Thursday, July 21, 2005


Everything that came before

Malkin links to a post purporting to counter the "Blame Iraq crowd." It's simply a listing, with pictures, of major terrorist events, all of which came before the Iraq invasion. Ergo, this recent spate of violence in London is not related to any policies of the US or UK.
Tell us some more how terrorists are only responding to regime change in Iraq, and how if only we would obey the “insurgents” there and leave Iraq, all of this would end. Tell us that some more, Mr. Galloway, tell us that some more, ladies and gentlemen of the press. Tell us all about it you tired, phoney, so-called intellectuals and sophisticates. Tell us how terror that has existed for decades is all the fault of George W. Bush and his poodles Tony Blair and John Howard.
Allright, let's go over this again.

Individual acts of terror are the fault of the terrorists. Period.

But the worldwide social dynamic which creates terrorists is much more complex. To deny that American foreign policy since World War II plays a large if not overwhelming role in that social dynamic is ludicrous and completely counterproductive. This 1991 article by the Cato institute gives just a glimpse into the nature of that foreign policy and its results. I'll even quote something unflattering about Jimmy Carter, just to make it seem fair.
When Iranian revolutionaries entered the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979 and seized 52 Americans, President Jimmy Carter dismissed reminders of America's long intervention in Iran as "ancient history." Carter's point was not merely that previous U.S. policy could not excuse the hostage taking. His adjective also implied that there was nothing of value to be learned from that history. In his view, dredging up old matters was more than unhelpful; it was also dangerous, presumably because it could only serve the interests of America's adversaries. Thus, to raise historical issues was at least unpatriotic and maybe worse.
Now, as for "terrorism" being "all the fault" of George W. Bush: No, of course not - not put into stark terms like that. However, George W. Bush is the 1)current, 2)foremost, 3)most aggressive, 4)most enthusiastic, 5)most unrepentant, and 6)lyingest practicioner of destructive American foreign policy in the Middle East.

No, Bush and the War in Iraq didn't bring terrorism as a concept into being. And yes, there are other factors besides American foreign policy at play.

But to understand "everything that came before" is to understand that Bush is hard at work doing his part to ensure that there will be a long list of "everything that came after." The idea that he really thinks he's onto something is the saddest part of all.