Every generation for the past 200 years can vividly picture the Frankenstein monster.
Tall imposing, usually mute, this creature is alive and not alive; mobile, but haltingly so, that we, the more nimble can escape his perilous embrace.
Yet, who is the real monster; the one who designed and constructed this being? – or the one who was built?
One wonders of such things when we see the sudden slaughters, bombings and beheadings – happening in many parts of the cities of Europe and the Middle East – and beyond.
We hear of ISIS – and of Nigeria’s ‘Boko Haram’.
But guess where it all began?
In the 1970s – 1979, in fact – an Afghan warlord, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, was hired by Pakistani intelligence as a gift to the U.S. CIA. Hekmatyar was a ruthless dude, who hated both the U.S. and the Soviets.
His Pakistani backers told him his job was to kill Russians – Communists actually – who want to back Najibullah, the Afghan president. While the CIA was quietly calling the guy a “fascist: and “scary”, then President Ronald Reagan called them “freedom fighters”, and invited them to the White House.
Hekmatyar, then head of something he called the Islamic Party, built a military machine he called Mujahiddin.
This would be the seed of the Taliban, al Qaeda, now ISIS, and hundreds more across the world: trained, armed and aimed at Western targets and now –aimed at the West itself.
Mary Shelly Wollstonecraft, the author of the 1818 science fiction novel, Frankenstein, had the scientist say the following words: “I beheld the wretch – the miserable monster whom I had created.”
Who was the real monster – the maker – or the made?