LobeLog on Facebook   LobeLog on Facebook

An Exit from the Top in the Iranian Nuclear Crisis?

by François Nicoullaud Despite President Trump’s demands that it do so, Iran...

Message no image

Published on October 13th, 2008 | by Jim Lobe


I Was Wrong. The Terrorist Refused to “Pal Around” With Reagan.

I made a mistake and rush to correct it. The photo of the Afghan mujahadin below does not include Gulbuddin Hekmatyar because, contrary to my contention in the 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 House’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 Pakistan’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 “palling around” 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 doesn’t undermine the central point of the post, however: Reagan had intended to publicly meet with and presumably praise Hekmatyar as a
“freedom fighter” — the moniker he used to describe the mujahadin depicted in the photo — 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 man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. In any event, I apologize for the mistaken identity.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.

About the Author


Jim Lobe served for some 30 years as the Washington DC bureau chief for Inter Press Service and is best known for his coverage of U.S. foreign policy and the influence of the neoconservative movement.

Back to Top ↑
  • Named after veteran journalist Jim Lobe, LobeLog provides daily expert perspectives on US foreign policy toward the Middle East through investigative reports and analyses from Washington to Tehran and beyond. It became the first weblog to receive the Arthur Ross Award for Distinguished Reporting and Analysis of Foreign Affairs from the American Academy of Diplomacy in 2015.

  • Categories

  • Subscribe

    Enter your email address to subscribe to our site and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Popular Posts

  • Comments Policy

    We value your opinion and encourage you to comment on our postings. To ensure a safe environment we will not publish comments that involve ad hominem attacks, racist, sexist or otherwise discriminatory language, or anything that is written solely for the purpose of slandering a person or subject.

    Excessively long comments may not be published due to their length. All comments are moderated. LobeLog does not publish comments with links.

    Thanks for reading and we look forward to hearing from you!