Originally Posted by Howlin' Wolf
Well maybe, if that were true. But since you can never tell where world events will take a country, actions that proved intelligent one year are considered stupid the next and if anyone can tell the future they're keeping that talent to themselves. The Taliban is an organization that was literally made up of thousands of Afghan orphans and outside forces trained by Pakistan in their religious schools after the war with the Soviets. Pakistan trained them in an effort to gain control of Afghanistan during the civil war that followed. Taliban is the plural form of Talib which is an Islamic student, they chose this name to set themselves apart from the Mujahideen(the ones we actually trained) because they don't consider themselves to be freedom fighters but cleansers of society. In the end the irony was on Pakistan.
The US basically helped the Afghan people to defend against the Soviets, I see nothing wrong with that.
There is a lot wrong though with having installed the Shah which is not helping someone to defend against an invader but meddling in the Iranians affairs. Add the support for Saddam Hussein out of fear of a super-Iran in the eighties, how that backfired afterwards and created a mess for the US until today, how Iran has not become less dangerous but rather more dangerous and it should be obvious that this has not been a wise path.
Support for authoritarian regimes during the Cold War did not backfire, but it was never necessary IMO and sometimes simply paranoid like in the case of Chile.
Helping others to defend, yes; interfering into the business of another country and fighting fire with fire, no.