Blowback: Paris Terror Suspect Radicalized by Outrage Over American Torture and Invasion of Iraq

One of the Paris terror suspects was radicalized by outrage over American torture and the invasion of Iraq. The Huffington Post reports:

“The Associated Press said that Cherif Kouachi was tried in 2008 for helping funnel fighters to Iraq and sentenced to 18 months in prison. Kouachi told the court at the time that he was outraged by images that revealed the torture of Iraqi inmates by U.S. guards at the Abu Ghraib prison, according to the AP.”

And The New York Times reports:

“Chérif’s interest in radical Islam, it was said at the 2008 trial, was rooted in his fury over the United States’ invasion of Iraq in 2003, particularly the mistreatment of Muslims held at Abu Ghraib prison.”

  • Daniel

    US mistreatment of Muslims held at Abu Ghraib (or elsewhere) have been way overstated (factually speaking) in a trend that continues (note the now discredited Senate report on the CIA released in DEC). This is just a poor excuse by a news organization trying to justify it's anti-American and anti-western stances.

    • Jim

      You know this how?

      • alex

        Daniels comment is as much of a conjecture as statements that the suspects were radicalized by American policies.

        • Ross

          Wrong. The statement that the suspect was radicalized by American policies is not mere "conjecture"; the suspect himself stated that.

          • stommeprutser

            No, not wrong. The "suspect" himself shouted at the scene of the crime that he did it to "avenge the prophet" and unless the prophet was being held captive by Americans and subjected to "enhanced interrogation techniques" American policies don't really seem to be the motive. Daniel is perhaps more right than many care to admit.

            And if this was "blowback" it was blowback for going ahead and drawing pictures that muslims don't want you to draw. It is perhaps a kind of blowback that doesn't fit too well with the kind that lends itself more to an antiwar message.

          • El Tonno

            "avenge the prophet" –> It's a smalltime honor killing.

            The blowback comes in the picture because you now have people with roots in France, geared up and trained and f*ck angry about "The West"'s behaviour which has been nothing but utterly shameful since at least the Clinton years. In truth, if there was divine justice a good, fat, medieval plague would eat the flesh of quite a lot of people of the "democracies".

            > American policies don't really seem to be the motive

            Enjoy your disconnection from reality.

          • stommeprutser

            The terrorists were pretty clear about their motives. They didn't mention Clinton, didn't mention Bush, didn't mention Obama didn't mention any American or American politics or "the West" at large at all actually. They said quite explicitly during the attack and afterward in a telephone interview that they murdered those people because they were drawing pictures of the prophet.

            You can't draw pictures of Mohammed, which is why they attacked people who drew pictures of Mohammed. They did not attack people who had to do anything with either making or executing shameful policies. They executed cartoonists, they shot a muslim policeman in the face, they murdered another police women and four hostages at a Kosher supermarket.

            And you as perhaps an antiwar activist, maybe even resorting somewhere himself in a democracy enjoying the freedom to become so irretrievably decadent as to think this is a rather poor score. Many more people needed to have died in some sort of plague.

            Go fuck yourself.

    • Spire

      Nailed it. This follows the CIA meme that if the report was released, just this kind of violence would erupt. How fucking convenient. What we are watching, and will watch as this breaks out more, like the recent mosque bomb, is GLADIO 2.

      • Johnny Alamo

        Blowback, plain and simple. It will take years for all the blowback from the US torture and invasion and drone bombing policies to run its course. It does not matter if the general American population reads about CIA torture; those who were tortured and the overseas sites where torture occurred are well known to the radical Muslim population, so whether or not that CIA report is released means something only to those US citizens who might want to prevent future occurrences of that kind.

    • El Tonno

      > the now discredited Senate report on the CIA

      Go back to your taxpayer-financed propaganda command post and eat your donuts.

  • This process of disassociation, of seeking out foils through which leftists can use to assure themselves that they are innocents in the war between Islamist radicalism and the forces of Western civilization, is a familiar one.

    • This process of disassociation, of seeking out foils through which leftists can use to assure themselves that they are innocents in the war between Islamist radicalism and the forces of Western civilization, is a familiar one.

      Of course, those victims of the bombing of U.S. embassies at Kenya and Tanzania, the attack on the USS Cole, the 9/11 attacks, of the Bali bombing, of the Washington D.C. sniper, of the El Al gunman, and countless other Islamist-inspired terrorist incidents are unfortunate in that they cannot blame their deaths on the Iraq War.

      The radical fundamentalists who killed them, and those like Richard Reid and José Padilla, who plotted still more deaths, were radicalized by something other than the invasion of Iraq and the subsequent horrors of war which followed. Politically inspired murderers have always been able to craft a dubious justification for their actions.

      For some, it is helpful to cast blame for all the world’s ills onto the past administration. This is not a phenomenon unique to America either.

      • mountainguy

        I'm a leftist, but most people on this website (including its editors) are not leftists, but conservatives, liberatarians, classic liberals, etc. Here the distinction is between people who are aware that violent foreign policy and neocolonialism are much the cause of the violence in the world, and those who idiotically call for more military interventions.

  • swift456

    I think it's a shame that when people want to question our governments actions in other countries, they get called unpatriotic and anti-american. It's like they can do no wrong, and we have to blindly just support everything they do when it comes to war and intervention.

    • Spire

      you might want to check out this talk by Tim Wise, where he says America must be the most narcissistic country in the world because only here do we come up with a term, Un-American, the only country that says that. There's no such term used as UnFrench, etc. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PFDyZQVge4

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  • alex

    "….Paris Terror Suspect Radicalized by Outrage Over American Torture and Invasion of Iraq"

    And American government was radicalized by 9/11 attacks.
    What's your point, Dan?

    • Rob

      Pretty sure it's to point out what usually happens when we let our "leaders" plunge the world further into the downward spiral of violence.

    • mountainguy

      And 9/11 (an inexcusable mass murder, as mad as hell) was (partially?) radicalized by Western imperialist foreign policies, and so on and so on, so what is your point?

    • Salem

      Remember the deliberate destruction of Iraq,the sanctions that caused the death of over 300,000 Iraqi children that the US officials called "worth the price",the millions displaced ,and on and on…well before 9/11.History did not start with 9/11.

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  • chuck

    Let's compare: waterboarding, the threat of snapping dogs, underwear VS. slashing throats, beheading people.

    • Ross

      Slashing throats and beheading people are not acts of torture; they're "executions," or killings. And the US does plenty of killing.

    • blounttruth

      Versus genital mutilation and the threats that your young daughter will be raped in front of you, your parents murdered in front of you after weeks of sleep deprivation, hanging naked in the ice cold with hypothermia. Sorry, but some things are worse than death. The worst part is that this was simply a cruel response as we knew long before 9/11 that torture does not give good intelligence, only the pleasure of the inhumane to conduct such. Remember that the report only shed light on 10% of the true torture that occurred, and I would dare say the other 90% might make you change your mind.

  • Chuck: wait, that’s all you think the USA does? And you know how to use a computer how?

    • Don G.

      Good one Robert, but half of Americans are chucks. What's most interesting is that this chuck comes here to antiwar.com. That fact is worth thinking about for the reason why!

  • blounttruth

    Glenn Beck is Ron Paul like I am Santa Claus. I wonder if Beck will ever have a breakdown realizing that his snake oil sales are responsible for much of what has occurred selling his sheep the false government narratives, and promoting tyranny? If he is Ron Paul we should all be scared as it was Beck on CNN that stated that supporters of Ron Paul were all terrorists, while preaching to his minions not to question the sanctity of government.

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