Charlie Hebdo Massacre

Charlie Hebdo: Rand and Ron Paul's Lowpoint

Blowback isn't the cause and immigration restrictions aren't the cure

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Neither Ron nor Rand Paul has distinguished himself by his sagacity in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Both have made statements that are tinny at best and injurious to the cause of freedom at worst.

The elder Paul went on air claiming the killings were blowback for French interventionism in the Muslim world.

Charlie Hebdo
@bibiweb / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

And the younger Paul declared that it was time to rethink unrestrained immigration from the Muslim world.

But, I note in my column at The Week, Ron has misdiagnosed the illness and Rand has botched the cure.

Blowback, which at its core blames the victim, flies in the face of the declared motives of the attackers:

The journalists — whom the assassins identified by name before summarily executing them — were not agents of French foreign policy. Their sin was that they violated an Islamic injunction against drawing pictures of the prophet — and in unflattering ways to boot.

And using restrictionism to fight Islamic extremism would require launching a War on Immigration – in addition to the War on Terrorism that Paul allegedly opposes:

[It would] mean denying Muslims not just opportunities to study — but also travel — in the West lest they enter the country through tourist visas and then not leave, something that some of the 9/11 hijackers did, as Paul constantly reminds us. But of course, not all Muslims live in the Arab world. They also reside in Asian countries such as India, Malaysia, and Indonesia, which means that travel from these nations would also have to be restricted.

This kind of bunker mentality would only deepen geopolitical hatreds, a recipe for making the West less safe and less free.

Go here to read the whole thing.

NEXT: Steven Soderbergh, copyright infringer?

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  1. “The elder Paul went on air claiming the killings were blowback for French interventionism in the Muslim world.”

    He and others pointed out that French interventionism resulted in people in France who otherwise would have been and remained relatively secular becoming more radicalized – this is because the descendants of people from Muslim countries came to identify with the land of their parents and grandparents after they saw France dropping bombs on their relatives. Just as Cuban Americans often feel an emotional connection to Cuba – even when they were born in the United States – so too do many French people feel an emotional connection to the lands of their ancestors in Northern Africa and the Middle East.

    Near the end of his article he says:

    “Foreign policy actions have consequences. The aggressive foreign policies of the United States and its allies in the Middle East have radicalized thousands and have made us less safe.”

    If you want to read the whole thing it is here:

    http://www.ronpaulinstitute.or…..rom-paris/

    1. So, let’s see. People living in a country not of their culture or ethnic origin who expect the rest of that society to conform to their cultural mores and values.

      I’m not sure the problem here is French colonialism.

      1. Actually it is – most of the Muslims in France are descendants of people who came from lands that were once French colonies.

        And until the recent uptick in France following the USA around like a little lost puppy dog they were becoming increasingly secular. They started to become more radicalized in recent years.

        1. Except you see the same uptick in Islamic radicalism in places where neither the U.S. nor France has ever had much presence. Has it occurred to you that the uptick in radicalism may reflect a notion of Islamic colonialism?

          1. Nope. Muzzies in Sweden throw rocks at firefighters and EMTs because blowback.

          2. The U.S. and other NATO countries have impacted just about every Muslim country in the Northern Hemisphere – either directly with bombs or indirectly through sanctions.

            Islamic colonialism? Really? Can you come up with a more creative fantasy?

            1. Do you really think the guys who just murdered a dozen cartoonists were upset about sanctions on Syria or Iran or something? Get serious.

              1. Do you really think the guys who just murdered a dozen cartoonists were upset about sanctions on Syria or Iran or something? Get serious.

                Do you really think those guys became radicalized by a bunch of cartoons?

                1. Why is it so hard for you to accept these guys own words about their motivations?

                  1. Why is it so hard for you to accept that these guys were radicalized before those cartoons were ever published?

              2. Jeff, I will repeat a reply I gave below to another post:

                Policies have an impact on the culture of a society, you may not like this fact but it is true. In our own country the War on Drugs has impacted everything from clothing styles to contemporary music. It has turned inner cities into war zones. Is it so crazy of a notion that foreign policy would impact a culture of immigrants who are from the lands being impact by that foreign policy?

                1. re-read your own post: those inner-cities plagued by policies that no one here is defending, are they taking out their frustrations populations that had nothing to do with those policies?

                  This form of Islam was no different before anyone ever mentioned colonialism.

                  1. This form of Islam was no different before anyone ever mentioned colonialism.

                    Seems like kind of a big claim. It is hard to imagine that the European powers’ involvement in the Middle East had no effect on the culture or on Muslims’ views about the West.

                    I don’t think that the attacks had anything directly or consciously to do with colonialism. But it is silly to pretend that all of that history has nothing to do with anything and that the relations between the Islamic world and the West would be exactly the same as it is now if colonialism and various interventions hadn’t happened.

                    1. Except, I think it’s a little naive to place the blame for Islamic-Western tensions on the colonial era

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Vienna

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vlad_the_Impaler

                    2. “Except, I think it’s a little naive to place the blame for Islamic-Western tensions on the colonial era”

                      Before either of the Siege of Vienna or Vlad the Impaler were the Crusades:

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades

                  2. “This form of Islam was no different before anyone ever mentioned colonialism.”

                    Actually, that is not true, as mentioned here on H&R a while back it was once perfectly acceptable to have respectful images of Mohammed.

                    http://www.zombietime.com/moha…..c_mo_full/

            2. What’s “creative” about it? The fact of the matter is that the hallmark of Islamic radicalism is a belief in Muslim supremacy. That they would act in a role indistinguishable from colonizers (insist that local cultures conform to their values and mores) is roughly confirmed by the empirical facts.

              So, why don’t you expound on the history of U.S. or French intervention in, say, Nigeria. Otherwise, blowback has trouble explaining Boko Haram.

              1. TBH, Nigeria kinda-sorta has Britain to thank for many of its troubles. The Brits (who, quite ironically, bumbled into Africa to stamp out the slave trade) united the Northern and Southern regions into a single nation-state without giving much thought to the fact that the Muslim North had been raiding the animist South for slaves for centuries.

                1. Hell, scratch any problem pretty much anywhere in the world and you reveal British culpability, so that’s a wash because it’s everywhere. The world has unfortunately had to suffer the British and their machinations, but some have been better able to suck up & deal with it than others.

              2. blowback has trouble explaining Boko Haram

                As I say below, I think blowback is the wrong word. But Boko Haram is explicitly in opposition to Western culture and values displacing the traditional Islamic ones. So I’d say it also has something to do with the history of the West’s involvement in Africa. They are completely evil and wrong, but they are a reaction to the results of Western colonialism.

