty ~ Rush Deals with Reagan Comparison

(CNSNews.com) – Liberal supporters of President Obama’s executive amnesty claim that Obama is only doing what the conservative Ronald Reagan once did.

“Reagan never did this,” an indignant Rush Limbaugh told his listeners on Wednesday.

“If Reagan did this, then why did Obama once say he didn’t have the power to do this?” Limbaugh asked. (President Obama on numerous occasions has said he does not have the power to change immigration law without Congress. “I’m not the emperor of the United States,” he told Telemundo last year.)

“Well, why didn’t he say, ‘Wait a minute, yes, I can. I can be a dictator ’cause Ronald Reagan was, everybody knows.’ Why didn’t he cite Reagan back then?” Limbaugh asked on Wednesday. “Why didn’t he cite Reagan last week, last year? Why let this controversy gin up? If Reagan did it, why not say it at the outset and then shut up everybody?”

Limbaugh described himself as “almost speechless” as he prepared to explain to his audience “just how big the Left is distorting this.”

Far from issuing an executive order, Reagan in 1986 signed legislation passed by Congress — the Simpson-Mazzoli Act.

“Congress debated and passed a law to grant amnesty to three million illegal immigrants, and Reagan signed it. They are saying that’s exactly what Obama’s going to do. They are claiming that Reagan signing legislation, thereby making it legal, is the same thing as an Obama executive order.  It’s breathtaking what they’re trying to say here.

“Reagan had a statute behind him,” Limbaugh continued. “The statute was called Simpson-Mazzoli. The very law that Reagan had signed was signed after it was passed by Congress. What Obama is about to do is write a law, or rewrite a statue all by himself.”

[….]

Writing in The Atlantic on Nov. 18, David Frum also said there are “huge differences” between Obama’s executive amnesty and the actions of Reagan did in 1986 and George H.W. Bush in 1990.

He gives the following four reasons:

1. “Reagan and Bush acted in conjunction with Congress and in furtherance of a congressional purpose, while Obama’s executive order would not further a congressional purpose.” In fact, Obama’s order “is intended to overpower and overmaster a recalcitrant Congress,” Frum said.

2. Reagan and Bush legalized far fewer people than Obama apparently plans to do. Obama’s two rounds of amnesty — first the young “Dreamers” and now their parents — could affect as many as 5 million people, Frum wrote, and thus “he would — acting on his own authority and in direct contravention of the wishes of Congress — have granted residency and work rights to more than double the number of people” who received amnesty under the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli Act.

3. “The Reagan-Bush examples are not positive ones.” Frum says the 1986 amnesty did not work as promised, as illegal immigration actually increased in the years after the amnesty. “Let’s not repeat their mistake,” he wrote.

4. “The invocation of the Reagan and Bush cases exemplifies the bad tendency of political discussion to degenerate into an exchange of scripted talking points. ‘Oh yeah? Well, this guy you liked also did this thing you don’t like!’ Is that really supposed to convince anybody?” Frum asks. “What we have here is not a validation of the correctness of President Obama’s action. It’s…an effort to curtail argument rather than enlighten it.”

Dispelling The “CIA Trained-Funded Bin Laden/Taliban” Myth/Mantra

Politicians and leaders from both sides of the aisle make mention of this myth that we funded/created Al Qaeda via weapons, training, and money to the likes of Osama Bin Laden. The Daily Caller in 2013 notes:

…in just a one-month span, Sen. Paul has — not once, but twice — advanced a conspiracy theory that says that during the Reagan era, the U.S. funded Osama bin Laden.

During John Kerry’s secretary of state confirmation hearing, Paul said ”We funded bin Laden” — a statement that prompted Foreign Policy magazine’s managing editor, Blake Hounshell, to fire off a tweet saying: “Rand Paul tells a complete falsehood: ‘We funded Bin Laden.’ This man is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.”

But that didn’t discourage Paul. During a much anticipated foreign policy speech at the Heritage Foundation today, Paul doubled down, saying: “In the 1980’s the war caucus in Congress armed bin Laden and the mujaheddin in their fight with the Soviet Union.”

The only problem is that this is, at best, highly speculative — and, at worst, the perpetuation of an outright myth.

This also puts Paul in the same camp as Michael Moore, who said: ““WE created the monster known as Osama bin Laden! Where did he go to terrorist school? At the CIA!”….

…read it all…

And this is the crux of the matter.

