This is a very interesting article: http://www.examiner.com/article/5-reasons-why-ronald-reagan-was-worse-than-george-w-bush
Let me say that while it is a very thought provoking piece of work and well worth reading that I do unfortunately have a point to contest. The author is correct in saying that Reagan helped spread the menace of violent jihad through his support for the Afghan mujahidin instead of supporting the secular left in Afghanistan. However, there is a myth presented as fact in this article.
It is a common myth believed by millions and that often goes unchallenged in thousands of other articles all over the internet and in magazines and newspapers around the world. It has been repeated so many times that no one bothers to check to find out if it is in fact true. For this I do not blame the author.
Yes, the USA worked with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and other Afghan mujahidin jihadists and the US’s support for radical madrasas in Pakistan is largely to blame for the creation and rise of the Taliban after the retreat of the Soviets. However, the rich Saudi takfiri jihad financier Osama Bin Laden never worked with, never was trained by, never was funded by, and never had any alliance with the USA at any time in his life.
Osama Bin Laden was as anti-USA in the 80s as he was anti-USSR. He was as anti-USA in the 80s as he was in 2001. According to everyone who ever knew him he was extremely anti-USA at least since his teens and much more conservative and religious than his siblings, who he did not grow up with as his mother was divorced from his father when he was still young. He was also much more conservative, religious, fanatical, and political than his school mates and friends in high school and at university.
I suggest reading “The Osama Bin Laden I Know” edited by Peter Bergen, a journalist who has not only personally met Osama Bin Laden and interviewed Bin Laden and studied Al Qaeda’s documentary history, but also has personally interviewed Bin Laden family members, other journalists who have known him, personal friends and business associates of OBL, ex-Al Qaeda, et cetera.
OBL was not ever much of a fighter. He was a rich, “black sheep” son of Saudi Arabia’s most successful, wealthy and famous construction tycoon. His role in the Afghan/Soviet war was to give away his considerable inheritance to Arab fighters who were fighting the Soviets, not for Afghan nationalism, but for global takfiri salafist jihad. He didn’t work with many Afghans and he only actually fought once and even then barely.
He was a rich, extreme right wing, Saudi jihadist inspired by Said Qutb and Juhayman al-Otaibi. He was not well known to most CIA involved in the funding of the Afghan jihadists via Pakistan, but he was known to many US, British, Pakistani, and Afghan journalists and it was well known that he believed even then that his enemies were the atheists (USSR and China), Crusaders (USA and Europe), Zionists (USA and Israel), and the kafirs (the governments of most “Muslim” countries which he rejected via the takfiri ideology of his idol Said Qutb and his direct mentors Omar Abdel Rahman, Abdullah Azzam, and Al Qaeda co-founder Ayman al-Zawahiri.
The USA would have worked with Bin Laden had he been willing, but Bin Laden would never have worked with the USA. He hated the USA and was even then plotting to go to war with the USA. He didn’t need “funding” as he was rich and was in Afghanistan and Pakistan in order to give his own money away to jihadists who supported his takfiri salafist ideology. He didn’t need training as he was already experienced in the construction business and in finance, had a degree in engineering, and had the backing of many trained fighters, mostly Egyptian radicals who were also extremely anti-USA. The “CIA trained and funded Bin Laden” meme is a complete and utter myth.