Today on Blogcritics
Home » Culture and Society » When Will Americans Learn that Blowback is Real?

When Will Americans Learn that Blowback is Real?

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

In 1953 the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency at the urging of the British M16 overthrew democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. In a declassified report completed in 1954 on the 1953 operation, “blowback” for the first time entered the CIA’s lexicon.

At the time, analysts were concerned that the U.S. government’s actions in Iran would yield unintended consequences. It took a long time, but those concerns were finally realized in 1979 when, after 25 years of brutality and corruption from the Shah, Ayatollah Khomeini’s revolution engulfed Iran and Iranian students stormed our embassy and took our people hostage for 444 days.

Then in 2004 a Pentagon Report commissioned by the Bush/Cheney Administration labeled the President’s approach to the so-called “War on Terror” counter-productive. It indicated that contrary to the President’s rhetoric, Muslim terrorists don’t attack us because they hate our freedom; they attack us because they loathe our foreign policy. The report went on to suggest that continuing the policy of occupying Muslim countries will have the effect of radicalizing Muslims and instead of preventing future terrorist attacks will engender them.

Through the patriotic and nationalistic bluster of our politicians and the media the Pentagon report was mostly forgotten. It took the presidential campaign of Ron Paul in 2008 to bring the issue of blowback back to the forefront. In a Republican presidential candidates’ debate, Congressman Paul was asked about 9-11. He talked about how U.S. foreign policy was a “major contributing factor.” In particular he cited our bombing of Iraq for 10 years through the 1990s. Then he stated:

“I believe very sincerely that the CIA is correct when they teach and talk about blowback. When we went into Iran in 1953 and installed the Shah, yes, there was blowback. A reaction to that was the taking of our hostages and that persists. And if we ignore that, we ignore that at our own risk. If we think that we can do what we want around the world and not incite hatred, then we have a problem. They don’t come here to attack us because we’re rich and we’re free. They come and they attack us because we’re over there. I mean, what would we think if we were – if other foreign countries were doing that to us?”

And that is the deep question that all Americans must ask themselves: what would we think and do if other countries were doing the same things to us? What would we do if another country occupied our territory, supported through financial and military aid a tyrannical government in the United States, or used drones to kill their enemies on U.S. soil consequently killing innocent American citizens in the process? We wouldn’t tolerate it in the least bit, so why do we think it is justified to do it to others and label those that take umbrage with our actions terrorists?

And so once again, Americans have experienced a “terrorist” attack on our soil. This time it was perpetrated in Boston by two ethnically Chechen Muslims. Once again, we are supposed to believe it was done because they hate our freedoms and prosperity. We are supposed to believe this even though one of the suspects was a naturalized American citizen who enjoyed the freedoms and prosperity he allegedly was accused of hating. We are supposed to believe this even though the seriously injured Dzhokhar Tsarnaev lying in his hospital bed before he was Mirandized admitted that he and his brother were motivated to carry out the Marathon Bombings by American aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan and the thousands of Muslims who had been killed by American forces.

We can continue to delude ourselves that we can do whatever we want to whomever we want and there won’t be consequences. Or we can learn that the CIA was on to something in 1954 – that blowback is real.

Powered by

About Kenn Jacobine

  • Dr Dreadful

    Here’s a first: an article of Kenn’s I can almost wholeheartedly agree with.

    I question one point only: the contention that “we are supposed to believe” the Boston bombers were motivated by their hatred of American freedoms. It’s something that’s been parroted a lot over the last 11 years or so, but where has it been suggested in this case?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    At last! Like Dreadful, I am gratified to see an article by Kenn with which I am in almost total agreement with!

    Well done, Kenn – your article is a quick history lesson that I wish all our leaders would read.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena Irene Athena

    Dreadful, look no farther than Rush Limbaugh, who is squawking a variation on the theme — the Tsarnaevs had come under the influence of Boston’s America-hating “liberal elite intellectual thought.”

    Boston’s “liberal elite intellectual” thinkers might stand up while Boston is still in the news and point to Blowback as the real culprit, if it weren’t for the fact that some of their champions have promoted foreign policy that invited Blowback, just as Limbaugh’s champions have.

  • Illuminatus Hussein O’Chavez

    As much as I dislike agreeing with #3, I can sum up my support of what she says in one word: “drones”.

  • S.T.M

    Of course blowback is real. The 9/11 attacks were partly the result of blowback, but it’s not always from direct contact and as Kenn points out, foreign policy is the key issue. Many of the al-Qaeda operatives had fought in Afghanistan against the Russians alongside the Taliban, who received aid from the US via Pakistan’s ISI.

    The US trusted Pakistan to hand out the money because at the time, it had no real knowledge of how things worked in Afghanistan, but the ISI gave most of the money and arms and other supplies to islamist groups.

    Bin Laden, however, financed the Afghan Arabs through other means, with his own cash and from Saudi and Arab benefactors.

    Many people believe the CIA at the time was in Afghanistan doing business with bin Laden, and that was the blowback. Not so.

    Bin Laden and his islamist followers around the world were mainly angered by the presence of US troops on the Arabian peninsular, support for Israel and the plight of the palestians and US meddling in the affairs of muslim nations.

    He was pretty plain about that, so it really is about meddling and foreign policy.

    The Boston bombers didn’t so much as hate American freedoms and the permissive mores of the west in general – although gisgust with that is always part of the islamist creed – than the attacks by the US or its allies on muslims around the world. The surving bomber has admitted this to the FBI.