Truthers took Michael Moore’s non-evidential presentations and statements and ran with themAnother example that shows this myth isn’t necessarily one owned by strictly by politicians, as, this conversation on a friends FaceBook shows:

Antony: failed foreign policy means today’s buddies are tomorrows boogiemen.

Hunlsy: I just love the fact they’re fighting us with the weapons and training that we gave them.

Antony: Oh where oh where did Iran get those P3s and F-14 Tomcats?

Antony: it was the US – we used to be buddies with Iranians too. We played both sides of the Iran/Iraq war, which predicated Gulf I.

Hunsly: Likely from the Russians. Regardless, we’re fighting a group, not a country. This group makes all of its IEDs & buys all of their weapons with the money that we gave them.

Here is my short intercept of the above conversation. More info will follow it:


Weapons

This is somewhat of a myth — that we sold the majority of weapons to the Taliban, to Iraq, and the like. For instance, in the following graph you can see that (in the instance of Iraq, which I was told over-and-over-again was weaponized by the U.S.) you have to combine the U.K. and the U.S. to equal 1%.

Iraqi Weapons

Moral Position

Much like us supporting Stalin in defeating Hitler, we were aligned with people whom we didn’t see eye-to-eye with in order to beat the USSR during the Cold War (WWIII)… a war that was fought from 1947–1991.

History

And thirdly, the Taliban didn’t exist when Reagan said this:

Reagan didn’t say that about the Taliban because the Taliban didn’t exist yet. He said that of the Mujahedin, the same men who would later go on to fight the Taliban under the name “Northern Alliance”

The Afghan Northern Alliance, officially known as the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan (Persian: ‏جبهه متحد اسلامی ملی برای نجات افغانستانJabha-yi Muttahid-i Islāmi-yi Millī barā-yi Nijāt-i Afghānistān), was a military front that came to formation in late 1996 after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Taliban) took over Kabul. The United Front was assembled by key leaders of the Islamic State of Afghanistan, particularly president in exile Burhanuddin Rabbani and former Defense Minister Ahmad Shah Massoud. Initially it included mostly Tajiks but by 2000, leaders of other ethnic groups had joined the Northern Alliance. This included Abdul Rashid Dostum, Mohammad Mohaqiq, Abdul Qadir, Sayed Hussein Anwari and others.

The Northern Alliance fought a defensive war against the Taliban government. They received support from Iran, Russia, India, Tajikistan and others, while the Taliban were backed by al-Qaeda. The Northern Alliance was mostly made up of ethnic Tajiks, but later included Uzbeks, Hazaras, and Pashtuns. The Taliban government was dominated by Pashtuns with other groups being the minority. After the US-led invasion and establishment of the Karzai administration in late 2001, the Northern Alliance broke apart and different political parties were formed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Alliance

The mujaheddin fighters who had previously defeated the communist government and formed the Islamic State of Afghanistan (ISA) came under attack and in 1996 lost the capital to the Taliban. At this juncture the Mujahedin resorted to the creation of UIF because Rashid Dostum and other warlords who belonged to various tribes but to no specific political party did not want to recognize the ISA as a legal entity, so the defeated government devised a military strategy to utilize these forces while not offending their political sensibilities.

In October 1996 in Khinjan, Ahmed Shah Massoud and Dostum came to an agreement to form the anti-Taliban coalition that outside Afghanistan became known as the Northern Alliance.


CNN was doing a special on Afghanistan and Peter Bergen asked for questions from viewers that he would answer. One of the questions is as follows: “If it’s true that bin Laden once worked for the CIA, what makes you so sure that he isn’t still?”~ Anne Busigin, Toronto, Canada

Peter Bergen responds:

This is one of those things where you cannot put it out of its misery.

The story about bin Laden and the CIA — that the CIA funded bin Laden or trained bin Laden — is simply a folk myth. There’s no evidence of this. In fact, there are very few things that bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and the U.S. government agree on. They all agree that they didn’t have a relationship in the 1980s. And they wouldn’t have needed to. Bin Laden had his own money, he was anti-American and he was operating secretly and independently.

The real story here is the CIA didn’t really have a clue about who this guy was until 1996 when they set up a unit to really start tracking him.

One person in a forum that was similarly challenged pointed out that this surely wasn’t the Taliban because they hated women in any position of authority — look at the pic at the top again.