                1. Except, the particular influence you’re talking about is cultural influence. It isn’t like there’s a massive western presence there other than normal trading relationships. What they object to is the fact that many Nigerians would much prefer to live in the manner they see Westerners live than that these savages would prescribe for them. Short of sealing off the entire country from even exposure to the rest of us (which Dr. Paul specifically denies intending), no amount of non-intervention would prevent that.

                  1. All I’m saying is that it all contributes. There are lots of causes.

              3. “So, why don’t you expound on the history of U.S. or French intervention in, say, Nigeria. Otherwise, blowback has trouble explaining Boko Haram.”

                In Nigeria it was the British – but the concept is the same.

                1. I find Ron Paul’s comments illogical. Europe and the US came to Africa and interfered with the people there through colonialism etc. So the Muslims from Africa become upset and promote a radical form of Islam and sometimes a small number act violently in Africa or in Europe and the US as revenge for colonialism.

                  BUT in Africa Christianity is growing especially Catholicism and Pentecostalism. This is the same religion that the colonist used to justify their atrocities against Africans.

                  Where are the African Catholic terrorists? Don’t they share a common history of sadness and manipulation with their African Muslim brothers at the hands of Europe and the US?

                  Terrorist and radical Islamic instigator will give any reason to help justify their hate and violence including pointing to colonialism, but the truth that Ron Paul and others seem to be avoiding is that terrorists that attack the US and Europe are Muslim. The violent ones believe that infidels need to be killed, institute sharia law etc. They are just as vocal about purifying the world of infidels as blaming colonialism. The fact that there are no Christian terrorists from Africa attacking the US and Europe shows that blaming colonialism is a total farce.

                  1. “Where are the African Catholic terrorists?”

                    Correlation does not equal causation. Those Africans willing to embrace Christianity are the same ones least likely to find Western values offensive. Those that choose not to embrace Christianity are more likely to remain resentful over the past history of colonialism. Correlation does not equal causation.

    2. are these secular Muslims you mention too obtuse to ask why it is that France or some other country might be dropping bombs on their relatives? Think what you wish about the whole war on terror but stop drawing equivalence between instigation and retaliation.

      1. wareagle,

        By having one foot in each culture they probably understand far better than most Europeans and Americans. But there is a psychological response that is quite common – it is a form of defiance – to more strongly embrace beliefs that are being attacked.

    3. The doctrine justifying these attacks, Aniconism has been part of Islam since the beginning and is enforced vigorously in their own home countries.

      Do you think that is such native and historical tyranny is the result of blowback too?

      Do you think the Jyllands-Posten Danish Muhammad cartoon in 2005 that resulted in:

      Some escalated into violence resulting in more than 200 reported deaths, attacks on Danish and other European diplomatic missions, attacks on churches and Christians

      is the result of Danish colonialism of the middle east?

      While interventionism can lead to animosity in the lands affected, the fault of radicalization of people *not* in affected areas lies with those people themselves. There is no involuntary force causing them to be offended, or react violently.

      1. While interventionism can lead to animosity in the lands affected,

        Why would you assume that it has no effect in lands not directly affected?

        The blame and responsibility falls on the people committing the attacks no matter what. But why do so many people resist acknowledging that history has something to do with it? The world is complicated and people often aren’t terribly rational. And you can explain why people do things without excusing or supporting what they do. Yes, a whole lot of it has to do with the religion itself and its incompatibility with Western liberal ideals. But nothing has a single, simple explanation like that.

        1. Woah woah woah woah…You mean that Muslims aren’t just born with dynamite vests strapped to them? That there actually might be a reason that they’re willing to kill themselves to make their point? Absurd!!!

          1. @black blood

            It’s perfectly fine if they want to kill themselves.

        2. Why would you assume that it has no effect in lands not directly affected?

          The burden of proof should be on why it should.

          The world is complicated and people often aren’t terribly rational

          That the world is complex doesn’t justify the irrationality.

          1. I didn’t say anything justifies irrationality. Just that it exists. There is no justification for terrorism and murder.

          2. It’s not an excuse, it’s an explanation.

        3. “But why do so many people resist acknowledging that history has something to do with it?”

          Because it does not really matter to what we do about attacks on our own people and culture.

    4. Did blowback cause AIDS too?

  2. People do things for people reasons, and it’s ridiculous to think that blowback had nothing to do with the attack. It doesn’t excuse the attack, which was just plain murder, and there are all sorts of nuts in the world, regardless of blowback; but colonial resentment almost certainly increased the number of nuts who found a way to vent their frustrations in a way that would be socially acceptable back home.

    It’s like Ferguson: the dead guy certainly provoked his own death by reaching into the cop car and not surrendering sooner. But so did the soft police state we live in, the racism of that society, and many other factors. The choking death of the loosies peddler was another variant of police state actions resulting in people dying for stupid but predictable reasons.

    Everything has consequences, blowback included. But people are responsible for their actions, regardless of motivation.

    1. I agree. I don’t like the term “blowback” much, because it does sound a bit like blaming the victim. But it is ridiculous to pretend that the history of European colonialism has nothing to do with it at all. I may be misinterpreting some people, but it seems like a lot of people are claiming that Islam would be exactly the same today if European colonialism hadn’t happened. Maybe it would be, who knows? But it is far from obvious that that would be the case.

      And the “blowback” or whatever you want to call it need not be so specific to particular countries, but reflect an attitude about the West in general. So pointing out that Muslim immigrants in Sweden do bad stuff too is beside the point.

      1. AFAIK, “blowback” wasn’t coined to mean rxns out of animosity from a previous attack, but out of kinds of spillover wherein the people you empower against your enemy also become empowered against you.

  3. my co-worker’s half-sister makes $69 /hr on the internet . She has been fired from work for ten months but last month her payment was $17800 just working on the internet for a few hours. try here……
    ????? http://www.netcash50.com

  4. Blowback can’t possibly be real because interventionists have good intentions.

    1. This /\ /\/\/\/\/\/\/\

  5. “Blowback, which at its core blames the victim…”

    I am sooo tired of this “we cannot blame the victim” mantra. Sometimes the victim is to blame. Those journalists had a right to free speech and they exercised it. But what most people seem to miss is that with rights comes great responsibility. Per the 2nd Amendment, I have a right to own and carry a gun. But with that right comes the responsibility to use that weapon properly. The same goes with speech. And if you use speech irresponsibly, there will be repercussions, just as with a gun. Even Pope Francis can recognize this. If someone “says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch,” he [Francis] joked.

