April 15, 2014

Blowback

[UPDATE - more considerations on my Tumblr here]

Writing in the Guardian, Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) explained why western nations can end up as targets and victims of violence:
"The answer is actually well-known and well-documented. As explained by the CIA, the Pentagon, former CIA agents, and British combat veterans, spending decades bombing, invading, occupying, droning, interfering in, imposing tyranny on, and creating lawless prisons in other countries generates intense anti-American and anti-western rage (for obvious reasons) and ensures that those western nations will be attacked as well. In the London case, the attacker cited precisely such anger at US/UK aggression as his motive ("this British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. . . . the only reason we killed this man is because Muslims are dying daily"). Those are just facts."
Then an important caveat from Glenn Greenwald. You can identify a cause without justifying the action. Using a metapher provided by former CIA agent Barry Eisler (@BarryEisler) in his explanation of "blowback", Glenn said:
"If Person X walks up to Person Y on the street and spits in his face, and Person Y then pulls out a gun and shoots Person X in the head and kills him in retaliation, one can observe that Person X's spitting was a causal factor in Person Y's behavior without remotely justifying Person Y's lethal violence."
More on CIA "blowback" here. The Pentagon explained that terrorists "do not 'hate our freedom,' but rather, they hate our policies." Former CIA agent Barry Esiler said:
"We could try invading, occupying and droning Muslim countries a little less, and see if that helps. Maybe prop up fewer corrupt and tyrannical Muslim regimes."
Former British soldier, Joe Glenton (@JoeJGlenton) said:
"It should by now be self-evident that by attacking Muslims overseas, you will occasionally spawn twisted and, as we saw yesterday, even murderous hatred at home."
Shane Smith (@ShaneSmith30) said:
"This one woman who runs a school to deradicalise Taliban dudes is like, "For every drone attack, you have 100 new recruits to the Taliban, and of those 100 new recruits, they will be suicide bombers who will go to America, who will go to American troops and blow themselves up. Every drone attack." And it's very simple: you killed my dad, I'm now going to kill you."
Then said:
"If you had a bunch of Taliban invade America, with long beards and turbans, how many Americans would fight to the death to get those guys out... so you're like, that's what we're doing there. Like we invade them and then occupy their country. So they're just saying, I'm going to kill you for that, let alone go to heaven, let alone the fact you killed my brother."
Then said:
"We interview Taliban, kids who joined the Taliban, and they're like, "there has to be recompense, you can't just kill us all the time." And so they joined the Taliban and they will fuck up anything with and American flag." 
Glenn Greenwald in full in 'Andrew Sullivan, terrorism, and the art of distortion' here. Shane Smith in full here. My previous post on Glenn Greenwald where he describes how US violence is portrayed as "noble" and "civilised" and Muslim violence as "primitive" and "without rational cause".
Previous posts on Glenn Greenwald, on his safe return to the United States here and here, on Senator Frank Church and the Church Committee of the 1970s here, on privacy as necessary for creativity here, the problem with endorsing the abuse of state power here, here and here. Martin Firrell and "security as no replacement for liberty" here. My post on Britain as a national security and anti-terrorism state here. Also, my analysis of Glenn Greenwald's career here.

On the criminalisation of journalism here, here, here, here and here.
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