As you read on, keep in mind Mr. Bergen was not a fan of conservatives, or Republicans. With that in mind, enjoy the rest, it is posted here so it will never disappear on me:

Northern Alliance (WIKI)

U.S. government officials and a number of other parties maintain that the U.S. supported only the indigenous Afghan mujahideen. They deny that the CIA or other American officials had contact with the Afghan Arabs (foreign mujahideen) or Bin Laden, let alone armed, trained, coached or indoctrinated them. Scholars and reporters have called the idea of CIA-backed Afghan Arabs (foreign mujahideen) “nonsense”,[6] “sheer fantasy”,[7] and “simply a folk myth.”[8]

They argue that:

  • with a quarter of a million local Afghans willing to fight there was no need to recruit foreigners unfamiliar with the local language, customs or lay of the land
  • with several hundred million dollars a year in funding from non-American, Muslim sources, Arab Afghans themselves would have no need for American funds
  • Americans could not train mujahideen because Pakistani officials would not allow more than a handful of U.S. agents to operate in Pakistan and none in Afghanistan;[9]
  • the Afghan Arabs were militant Islamists, reflexively hostile to Westerners, and prone to threaten or attack Westerners even though they knew the Westerners were helping the mujahideen.

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri says much the same thing in his book Knights Under the Prophet’s Banner.[10]

Bin Laden himself once said “the collapse of the Soviet Union … goes to God and the mujahideen in Afghanistan … the US had no mentionable role,” but “collapse made the US more haughty and arrogant.” [11]

According to CNN journalist Peter Bergen, known for conducting the first television interview with Osama bin Laden in 1997,

The story about bin Laden and the CIA — that the CIA funded bin Laden or trained bin Laden — is simply a folk myth. There’s no evidence of this. In fact, there are very few things that bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and the U.S. government agree on. They all agree that they didn’t have a relationship in the 1980s. And they wouldn’t have needed to. Bin Laden had his own money, he was anti-American and he was operating secretly and independently. The real story here is the CIA did not understand who Osama was until 1996, when they set up a unit to really start tracking him.[8]

Bergen quotes Pakistani Brigadier Mohammad Yousaf, who ran the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Afghan operation between 1983 and 1987:

It was always galling to the Americans, and I can understand their point of view, that although they paid the piper they could not call the tune. The CIA supported the mujahideen by spending the taxpayers’ money, billions of dollars of it over the years, on buying arms, ammunition, and equipment. It was their secret arms procurement branch that was kept busy. It was, however, a cardinal rule of Pakistan’s policy that no Americans ever become involved with the distribution of funds or arms once they arrived in the country. No Americans ever trained or had direct contact with the mujahideen, and no American official ever went inside Afghanistan.[12]

Marc Sageman, a Foreign Service Officer who was based in Islamabad from 1987–1989, and worked closely with Afghanistan’s Mujahideen, argues that no American money went to the foreign volunteers.

Sageman also says:[13]

Contemporaneous accounts of the war do not even mention [the Afghan Arabs]. Many were not serious about the war. … Very few were involved in actual fighting. For most of the war, they were scattered among the Afghan groups associated with the four Afghan fundamentalist parties.

No U.S. official ever came in contact with the foreign volunteers. They simply traveled in different circles and never crossed U.S. radar screens. They had their own sources of money and their own contacts with the Pakistanis, official Saudis, and other Muslim supporters, and they made their own deals with the various Afghan resistance leaders.”[14]

Vincent Cannistraro, who led the Reagan administration’s Afghan Working Group from 1985 to 1987, puts it,

The CIA was very reluctant to be involved at all. They thought it would end up with them being blamed, like in Guatemala.” So the Agency tried to avoid direct involvement in the war, … the skittish CIA, Cannistraro estimates, had less than ten operatives acting as America’s eyes and ears in the region. Milton Bearden, the Agency’s chief field operative in the war effort, has insisted that “[T]he CIA had nothing to do with” bin Laden. Cannistraro says that when he coordinated Afghan policy from Washington, he never once heard bin Laden’s name.[15]

Fox News reporter Richard Miniter wrote that in interviews with the two men who “oversaw the disbursement for all American funds to the anti-Soviet resistance, Bill Peikney – CIA station chief in Islamabad from 1984 to 1986 – and Milt Bearden – CIA station chief from 1986 to 1989 – he found,