    1. This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever read and you should be ashamed.

      Mocking Islamic fundamentalism should not result in a death sentence and it is not ‘irresponsible’ to criticize a religion.

      1. You are commenting on a result, not a cause.

        The cause is interventionism. Both classical French colonialism and France’s contemporary following whatever the present whims are of the President of the USA.

        1. The cause is interventionism.

          Except, that’s not what these guys themselves said. They said it was because Charlie Hebdo insulted Muhammad. I guess you must understand their motivations better than they do.

          1. Those guys didn’t suddenly become radicals after the cartoons were printed.

          2. “Except, that’s not what these guys themselves said.”

            Right and a guy who kills a police officer may not say that the cause is the War on Drugs, that doesn’t mean it isn’t.

            1. So, basically, you’re saying that yes, you do know their motivations better than they do.

              Good that the little brown people have a nice Westerner like yourself to explain all that to them.

              1. So, basically, you’re saying that yes, you do know their motivations better than they do.

                Either you are being intentionally obtuse, or you believe the War On Drugs has not contributed to the sky high murder rates in inner cities. Which is it?

                1. No, I think you’re they ones being deliberately obtuse here. These buys said they did what they did because they were offended by the Mohammed cartoons. They showed no particular interest in foreign policy or international affairs.

                  In the case of the sky high murder rates in inner cities, you can rest assured that, even if they don’t blame the War on Drugs, they full well understand that the murders are about drugs. They don’t need you or TIMLP to tell them that. Yet, in this case, they relate this to colonialism or international affairs in no way.

                  The facts just don’t back up your argument here. You’re trying to pigeonhole a story that doesn’t fit into the “blowback” narrative.

                  1. Bill Dalasio,

                    You and many others would prefer that they embrace Western culture. Ask yourself, what has been their introduction to Western culture? If you were introduced to a set of ideas through violence would you be likely to embrace those ideas?

                    Imperialism has EVERYTHING to do with this.

                    1. Frankly, I don’t give a brass farthing whether they embrace Western culture or not. I care that a portion of those who live in the West see fit to employ violence to impose their culture on the rest of us.

                      In fact, I think it’s more than fair to say that those wishing to impose their cultural values & mores on cultures and civilizations different from their own are legitimately defined as imperialists. And, in this case, that isn’t France, or the U.S. It’s a particular set of Muslims living in the West. And, yes, their imperialism has everything to do with it.

                    2. “Frankly, I don’t give a brass farthing whether they embrace Western culture or not. I care that a portion of those who live in the West see fit to employ violence to impose their culture on the rest of us.”

                      So here, if I take you at your word, you are saying that it is at least possible for them to tolerate our culture without embracing it. So the problem is not Islam, you have just admitted that here. The problem is that not enough people accept the Non-Aggression Principle.

              2. I second Jordan on this. I ask the same question: “Either you are being intentionally obtuse, or you believe the War On Drugs has not contributed to the sky high murder rates in inner cities. Which is it?”

          3. So I guess they prognosticated the cartoons in 2005 when they went for terrorist training, a year before Charlie printed any of the cartoons.

            These were assholes in search of a target.

    2. And exactly what is the basis for this “responsibility” not to offend people?

      What if the French find the crap the Mulims say offensive? Would you support mass deportation?

      1. “And exactly what is the basis for this “responsibility” not to offend people?”

        I fully support freedom of speech and the press. Unfortunately for journalists, war makes their job less safe. These people are victims of both those who pulled the trigger and those who pulled France into warfare.

    3. If someone “says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch,” he [Francis] joked.

      You and the pope are barbaric cunts if you think responding to insults with violence is reasonable.

      Misusing a gun can hurt or kill someone. “Misusing” speech (whatever the hell that even entails) does not violate anybody’s rights. I have no responsibility to not offend people who think that drawing a mass murdering child molester is offensive.

    4. Your usage of the word “responsibility” in a positive-rights fashion is a popular one, but is still semantically correct, which is why I’m reluctant to use it.

      Ultimately, with natural rights, in libertopia and even in the current legal system, there’s no responsibility, only liability.

      And you determine objective liability through involuntary damage (i.e. forces that produce effects in a double-blind or black-box test). So it really doesn’t matter what you think of a “responsible” or not.

  6. If they had attacked almost anything other than Charlie Hebdo, Ron might have had a point. Now he just looks crazy.

    Rand is absolutely right. Allowing huge numbers of Muslims to immigrate to Europe was a horrible idea. That’s never had a happy ending anywhere in history.

    1. Re: Drake,

      If they had attacked almost anything other than Charlie Hebdo, Ron might have had a point. Now he just looks crazy.

      They did attack a kosher deli. Or did you forget that all of a sudden?

      Also, they’re called “lone wolf” attacks for a reason, Drake. Fortunately, these lone attackers can’t be in several places at the same time, like the Flash.

      The Tsarnaev brothers attacked one Boston marathon – one target. Are you saying they were motivated by their hatred of running shoes instead of being motivated by American foreign policy?

      Please.

      1. Charlie Hebdo was threatened repeatedly and explicitly because their cartoons were offensive to Muslims. Those threats never mentioned Algerian colonialism or current French foreign policy.

        1. Re: Drake,

          Charlie Hebdo was threatened repeatedly and explicitly because their cartoons were offensive to Muslims.

          And the twin towers were threatened repeatedly because it was a symbol of American financial power. And the Madrid Subway system was targeted because it is a symbol of daily Spanish life.

          They were made targets because they were highly-visible and convenient targets, Drake. Terrorism is not only about breaking things, it is about the message.

          Those threats never mentioned Algerian colonialism or current French foreign policy.

          Maybe the threats were made by someone else. The killings were made by two brothers who didn’t bother with threats. This was a clear-cut political act of violence with a big message, not small and petty.

          1. With Islam, you cannot separate the religious and political message. They are the same – SUBMIT.

            1. Drake, I know some Muslim Libertarians, here are a couple of sites for you to look at:

              http://muslimagorist.com/

              http://www.muslims4liberty.org/

  7. “Blowback, which at its core blames the victim,”

    I don’t see it that way. Blowback is a fact: – did one action cause a reaction? There is no judgment involved – the reaction may be totally irrational to a totally rational action. Maybe sometimes the victim is to blame and other times not.

