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The Surreal World of Foreign Interventionism

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On March 21 — 9 days ago — I published an article entitled “Prepare Now for Blowback,” in which I pointed out what would seem to be obvious to any reasonable person after some 27 continuous years of U.S. interventionism in the Middle East and 16 continuous years of interventionism in Afghanistan: that some people who sympathize with the people who the U.S. government is killing, bombing, and destroying are going to retaliate with terrorist attacks. It’s just a fact of interventionist life.

I suggested that people should ponder the blowback from U.S foreign policy now, when things are relatively calm, because when another big retaliatory terrorist attack occurs here in the United States, rational thinking is going to be in short supply. That’s when U.S. officials will be exclaiming about how the terrorists (or the Muslims) hate us for our freedom and values and will be completely ignoring the role that U.S. interventionism plays in producing the deep anger and hatred that motivates acts of anti-American revenge.

Back on December 1, 2016, I published an article entitled, “OSU’s Foreign Policy Blowback,” in which I commented on how large crowds of people on sidewalks in Las Vegas were an inviting target for a terrorist vehicle attack. I wrote: “There was nothing local authorities in Las Vegas could do to prevent a car going at top speed from plowing into the throng of people on some sidewalk on the strip.”

A couple of weeks later, on December 19, 2016, a terrorist intentionally drove a giant truck into a crowded market in Berlin with the intent to kill as many people as possible. He succeeded in killing 12.

Then, last week, two days after I published my March 21 article, a terrorist struck in London by intentionally driving a sport utility vehicle into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing four and injuring dozens more.

No, I am not some sort of Nostradamus or psychic who is able to predict the future. It’s just a matter of logic and common sense. When a government goes abroad and kills, maims, bombs, assassinates, and destroys individuals, wedding parties, families and homes, businesses, and properties, there are likely to be some people who get angry about that.

Of course, from the standpoint of the U.S. government, the ideal is that foreign citizens passively and submissively accept their death and and destruction as simply their plight in life.

But that ideal is not reality. The fact is that people tend to get angry when a foreign regime invades their lands and kills, maims, bombs, and destroys people, businesses, and country, and some of them inevitably decide to retaliate.

Longtime readers of FFF know that prior to the 9/11 attacks, here at FFF we were saying that there was likely to be more blowback on American soil. I say “more” because what many Americans tend to forget is that there was pre-9/11 terrorist blowback from the massive death and destruction that the U.S. government had been wreaking in Iraq throughout the 1990s, including the killings of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi children with the sanctions that the U.S. government and the UN were enforcing against Iraq. That pre-9/11 blowback included the 1993 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, the attack on the USS Cole, and the attacks on the U.S. embassies in East Africa.

That’s how we were able to foresee the 9/11 attacks — we had seen the terrorist blowback arising from U.S. foreign policy prior to 9/11.

It also came as no surprise to us when U.S. officials immediately claimed that the 9/11 attacks were motivated by terrorist (or Muslim) hatred for America’s “freedom and values.” When I brought up U.S. foreign policy as the motivating attack in an article entitled “Is This the Wrong Time to Question Foreign Policy?” on 9/27/2001, FFF was inundated with hateful emails, cancellation of support, and invective that suggested that we we were blaming America and that we were terrorist justifiers — anything to avoid focusing on the imperialist and interventionist actions of the U.S. government. Like I say, when blowback from U.S. foreign policy comes, there is a severe shortage of rational thinking.

Consider the recent attack in London. According to the New York Times, immediately after the attack, British Prime Minister Theresa May issued a variation of the “they hate us for our freedom and values” nonsense that we heard here in the United States after the 9/11 attacks. She said “an act of terrorism tried to silence our democracy” and that it was “an attack on free people everywhere.” Britain’s foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, doubled down and implied that it was a Muslim or Islam problem: “The world is united to defeat the people who launched this attack and to defeat their bankrupt and odious ideology.”

See what I mean? Just like after the 9/11 attacks, these people cannot bring themselves to acknowledge the concept of blowback from the death, maiming, and destruction that comes with interventionism. To do that would cause people to focus on the root cause of the terrorism — foreign interventionism. People would then be faced with a choice: Interventionism, along with the perpetual threat of terrorism, or non-interventionism, along with a peaceful and harmonious society.

Why attack Great Britain when it is the U.S. government that is the driving force of imperialism and interventionism? Because ever since Great Britain lost its empire as a consequence of World War II, it has served as a loyal poodle of American interventionists, loyally supporting U.S. interventionism in the Middle East and Afghanistan. That puts the British people at risk for the blowback that comes with U.S. interventionism.

Notice something important here: The terrorists (or the Muslims) haven’t attacked Switzerland with terrorist attacks. Switzerland has the same “freedom and values” as people in Great Britain and the United States. The difference is that the Swiss government hasn’t been killing, bombing, shooting, and assassinating Muslims and others for the past 27 years, as the U.S. and British governments have.

Meanwhile, U.S. officials are now acknowledging that a recent U.S. bombing attack in Mosul, Iraq, the country they have been attacking, invading, or occupying for 27 long years killed scores of innocent civilians, perhaps as many as 100. “My initial assessment is that we probably had a role in these casualties,” stated Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend.

Mark my words: If blowback comes from family members of any of those victims, U.S. officials will immediately tell us how the attackers just hate America for its freedom and values, are trying to destroy our democracy, have an odious ideology and religion, and that killing and maiming their loved ones in that bombing attack in Mosul had absolutely nothing to do with the terrorism.

An important point I have been making since FFF’s inception 27 years ago bears reemphasizing, especially before the next terrorist blowback: If Americans want a peaceful, prosperous, harmonious, and free society, a necessary prerequisite is: Dismantle America’s military empire and end all foreign interventionism. Bring the troops home — all of them from everywhere — and discharge them and abandon all foreign military bases. Limit the U.S. government to defending the United States, just as the Swiss government does for Switzerland. Restore a constitutionally limited-government republic to our land.

Otherwise, everyone should continue to continue to brace himself for endless terrorist blowback, along the anti-American terrorist blowback, loss of liberty and privacy, and financial financial bankruptcy that come with foreign empire and interventionism.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.