Both flatly denied that any CIA funds ever went to bin Laden. They felt so strongly about this point that they agreed to go on the record, an unusual move by normally reticent intelligence officers. Mr. Peikney added in an e-mail to me: “I don’t even recall UBL [bin Laden] coming across my screen when I was there.[16]

Other reasons advanced for a lack of a CIA-Afghan Arab connection of “pivotal importance,” (or even any connection at all), was that the Afghan Arabs themselves were not important in the war but were a “curious sideshow to the real fighting.”[17]

One estimate of the number of combatants in the war is that 250,000 Afghans fought 125,000 Soviet troops, but only 2000 Arab Afghans fought “at any one time”.[18]

According to Milton Bearden the CIA did not recruit Arabs because there were hundreds of thousands of Afghans all too willing to fight. The Arab Afghans were not only superfluous but “disruptive,” angering local Afghans with their more-Muslim-than-thou attitude, according to Peter Jouvenal.[19] Veteran Afghan cameraman Peter Jouvenal quotes an Afghan mujahideen as saying “whenever we had a problem with one of them [foreign mujahideen], we just shot them. They thought they were kings.”

Many who traveled in Afghanistan, including Olivier Roy[20] and Peter Jouvenal,[21] reported of the Arab Afghans’ visceral hostility to Westerners in Afghanistan to aid Afghans or report on their plight. BBC reporter John Simpson tells the story of running into Osama bin Laden in 1989, and with neither knowing who the other was, bin Laden attempting to bribe Simpson’s Afghan driver $500 — a large sum in a poor country — to kill the infidel Simpson. When the driver declined, Bin Laden retired to his “camp bed” and wept “in frustration.” [22]

According to Steve Coll, author of “Ghost Wars”, the primary contact for the CIA and ISI in Afghanistan was Ahmed Shah Massoud a poppy farmer and militia leader known as the “Lion of the Panjeer”. During the Afghan Civil War which erupted once the Soviets had left, Massoud’s army was routed by the Taliban (who were being helped by Pakistan’s ISI) and restricted to the northern region of the country. A loose entente was formed with several other native tribal militias which became known as the Northern Alliance who operated in opposition to the Taliban. On September 10, 2001 a camera crew was granted access to Massoud under the premise they were interviewing him for a documentary about the Mujahadeen. The crew members were actually Al Qaeda operatives who detonated a bomb killing themselves and Massoud. The purpose of the assassination was to eliminate a key ally for the US in anticipation of an invasion in retaliation for the 9/11 attacks which were to take place the following day.

And here is another great post responding to the non-evidential/conspiratorial [leftists] on the subject:

Bin Laden trained and funded by the CIA

“Osama bin Laden was trained and funded by the CIA” – you’ll read the claim everywhere, and it’s rarely opposed: everyone just seems to accept that it’s true. But why? How much evidence have you ever seen presented to support this?

The reality is that there are many people who say this is simply a myth. And we’re not just talking about neo-con friendly journalists, either.

Take Jason Burke, for instance, a major contributor to the BBC documentary “The Power of Nightmares”. In his book “Al Qaeda”, he wrote the following:

It is often said that bin Ladin was funded by the CIA. This is not true, and indeed it would have been impossible given the structure of funding that General Zia ul-Haq, who had taken power in Pakistan in 1977, had set up. A condition of Zia’s cooperation with the American plan to turn Afghanistan into the Soviet’s ‘Vietnam’ was that all American funding to the Afghan resistance had to be channeled through the Pakistani government, which effectively meant the Afghan bureau of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), the military spy agency. The American funding, which went exclusively to the Afghan mujahideen groups, not the Arab volunteers [bin Ladin’s groups], was supplemented by Saudi government money and huge funds raised from mosques, non-governmental charitable institutions and private donors throughout the Islamic world. Most of the major Gulf-based charities operating today were founded at this time to raise money or channel government funds to the Afghans, civilians and fighters. In fact, as little as 25 per cent of the monet for the Afghan jihad was actually supplied directly by states.

