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Osama bin Laden and Taliban Products of Cold War Battle Against Soviet Union

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Sonali Kolhatkar, vice president with the Afghan Women's Mission, who summarizes the history of U.S. relations with Islamic fundamentalist groups in Afghanistan, while expressing concern about the character of new U.S. allies there.
Osama bin Laden and Taliban Products of Cold War Battle Against Soviet Union

Interview by Between The Lines' Scott Harris

During the 1980s, the Reagan and Bush administrations directed billions of dollars to support a number of Islamic fundamentalist groups fighting Soviet troops propping up an unpopular regime in Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect in the Sept. 11th terror attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. was among those who were trained by, and fought alongside the CIA during those years.

After the Soviet Union was driven out of Afghanistan in 1989, U.S. allies there continued to fight one another, killing an estimated 45,000 civilians. The chaos and near total destruction of Afghanistan paved the way for a takeover of the country in 1996 by the extremist Taliban movement, with critical support provided by Pakistan. Once in power, the Taliban brutally suppressed women, homosexuals and non-Muslim Pakistan citizens.

In the wake of the Sept. 11th terror strikes, the Bush Administration has stated its intention to support the Northern Alliance, an army which continues to fight the Taliban government that provides safe haven to Osama bin Laden. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Sonali Kolhatkar, vice president with the Afghan Women's Mission, who summarizes the history of U.S. relations with Islamic fundamentalist groups in Afghanistan, while expressing concern about the character of new U.S. allies there(A RealAudio Version of this interview may be found At www.btlonline.org).

Visit the group's Web site at www.afghanwomensmission.org

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