  8. Blowback, which at its core blames the victim[…] [sic]

    Sounds like Shikha is bringing out her inner Rudy Giuliani…

    1. Yes it does. The “blowback theory” must either dehumanize the entire middle east to the point of considering them just animals or blame the victim for asking for and getting what they deserved. It has to be one or the other. If the middle east is a hornets nest that anyone kicking should know will result in getting stung, then the people who live there are basically animals who can’t be expected to have any kind of rational response. If the people there are rational, then that means their actions are both rational and just and that means that the victim deserved it.

      So which is it, do you think Muslims are sub human animals or do you think the victims of this act got what they deserved?

      1. Re: John,

        Yes it does. The “blowback theory” must either dehumanize the entire middle east to the point of considering them just animals or blame the victim for asking for and getting what they deserved.

        It does none of those things. You’re making stuff up, John. Don’t you think the Boston Tea Party was a case of blowback? Were the British blameless victims, or were the men dumping the tea into the harbor animals or unthinking savages?

        Don’t make stuff up to win arguments.

        1. It’s different when we do it.

        2. Don’t you think the Boston Tea Party was a case of blowback?

          Of course it was. And that is an example of the British getting what they deserved. The Boston Tea Party was a just response to a series of unjust acts committed by the British Government.

          Your example is an example of option two of my choices. Do you think Muslim terror is the same? If not, then how is it blowback? Its only blowback if you think that Muslims are so barbaric that everyone should expect unjust and crazy reactions whenever dealing with them.

          1. And that is an example of the British getting what they deserved.

            That’s why they humbly apologized instead of waging war.

            1. They waged war. So what? The point is that neither the US nor Britain were irrational animals and both acted in ways that were predictable given their interests.

              So the question is, do you think terrorism is a rational and appropriate response by any Muslim anywhere to the US waging war in the middle east? Remember, we are not talking about some Iraqi getting pissed off and coming to the US and launching terror attacks. We are talking about Muslims living in France getting angry about something happening in a country they have never even visited and launching terror attacks on French targets over US actions in the middle east. Really? And even if it is in response to French actions, why didn’t they blow up the French Government or something instead of murdering a bunch of cartoonists who probably didn’t like the French government either?

              1. Just because I don’t think something is rational doesn’t mean someone else can’t rationalize it.

              2. “So the question is, do you think terrorism is a rational and appropriate response by any Muslim anywhere to the US waging war in the middle east?”

                It doesn’t matter what I think. It matters what they think.

                What you’re doing is assuming that everyone in the world secretly agrees with our moral assumptions and that any deviation from western values is a sign of irrationality or animalism. That’s just not true.

                1. What you’re doing is assuming that everyone in the world secretly agrees with our moral assumptions and that any deviation from western values is a sign of irrationality or animalism.

                  Heathens!

                2. It doesn’t matter what I think. It matters what they think.

                  That is true. But if you are telling me that Muslims are all so crazy that they will immediately rise up and start terrorizing people over US actions, you are telling me you think that Muslims are irrational animals.

                  You are giving me option number 2 tarran. You may be right, but be honest and admit what you are actually saying about Muslims.

                  That is my point, you either agree with them or think Muslims are utterly irrational to be on the level of animals. The hornets don’t do a lot of reasoning when you kick the nest.

                  1. But if you are telling me that Muslims are all so crazy that they will immediately rise up and start terrorizing people over US actions

                    Strawman down! A small number of Muslims will seek vengeance in whatever form they can get it.

                    1. A small number of Muslims will seek vengeance in whatever form they can get it.

                      so because a small number does it, larger conclusions cannot be drawn? Please. Multiple surveys and polls show a majority of Muslims having no quarrel with violence visited on those who say something unkind about Islam. The small number of actors appears to have the support of a large part of the observers.

                    2. The large part of the observers you refer are also known as moderate muslims.

                    3. “A small number of Muslims will seek vengeance in whatever form they can get it.”

                      This is true of a small number of just about any arbitrary group you can name.

                  2. you either agree with them or think Muslims are utterly irrational to be on the level of animals

                    Keep it up with the false dichotomy, John.

                    You know who else like fallacies?

          2. … a just response to a series of unjust acts committed by the British Government.

            Sweet Jeebus, you sure swallowed the Whig Kool-Aid. One would perhaps be far more correct to claim that the ‘Boston Tea Party’ was a terrorist act by a large group of organized smugglers who felt their profits were threatened by honorable men like Judge Hutchinson.

            1. Sweet fucking Jesus. They were only “smugglers” because of the taxes placed on the colonies. The British created the black market through their own policies.

              The same board that will defend drug dealers today, will now tell us that the founders were just evil smugglers. Well yeah, but the British Government’s policies had something to do with them being so.

              1. Stuff and nonsense! This Whig history as filtered through the DAR is as pernicious as it is untrue. Read more Moldbug.

                http://unqualified-reservation…..ed_15.html

                1. That is utter nonsense. The British government utterly fuck up and alienated what was an otherwise loyal population.

                  Believe whatever moonbattery you want to. I have better things to do.

          3. Re: John,

            The Boston Tea Party was a just response to a series of unjust acts committed by the British Government.

            Well, then consider the possibility that attacks made against American (or her allies) interests are the result of a series of unjust acts committed by the American government or by her allies. It cannot be that the case can be made for one set of circumstances but not for another set only because you want to place the British and Americans on a different level than angry Muslims. That’s called “chauvinism.”

            1. dumping tea in a harbor, killing people who had no hand in a policy. Sure, totally the same thing.

              1. Re: wareagle,

                dumping tea in a harbor, killing people who had no hand in a policy. Sure, totally the same thing.

                So we can’t call it “blowback” when people die, wareagle? Because that was the point.

                Why would the definition of blowback be contingent upon the degree of destruction? We can certainly condemn both the destruction of tea and the killing of innocents, as both are acts of aggression, but when looking for reasons why these things happen, why can’t we use the same concept: blowback?

                What I think is that, just like leftists, Shikha, John and you are engaging in polylogism.

            2. Well, then consider the possibility that attacks made against American (or her allies) interests are the result of a series of unjust acts committed by the American government or by her allies.

              I have. And that means you support the terrorists and think they are right. If that is your opinion, good for you. You have a right to your opinion. But own it and stop pretending you don’t think that.

              If you are done with the people who murdered the guys at Charlie Hebdo because you think it is a just response to unjust actions, good luck with that.

              1. Re: John,

                I have. And that means you support the terrorists and think they are right.

                And if that means you prefer to argue through Ad Hominems, then you should own that as well, John.

                I don’t support the terrorists. I’m simply not placing my head in the sand and pretend the actions of the American government are all good and pure.