Page 59, Al Qaeda: The true story of radical Islam, Jason Burke

Steve Coll, former Managing Editor of the Washington Post, also suggests bin Ladin passed largely unnoticed by the CIA, in his book “Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001”:

…According to [Ahemd] Badeeb, on bin Ladin’s first trip to Pakistan he brought donations to the Lahore offices of Jamaat-e-Islami, Zia’s political shock force. Jamaat was the Pakistani offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood; its students had sacked the US embassy in Islamabad in 1979. bin Ladin did not trust the official Pakistan intelligence service, Badeeb recalled, and preferred to fund his initial charity through private religious and political networks.From the beginning of the Afghan jihad, Saudi intelligence used religious charities to support its own unilateral operations. This mainly involved funneling money and equipment to favoured Afghan commanders outisde ISI or CIA control… “The humanitarian aid-that was completely separate from the Americans”, Badeeb recalled. “And we insist[ed] that the Americans will not get to that, get involved–especially in the beginning,” in part because some of the Islamist mujahedin objected to direct contact with Western infidels…

In spy lexicon, each of the major intelligence agencies began working the Afghan jihad–GID [General Intelligence Department, Saudi Arabia], ISI and the CIA– began to “compartment” their work, even as all three collaborated with one another through formal liasons…

bin Ladin moved within Saudi intelligence’s compartmented operations, outside of CIA eyesight…

Page 86/ 87, Ghost Wars, Stevel Coll

In a Q&A session following the release of his book, Coll said:

Wheaton, Md.: There have been accusations from the left that have directly accused the CIA of funding and training bin Laden. Is there any truth to this ? Steve Coll: I did not discover any evidence of direct contact between CIA officers and bin Laden during the 1980s, when they were working more or less in common cause against the Soviets. CIA officials, including Tenet, have denied under oath that such contact took place. The CIA was certainly aware of bin Laden’s activities, beginning in the mid- to late-1980s, and they generally looked favorably on what he was doing at that time. But bin Laden’s direct contacts were with Saudi intelligence and to some extent Pakistani intelligence, not with the Americans.

Missouri EDU

Peter Bergen expanded on the supposed CIA/ bin Ladin links in his book, Holy War Inc:

But were the CIA and the Afghan Arabs in cahoots, as recent studies have suggested? One author charges: “The CIA had funded and trained the Afghan Arabs during the war”. Another refers to “the central role of the CIA’s Muslim mercenaries, including upwards of 2,000 mercenaries in the Afghanistan war”. Both authors present these claims as axioms, but provide no real corroboration.Other commentators have reported that bin Ladin himself was aided by the CIA. A report in the respected British newspaper The Guardian states: “In 1986 the CIA even helped him [bin Ladin] build an underground camp at Khost [Afghanistan] where he was to train recruits from across the Islamic world in the revolutionary art of jihad”…Bin Ladin, meanwhile, had expoused anti-American positions since 1982, and thanks to the fortune derived from his family’s giant construction business had little need of CIA money. In fact, the underground camp at Khost was built in 1982 by an Afghan commander, with Arab funding.

A source familiar with bin Ladin’s organisation explains that bin Ladin “never had any relations with America or American officials… He was saying very early in the 1980’s that the next battle is going to be with America… No aid or training or other support have ever been given to bin Ladin from Americans.” A senior offical unequivocally says that “bin Ladin never met with the CIA.”

While the charges that the CIA was responsible for the rise of the Afghan Arabs might make good copy, they don’t make good history. The truth is more complicated, tinged with varying shades of grey. The United States wanted to be able to deny that the CIA was funding the Afghan war, so its support was funneled through Pakistan’s military intelligence agency, Inter Services Intelligence agency (ISI). ISI in turn made the decisions about which Afghan factions to arm and train, tending to fund the most Islamist and pro-Pakistan. The Afghan Arabs generally fought alongside those factions, which is how the charge arose that they were creatures of the CIA.

Former CIA officer Milt Bearden, who ran the Agency’s Afghan operation in the late 1980’s, says: “The CIA did not recruit Arabs,” as there was no need to do so. There were hundreds of thousands of Afghans all too willing to fight…

Moreover, the Afghan Arabs demonstrated a pathological dislike of Westerners. Jouvenal says: “I always kept away from Arabs [in Afghanistan]. They were very hostile. They would ask, ‘What are you doing in an Islamic country?” The BBC reporter John Simpson had a close call with bin Ladin himself outside Jalalabad in 1989. Travelling with a group of Arab mujahideen, Simpson and his television crew bumped into an Arab man beautifully dressed in spotless white robes; the man began shouting at Simpson’s escorts to kill the infidels, then offered a truck driver the not unreasonable sum of five hundred dollars to do the job. Simpson’s Afghan escort turned down the request, and bin Ladin was to be found later on a camp bed, weeping in frustration. Only when bin Ladin became a public figure, almost a decade later, did Simpson realise who the mysterious Arab was who had wanted him dead.

