When he was recently booed by a lot of the audience in Tampa, Florida, for invoking the infamous blow-back doctrine, some of Representative and Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul’s defenders blamed those who did the booing. Yet at least one friendly commentator made mention of the fact that Dr. Paul has a tough road to hoe because the matter of explaining how to understand anti-Western/American terrorism is not simple, not susceptible to sound bites.
Well, roads are always tough to hoe, what with all the asphalt. But what makes this particular highway so hard to cultivate?
Is it a good idea to explain 9/11 and other terrorist attacks on Western and especially American populations by reference to the fact that the West has inserted itself into many regions of the Muslim world without much popular support from those who live there? The idea is that because governments such as that of the US have indeed done this, there can be no complaint when those who live there carry out attacks on Westerners including hundreds of innocent people who had nothing at all to do with the foreign policy that perpetrated the insertions.
If you think that is the idea behind blowback — that military interventions excuse rather than help explain retaliatory attacks — then I suggest you put down the garden tools, back away from the turnpike, and go read something about the concept.
If you have some terrible sin to atone for and your hair shirt is at the cleaners, read the rest of Machan’s deep thoughts.