              2. What if I agree with Muslims’ reasons for attacking or their general angst against imperialism, but disagree wholeheartedly with their deplorable tactics? Does that mean I think they are both right and wrong at the same time? I think so which makes it all a little grayer than you’ve outlined.

        3. Don’t you think the Boston Tea Party was a case of blowback?

          You’ll have to refresh my memory. Did the Boston Tea Party involve people killing a bunch of people in London who had no relationship whatsoever to the colonists’ complaints?

          1. Its better than that. This would be like Americans living in France killing a bunch of Frenchman because they were angry about British policy in America.

          2. That’s not relevant to whether or not that was a case of blowback.

            1. It sure as hell is. If it is blowback, that means the people who did it have a right to do it. Blow back is me hitting you in the face or raping your wife and you hitting me back.

              It is not that the blowback theory can’t be true. It can be. It is that the people who claim it are so dishonest. If they were honest, they would admit that they think terrorists are justified and the US is wrong. But they don’t have the balls to do that and instead give all sorts of crap weasel evasions about the subject.

              1. “If it is blowback, that means the people who did it have a right to do it.”

                No, it doesn’t. You completely misunderstand the concept. Blowback is not the same thing as retaliation. Blowback can impact even people who opposed the policies that resulted in the action. Blowback is a reaction but it is not necessarily a deliberately directed one.

                1. lowback is not the same thing as retaliation. Blowback can impact even people who opposed the policies that resulted in the action.

                  Of course it can be, if the people doing it are completely crazy, unjust and irrational. In that case, see option number one.

                  Moreover, if you are admitting that their actions are irrational and unjust, then you are giving away your argument. So what then? Are you telling me that the US should base its actions on the unjust and irrational concerns of other people? That we should not defend ourselves or act in our interests because of the potentially crazy and irrational actions other people might take?

                  The whole point of “blowback” is to argue that it makes the US wrong for causing it. If you admit that the actions are unjust and irrational, then the US isn’t wrong.

                  Again, it is a completely dishonest argument.

                  1. “Moreover, if you are admitting that their actions are irrational and unjust, then you are giving away your argument.”

                    Then you don’t understand my argument.

                    I am not arguing that their actions are just, I am arguing that their actions would not have occurred were it not for OTHER unjust actions.

              2. If it is blowback, that means the people who did it have a right to do it.

                Wrong.

              3. who did it have a right to do it

                Oh, c’mon. It says NOTHING about the ultimate morality of their actions. It speaks almost exclusively to motivation.

                1. Oh, c’mon. It says NOTHING about the ultimate morality of their actions. It speaks almost exclusively to motivation.

                  If their motivation was rational, then how is it not just? Sure, we can debate it. Morality is hardly something we can define with certainty. But if was rational, it was certainly justified, even if immoral. Again, if you think the people who did this were justified or the people who did 911 were justified, own that opinion and stop pretending otherwise.

                  1. Oh good lord. Now you’re in full Red Tony mode.

            2. No, but it most certainly is relevant as to whether we should consider the massacre of the Charlie Hebdo staff blowback. In a case where there is an attack on a specific target related to grievances, blowback is a reasonable theory. In a case where there is, at best, a tangental relationship to any alleged grievance, the burden of proof should be solidly against that interpretation.

              1. Which is an easier target: the Presidential motorcade or a shopping mall?

                1. Do you have any idea how completely, utterly and totally retarded that sounds? Hey, the guys’ wives were easier target still. I guess we should consider every instance of spousal abuse by a Muslim as blowback. Hey, you know, it’s easier to rob someone than go on a murder spree. Maybe we should consider every robbery by a Muslim blowback.

      2. False dichotomy for the win!

      3. That’s stupid as hell, John. There’s a third option: That Muslims are human beings who react angrily to being attacked, just like we do.

        We were attacked on 9/11 and proceeded to invade two countries. Does the fact that we responded to violence by killing people in Afghanistan make us ‘sub-human animals?’

        Blowback has nothing to do with this attack because it was crazy fundamentalists doing this as a result of their religion being offended. And then they killed some Jews because what’s an Islam inspired massacre without dead Jews.

        However, the fact that this had nothing to do with a violent reaction to our invasion in the Middle East doesn’t mean that no such violent reactions occur.

        1. “Blowback has nothing to do with this attack because it was crazy fundamentalists doing this as a result of their religion being offended.”

          Policies have an impact on the culture of a society, you may not like this fact but it is true. In our own country the War on Drugs has impacted everything from clothing styles to contemporary music. It has turned inner cities into war zones. Is it so crazy of a notion that foreign policy would impact a culture of immigrants who are from the lands being impact by that foreign policy?

        2. However, the fact that this had nothing to do with a violent reaction to our invasion in the Middle East doesn’t mean that no such violent reactions occur.

          I never said it didn’t happen. If you think that Muslims coming to this country and killing Americans is a perfectly rational and jsut response to American policy, then say so. That puts you within of the two options I give.

          That is the point, if you want to claim that this reaction is to be expected, then you need to admit it is just for them to do it and the US is just getting what it deserved. You can’t claim it is expected and rational and then claim you are not blaming the victim.

          1. “I never said it didn’t happen. If you think that Muslims coming to this country and killing Americans is a perfectly rational and jsut response to American policy, then say so. That puts you within of the two options I give.”

            I do not think it’s a rational or just policy, John. I’m saying it will happen.

            People react angrily and don’t think things through when they are upset. It was not rational or just for us to invade Iraq, but we did it anyway. The War On Drugs is not rational or just, but we continue it.

            This is a basic, obvious point and I don’t know why you’re incapable of grasping it.

            1. I do not think it’s a rational or just policy, John. I’m saying it will happen.

              Then you are telling me Muslims are crazy and lessor humans. We didn’t have Vietnamese people blowing themsevles up in Paris over that war did we?

              Think about what you are actually saying about Muslims here. You are telling me they are so fanatical and irrational that even the US acting in self defense against them as we did in Afghanistan is going to get Muslims all over the world to attack the US and engage in terrorism. You don’t think that is pretty dehumanizing and racist?

              How about this idea, radical Islam is an aggressive fascist ideology that is going to attract followers who will commit acts of terror trying to further the ideology regardless of what the US does. It is not blow back, it is the adherents of a fascist ideology making war on us. How about that?

              1. regardless of what the US does

                Can’t.

                Possibly.

                Be.

                A.

                Response.

                To.

                Well.

                Intentioned.

                Policies.

                You know who else absolutely refuses to see results and only focuses on intentions? He also has a fetish for fallacies, like false dichotomy for example. I bet you know who I’m talking about.