Page 67/68, Holy War Inc, Peter Bergen

This level of hostility to Westerners doesn’t suggest a warm working relationship with the US, and there’s some confirmation in a story retold by Richard Miniter:

…the handful of Americans who had heard of bin Ladin in the 1980’s knew him mainly for his violently anti-American views. Dana Rohrabacher, now a Republican congressman from Orange County, California, told me about a trip he took with the mujihideen in 1987. At the time, Rohrabacher was a Reagan aide who delighted in taking long overland trips inside Afghanistan with anti-Communist forces. On one such trek, his guide told him not to speak English for the next few hours because they were passing by bin Ladin’s encampment. Rohrabacher was told, “If he hears an American, he will kill you.” 

Page 16, Disinformation, Richard Miniter

Bin Ladin was himself asked about US funding by Robert Fisk:

Fisk: …what of the Arab mujahedin he took to Afghanistan – members of a guerilla army who were also encouraged and armed by the United States – and who were forgotten when that war was over? bin Ladin: “Personally neither I nor my brothers saw evidence of American help…

Fisk interview, 1996

And Ayman al-Zawahiri, second-in-command of al Qaeda, explains more in his text “Knights under the Prophet’s Banner”. Here he claims the “Afghan Arabs” had plenty of funding from various Arab sources, and points to other indications that they never supported the US:

“While the United States backed Pakistan and the mujahidin factions with money and equipment, the young Arab mujahidin’s relationship with the United States was totally different.”Indeed the presence of those young Arab Afghans in Afghanistan and their increasing numbers represented a failure of US policy and new proof of the famous US political stupidity. The financing of the activities of the Arab mujahidin in Afghanistan came from aid sent to Afghanistan by popular organizations. It was substantial aid. “The Arab mujahidin did not confine themselves to financing their own jihad but also carried Muslim donations to the Afghan mujahidin themselves. Usama Bin Ladin has apprised me of the size of the popular Arab support for the Afghan mujahidin that amounted, according to his sources, to $200 million in the form of military aid alone in 10 years.

Imagine how much aid was sent by popular Arab organizations in the non-military fields such as medicine and health, education and vocational training, food, and social assistance (including sponsorship of orphans, widows, and the war handicapped. Add to all this the donations that were sent on special occasions such as Id al-Fitr and Id al-Adha feasts and during the month of Ramadan.”

“Through this unofficial popular support, the Arab mujahidin established training centers and centers for the call to the faith. They formed fronts that trained and equipped thousands of Arab mujahidin and provided them with living expenses, housing, travel, and organization.”

Changing Bin Ladin’s Guard

About the Afghan Arabs’ relationship with the United States, Al-Zawahiri says in his book: “If the Arab mujahidin are mercenaries of the United States who rebelled against it as it alleges, why is it unable to buy them back now? Are they not counted now-with Usama Bin Ladin at their head-as the primary threat to US interests? Is not buying them more economical and less costly that the astronomical budgets that the United States is allotting for security and defense?”

“The Americans, in their usual custom of exaggeration and superficiality, are trying to sell off illusions to the people and are ignoring the most basic facts. Is it possible that Usama Bin Ladin who, in his lectures in the year 1987, called for boycotting US goods as a form of support for the intifadah in Palestine, a US agent in Afghanistan?….

“Furthermore, is it possible that the martyr-as we regard him-Abdallah Azzam was a US collaborator when in fact he never stopped inciting young men against the United States and used to back HAMAS with all the resources at his disposal?

“Is it possible that the jihadist movement in Egypt can be a collaborator movement for the United States when Khalid al-Islambuli and his comrades killed Anwar al-Sadat, even before the phenomenon of the Arab mujahidin in Afghanistan emerged?”

“Is it possible that the jihadist movement in Egypt can be a US collaborator movement when in fact it brought up its children, ever since the movement started, to reject Israel and all the agreements of capitulation to it and to consider making peace with Israel as a contravention of Islamic Shari’ah?”

Book, His Own Words: A Translation of the Writings of Dr. Ayman Al Zawahiri

Richard Miniter has a little more on this in “Dispelling the CIA-Bin Ladin Myth“, and while you may not exactly trust the source, there were further comments worth at least a look on the US State Departments “Identifying Misinformation” site.