    The islamist view is much broader: that the west, and the US in particular, are making war on Islam overtly through military action and covertly through political and financial meddling that denies muslims a decent life.

    It has some basis in truth but whether their trwisted ends justify their perverted means is another issue. Talking might be another way around it, if they were serious.

    Many islamists believe there should only be jihad, no talking, no negotiation, no agreements. Just killing.

    That is what the US is up against, and I hope every American and every citizen of every nation allied with the US understands that at most base level.

    It is what it is. Jihad – holy war – whether committed by angry individuals inspired by radical preachers and internet sermons, or more organised groups like al-Qaeda, Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah, to name but three in a very, very long list.

    The so-called Arab Spring should be a worry for the US, not the celebration it thought. Many of the leading lights – that might not be the right term – of radical islamism come from Egypt.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena Irene Athena

    “the US…[is] making war on Islam overtly through military action and covertly through political and financial meddling that denies muslims a decent life…It has some basis in truth but whether their trwisted ends justify their perverted means is another issue. Talking might be another way around it, if they were serious.”

    Or we could just stop. Then they could tell we were serious.

  • John Lake

    Other theories behind the 9/11/01 attacks include the belief by some Arabs that the oil producing regions were not getting a proper price for their product.
    And there is belief that the Arabs actually had domain in Kuwait, and the West barged in and started pumping. The Arabs were slow to take action. The West set up an industrial city on the site and sought legitimacy.
    The point being, they were not trying to take our oil, we were pumping theirs.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    I think 9/11 and every other problem related to the Middle East is related to the issue of Palestine.

    If the Western nations had taken steps to establish a Palestinian state whilst simultaneously protecting Israel, most of what has happened over the last 40 years would have been very different.

    We have all failed to stand up to both successive Israeli governments and other non-Israeli players and have subsequently reaped the bitter harvest of that weakness.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Nail on the head, Chris. Palestine is definitely the poster child for Arabs’/Muslims’ sense of being royally screwed over by America and the other western powers over the past century or so.

    Thing is, what do we do about it now?

    We could adopt Irene’s absolutely commonsensical suggestion in #6, but, gosh, that would make the Muslims think they’d won*, whereupon they’d start taunting us and saying we had tiny penises. So we obviously can’t have that.

    In all seriousness, such a policy change would be effectively throwing the Jews in Israel to the wolves, so I don’t think we can really countenance that, even though Ruvy, were he still able to comment here, would be telling us to go ahead as his people were perfectly well able to look after and defend themselves.

    I don’t see any other solution short of Yahweh intervening and physically removing the land of Israel from the sphere of the world, thereby ending any argument. And not many people think that’s going to happen any time soon.

    * What exactly it’s supposed to be that they would have won we’d have to decide on later. We can’t be bothered with such trivial details right now…

  • roger nowosielski

    @9

    ” . . . that would make the Muslims think they’d won*, whereupon they’d start taunting us and saying we had tiny penises.”

    Are you suggesting that “might is right” is the only language humans can understand?

    In that case, there is no hope for us whatever.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    I think there is still time to sort out Palestine as a country and at the same time protect Israel…

  • Dr Dreadful

    Are you suggesting that “might is right” is the only language humans can understand?

    No, but it’s taken us about a hundred thousand years to grasp the concept that it isn’t and we’re still a work in progress!

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Irene –

    Or we could just stop. Then they could tell we were serious.

    But that wouldn’t be enough. In that part of the world, a blood feud can last generations – person A will take revenge on person B for what happened to person A’s grandfather.

    So if we stopped, the attacks on us – though they would gradually diminish – would continue for decades…and we would have to have the national will to NOT react, to refuse to continue to engage in the vicious cycle we’re in even though our own people are getting attacked.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Chris and Doc –

    When it comes to Palestine, England shares at least as much blame as America. England started the problem, but America’s continuing it.

    Palestine is the ‘poster child’ of our problems in the Middle East only if we were to consider Israel part of Palestine (which it should have been). Palestine is a major problem there, but so is Iran (where we’re in reality the bad guy), Iraq (which is now a satellite of Iran thanks to Dubya), Afghanistan (which we need to leave really soon), and nuclear-armed Pakistan (which isn’t really in the Middle East, but which as a continual target for our drone strikes should still be considered as such for the purposes of this conversation).

    If you think about it, almost all of our problems – almost all of them – in the Middle East are largely of our own making. England’s hands are not clean, either, but America bears the lion’s share of the blame.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Glenn, I didn’t say anything about blame, so don’t really understand why you feel the need to lecture us about it or focus on blame rather than solutions…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Um, Chris –

    One doesn’t have to say the word “blame” to assign blame. Case in point:

    We have all failed to stand up to both successive Israeli governments and other non-Israeli players and have subsequently reaped the bitter harvest of that weakness.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Glenn, that’s a description of the situation, not assigning blame…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Ah, so “we have all failed to stand up to successive Israeli governments” does not equate to “it’s at least to some extent our fault because….”

    Right.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    No, it is a description of what has happened, that’s all…

  • bliffle

    The vigor with which we Americans delude themselves has always amazed and distressed me. Persistent belief in things which are not true can only lead to psychosis.

  • roger nowosielski

    Those who delude themselves so, bliffle, are much too much simpletons to ever suffer from psychosis.