                1. I’m not sure that is what John is getting at.

                  On a certain level, there inevitably seems to develop something a little condescending in the blowback theory. It kind of assumes that, no matter what the little brown people do, it always comes down to a reaction to something we did. That assumes that they can’t have an agenda of their own other than one we impose on them.

            2. Irish,

              by your own argument, the US reacted angrily to being attacked; a group of Muslims reacted angrily to cartoons. This is like the Buckley statement regarding men and pushing little old ladies.

            3. I do not think it’s a rational or just policy, John. I’m saying it will happen.

              If it’s neither rational nor just, what makes it so hard for you to believe that it might happen regardless of our policies?

          2. If you think that Muslims coming to this country and killing Americans is a perfectly rational and jsut response to American policy

            Just? No. Rational? Yep.

            NOTE: Rational != reasonable

            1. How is blowing yourself up ever rational? And since when is murdering cartoonists who have nothing to do with any of that any kind of rational response?

              1. Just because you can’t rationalize something doesn’t mean no one else can.

                1. Yes sarcasic, that makes them crazy fucks. If you admit that it is completely irrational, you might as well hold the CIA responsible for the guy shooting up the movie theater in Aurora. He thought the CIA was out to get him. Just because his response was irrational it is still blowback right?

          3. Your problem, John, is that you equate seeing how someone could rationalize something with condoning and agreeing with it.

            It is entirely possible to see how Western policy in the Muslim world could motivate people to commit acts of terrorism against Westerners, without condoning and agreeing with their actions.

            1. No. I am saying that if you honestly believe that Muslims will do that, you think Muslims are some kind of sub human race.

              And further, if they are so crazy they will ratonalize like that, they will rationalize anything.,

              What you don’t understand is that the world doesn’t revolve around the US. That people have their own reasons for doing things and are going to do what they want without regard to t he US. You guys just can’t admit that maybe people just don’t like us and want to kill us or terrorize us and it doesn’t matter what we have or have not done. They act for their own reasons. They are their own people, not machines that react to the all powerful and important US.

              1. you think Muslims are some kind of sub human race.

                Islam is not a race. It’s a religion.

                You guys just can’t admit that maybe people just don’t like us and want to kill us or terrorize us and it doesn’t matter what we have or have not done.

                You can’t admit that policy put forth with good intentions can have bad results. Especially when the military is involved. Your inner conservative is showing.

                What you don’t understand is that it is possible to look at something from someone else’s point of view without agreeing with it.

                1. You can’t admit that policy put forth with good intentions can have bad results.

                  Can you build a bigger strawman? For someone who yells STRAWMAN about every other post, you have a lot of nerve or completely lack self awareness to say that.

                  Of course things can have bad result. The point is that some things happen because of other reasons. Not every action is done in response to what the US does. Sometimes, in fact most of the time, people have their own reasons for doing things. You guys just assume that everything must revolve around and be the result of US actions. And sorry, the world doesn’t work that way.

                  1. You guys just assume that everything must revolve around and be the result of US actions.

                    Speaking of straw men…

                    1. If you admit that not everything is the result of US actions, why are you so sure terrorism is? What makes you think that radical Islam isn’t just an aggressive fascist ideology that people are going to join because they like it and don’t’ need any kind of justification?

                      All you are doing is begging the question and just assuming you are right. I keep saying over and over again, bad results can happen. I just say this isn’t one of them. All you do is scream but it must be and scream strawman.

                      And you forgot to scream RED TONY. Clearly my thinking that the terrorism in France has nothing to do with the US is only because saying so furthers the Republican cause. Come on sarcasmic, scream RED TONY here. You know you want to.

                    2. Not all terrorism is the fault of Western foreign policy, but a lot of it is. Some directly, and some indirectly.

                      Don’t you think that it’s possible that radical Islam has gained in popularity thanks to Western troops stomping around in the Muslim world?

                      No. Of course not. Your inner conservative could never even entertain that as a possibility.

                    3. Don’t you think that it’s possible that radical Islam has gained in popularity thanks to Western troops stomping around in the Muslim world?

                      It is possible sure. But it is necessarily true. The West fucked with the Muslim world a lot more in the 19th Century than it did in the 20th century. And the Muslim world was less radical.

                      Indeed, the countries we have most fucked with are not where the terrorists that are coming to the west are even from. Show me any Iraqis or Afghans coming to the US to do this or going to Europe. These people are always native Europeans or Saudis or Yemenis.

                      These people join these ideologies because they are pissed off at the world at large and want to be a part of something larger and more important. Debating whether US actions caused people in the Middle East to turn radical is like debating whether Jewish bankers caused people to become Nazis. Sure the Nazis claimed that. But that was their rationalization for doing what they wanted to do anyway. It is not like the Jews could have stopped them if only they had acted differently. It is the same thing here.

                    4. These people are always native Europeans or Saudis or Yemenis.

                      Yeah. People with enough money to take action.

                      As far as the Nazis go, do you think they could have come to power if not for the Treaty of Versailles?

                      Sure that wasn’t the intention of the treaty, but like they say about the road to hell.

                    5. As far as the Nazis go, do you think they could have come to power if not for the Treaty of Versailles?

                      We will never know. Even if the treaty had been kinder to Germany, Germany still lost the war. Germany never had much of a Democratic tradition and even a better peace, hard to bet on the Wiemar Republic doing very well.

                      And there are lots of Iraqis who have money. And even if they didn’t, there are plenty of people who would fund them to come here if they wanted to terrorize us. But they don’t.

                      The point is that there is more going on there than just the US.

                    6. The point is that there is more going on there than just the US.

                      I don’t think even Ron Paul would disagree with that. Yeah, there are a lot of factors. Like Western foreign policy for example.

                  2. The point is that some things happen because of other reasons recognizing that well intentioned policy could have bad results would be an insult to the good intentions of our men and women in uniform, and conservatives have an emotional reaction to such notions.

                    ftfy

      4. Yes, how crazy one must be to believe that invading countries, bombing weddings, and selling weapons to oppressive dictatorships might piss people off!

        Meanwhile, the non-crazy thing to believe is that the people in the Middle Easy are the only ones on Earth who never experience a desire for justice or vengeance.

        1. Yes, how crazy one must be to believe that invading countries, bombing weddings, and selling weapons to oppressive dictatorships might piss people off!

          It is not crazy at all. So they are pissed off. A lot of people are pissed off. Why is it that we should expect them to blow themselves up and attack people who print cartoons as a result of that?

          Do you think murdering 12 people who write cartoons you don’t like is any kind of rational response to the US invading Iraq? If not, then how can you say it is the result of blowback from the US invading Iraq unless you just think Muslims are subhumans who do evil and crazy things in response to any provocation?

          1. John,

            Do you understand the difference between a direct cause and an indirect cause? I am not saying that the bombing of the magazine is a direct result of foreign policy but that it is an indirect result.

            1. You are making a distinction without difference. A lot of things are “indirect causes”. Hell, if the sun not exploding also is an “indirect cause”. The question is it a significant cause. And to say it is, is idiotic and counter to the evidence. They murdered those people because they want France to be Islamic not because of foreign policy.

              1. “They murdered those people because they want France to be Islamic”

                You claim that they have this as their goal. Suppose that they do. Ask yourself, why?

                What have they seen of “secular Western society?” How has this “secular Western” way of life impacted they and their families? If your introduction to a set of beliefs was violent in nature would you be likely to embrace it? Or would you be more likely to seek out an alternative?

      5. Couldn’t it be both? When someone bothers a bear, it’s not an exclusive “or” between the person’s being an idiot and the bear’s being a bear.

  9. This is a very interesting article.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/a…..burbs.html

    If people would put aside their sacred cows and ideological grudges for a moment and look at what happened in this attack and who actually did it and why, the reasons for it seem a bit different than you would expect.

    Ndiay said many young men in the banlieues prefer the easy money they can get selling drugs rather than seeking what is likely to be boring, poorly paid employment in Paris.

    “They don’t want to be bothered with getting a job,” Ndiay said. “Some can make up to ?1,000 to ?2,000 a day selling drugs. They want to be rappers. They don’t want to start at some boring job and work their way up the ladder.”

    When Boular and his friends were asked if they were looking for work, they said yes. “We try every day,” said one of his friends, who did not want to give his name, but then he started laughing and his friends joined in. They stand in front of McDonalds in Sevran, Boular said, pretty much all day and well into the middle of the night. Boular said he runs home “every now and then” to see his wife and children.

    1. These clowns call themselves “devout Muslims” while selling drugs, collecting welfare and dreaming of becoming a rap star and moving to Miami. There are two things going on here no one seems to want to talk about; welfare dependence and the utter empty nihilism that is western culture. We take this population of board young men, feed them a culture that is utterly nihilistic and gives them a victim complex, give them welfare to destroy any kind of work ethic or connection to the world at large, and launch a war on drugs that creates enormous amounts of money to be made from criminality. Is it any wonder a good number of them fall in with a nihilistic ideology promising, excitement, fame and a larger purpose?

      1. What I find interesting is that the Muslim social pathologies in Europe (except for the aspects related to actual Islamic extremism) are very similar to the problems that exist in African American inner cities.

        It’s almost like, wait for it, Western welfare states cause the exact same problems among low-income minority groups.

        1. That is exactly what is going on here. The problem is the welfare state and the drug war. The difference is that in the US our welfare state and drug war manifests itself in gangs and rampant criminality and anti-social behavior. In Europe it manifests itself in people becoming radical Muslims.

          And if we are not lucky we will get that too. Radical Islam is growing like crazy in our prisons. Becoming a crazy Muslim fuck is the number one way to give our society the middle finger. Give it time and we will have the same problem.

          There is a lot more going on here than Islam or the war in the middle east. Its sad no one seems to understand that.

          1. John,

            There are many factors – foreign policy, the War on Drugs, the Prison Industrial Complex, and others. What do they all have in common? Government intervention of one kind or another.

  10. How did Rand ‘misdiagnose the cure?’ 60-70% of French prisoners are Muslims despite only being 12% of the population. In the last two weeks, there have been three separate instances of French Muslims driving their cars into police officers and one instance of a massacre. Jews are fleeing France due to rampant anti-Semitism and that is not anti-Semitism caused by native French people, but by immigrant Muslim groups.

    Let’s just pretend this isn’t happening though. Those Jews should just suck it up.

    1. Forget it, Irish; it’s Dalmiatown. One must never question the wisdom of unlimited, unscreened immigration by the Musulman.

    2. Low European birthrates, Muslim immigration and their birthrates put France on a trajectory to be a Muslim majority nation by about 2050. At that point France will be an Islamic Republic – with a massive nuclear arsenal.

  11. What the West needs to do until then is stay firm and set an example for the world by giving maximal space to its own people to exercise their freedom of religion ? which France doesn’t do given its prohibition on wearing burqas and other religious symbols in public places ? as well as the freedom to blaspheme ? which France also truncates through a plethora of laws making religious insults a hate crime.

    Does Dalmia actually expect us to believe that the radical Muslims will stop engaging in terrorism if we would just let them force their women to wear burkhas in public? One thing has nothing to do with the other. The people who did this, did this because they want Islamic law enforced in France and if the French government won’t do it, they will do it themselves through terror. If anything, letting their women wear burkhas will just embolden them.

    1. I also think it’s hilarious that she says talking about blowback is blaming the victim but saying it’s the fault of French burqa laws isn’t blaming the victim.

      Okay, Dahlmia.

      1. In fairness, saying that terrorism is in response to actual French domestic policy is at least linking the event to something that actually affected these people. The foreign policy blow back theory says that a bunch of people in France got angry and murdered some French cartoonists because France used to own Algeria and the US invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. That is idiotic.

        1. “The foreign policy blow back theory says that a bunch of people in France got angry and murdered some French cartoonists because France used to own Algeria and the US invaded Iraq and Afghanistan.”

          Are you deliberately misstating our views or are you really that obtuse? Nice straw man there – are you trying to keep birds out of your garden?

  12. If we are going to blame blowback for this then we will have to go all the way back to when the Muslims took over Jerusalem and started killing the Christians which is why the crusades were begun, the first Blowback.

    How far back do you want to go?

    1. Ron, while it is true that history – far back history – has far reaching impacts to present day society we cannot – unless you own a TARDIS – change the past. What we CAN do, is change our present policies to prevent the future from being as crappy as it otherwise would be.

    2. Well… Don’t some the Islamic groups still bitch about the Reconquista and their final expulsion from Spain in 1491?

  13. You cannot separate these contemporary acts of terrorism from decades of Western colonialism, military intervention, and economic intervention in the third world. Perhaps “blowback” implies an overly simplistic, monocausal relationship between the two, but let’s be honest here: the West is largely responsible for the current condition of the Middle East; from its borders to the the regimes that are in power there. Radical Islam is as much – if not more – a vehicle for political struggle against the incumbent power structure in the Middle East and the influence of the West as it is against the West itself. Unfortunately, what began as a reaction against perceived oppression in one region of the world may have gathered sufficient momentum and radicalization that it has or will become an existential threat well beyond its original scope. And at this point there may not be anything the West can do to protect itself short of war. Treaty of Versailles, anyone?

    1. You cannot separate these contemporary acts of terrorism from decades of Western colonialism

      You absolutely can. Those things have nothing to do with it. Terrorism and radical Islam is a Islamic problem. It exists only in the Muslim world and there is no correlation to imperialism.

      Moreover, the actual terrorists are almost never the real victims of oppression in the middle east. They are either native Europeans or they are from the middle class. Who the hell ever oppressed Muhammad Atta or Osmama Bin Ladin? Both of them grew up comfortably.

      Radical Islam is nothing but the Islamic manifestation of the same leftist fascist ideologies of the 20th Century. That is all it is.

    2. Then can you separate the European reactions from many centuries of Muslim aggression, piracy, slave raids, and oppression of Europeans?

      The Ottomans laid siege to Vienna in 1529 and again in 1683. The Ottoman army included Janissaries – European Christians who were enslaved at the age of six and raised to be the Sultan’s soldiers.

      If you believe in historical “blowback”, the Muslims in the Middle East are just getting what they deserved.

      1. Don’t forget the massacre of said Janissaries when they got too uppity for the Ottomans’ tastes. If we’re taking historical ‘blowback’ seriously then really the past ninety years of stomping around the Middle East is nothing compared to centuries of military expansionism.

        Of course, this also doesn’t explain why, say, Iranians and Russians aren’t blowing up Mongolian embassies, the Finns aren’t blowing up the Swedes and Russians, and the Vietnamese aren’t engaging in constant acts of terrorism towards China (despite having literally thousands of years of conflict ending in the late 20th century).

        1. “this also doesn’t explain why, say, Iranians and Russians aren’t blowing up Mongolian embassies, the Finns aren’t blowing up the Swedes and Russians, and the Vietnamese aren’t engaging in constant acts of terrorism towards China”

          What DOES explain these things is the fact that Mongolia is no longer imperialist, Sweden no longer occupies Finland, and Vietnam is now fully independent and trading peacefully with China.

          Perhaps we could learn something from this.

          1. Because the United States and the rest of the West certainly doesn’t trade peacefully with Islamic countries. And European nations are no longer imperialist, yet they continue to be attacked.

            It’s almost like the ‘something we could learn from this’ is already being tried and not actually working.

            1. “Because the United States and the rest of the West certainly doesn’t trade peacefully with Islamic countries.”

              We don’t. We bomb them. And we have an embargo against Iran.

              “And European nations are no longer imperialist”

              Actually, they, as part of NATO, still tramp around the world dropping bombs on people and firing off weapons at whoever the President of the United States claims is a bad guy.

              1. “We don’t. We bomb them. And we have an embargo against Iran.”

                Now you’re just a walking joke. Yes, the West certainly doesn’t trade peacefully with Islamic countries, that’s why the Saudis have no international market for oil and you can’t buy modern electronics anywhere in the Middle East. The United States definitely doesn’t have its longest standing trade agreement with an Islamic country.

                “Actually, they, as part of NATO, still tramp around the world dropping bombs on people and firing off weapons at whoever the President of the United States claims is a bad guy.”

                Clearly this results in ‘blowback’ where Islamic radicals attack a magazine that is unconnected to this and actually severely critical of interventionist arguments. It’s almost like they attacked it not as a response to some perceived ‘blowback’, but as a result of their cultural and religious expectations of not wanting their prophet mocked.

                1. And if ‘blowback’ really is the cause for this behaviour, please explain why populations in Latin American countries aren’t engaging in radical religious extremism and terrorist actions against the West. Historically they have seen the United States and other Western powers engage in far more constant intervention and imperialist behaviour than the Middle East has, yet for some reason Mexican Catholics are not gunning down satirical magazines for mocking the Virgin Mary.

                  1. John Titor,

                    There is blowback from Latin America but of a different kind, the blowback we see from Latin America is in the form of gang warfare – not religious in nature – but it exists. This warfare is largely the result of our War on Drugs. The excuse used to remove Noriega from power in Panama was also the War on Drugs.

                    1. Except by your own argument the ‘blowback’ from Latin America should result in attacks specifically on Western assets, not gang warfare. If interventionism breeds radicalism and attacks that we should be currently assaulted by groups of Canudos-inspired radicals. So why does the Middle East promote a breeding ground for radicalism while Latin America doesn’t? Could it have something to do with, say, Islam itself?

                    2. ” If interventionism breeds radicalism and attacks that we should be currently assaulted by groups of Canudos-inspired radicals. So why does the Middle East promote a breeding ground for radicalism while Latin America doesn’t?”

                      The nature of the interventionism is different and therefore the nature of the blowback is different.

                2. John Titor,

                  Saudi Arabia is A country, not all of them – and it is run by an elite group of “royals” that many Saudis are resentful of. One person who was resentful of them was a wealthy Saudi businessman by the name of Osama Bin Laden. He resented the fact that the Royals welcomed U.S. troops onto Saudi soil to attack another Muslim country. We do indeed have an embargo against Iran and we also give aid to Israel despite its human rights record in the Palestinian territories.

                  These policies have created a climate of radicalism. It is that climate of radicalism that eventually led to the attacks against Charlie Hebdo.

                  1. Saudi Arabia was an example to show how ridiculous your claim is. The United States and the West actively trades with dozens of Islamic countries and to pretend otherwise is absurd.

                    “These policies have created a climate of radicalism.”

                    Except that Islamic radicalism predates your logic by hundreds of years. Al-Wahhab was not born in a period of time where the West was engaging in ‘imperialism’ in the Middle East, yet he was central to the foundations of the first Saudi kingdom. So why did a ‘climate of radicalism’ emerge in the 18th century when the Middle East was primarily under control of an Islamic power?

                    1. “The United States and the West actively trades with dozens of Islamic countries and to pretend otherwise is absurd.”

                      And it actively bombs dozens of others and to pretend otherwise is absurd.

                      “Except that Islamic radicalism predates your logic by hundreds of years.”

                      When an idea originates is not as important in this case as when those ideas take hold. The ideas that gave birth to the American Revolution predate 1776 by centuries.

  14. It is pretty naive to think that blowback has no effect – that this attack was simply a one off that could have happened anytime in the past 100 years.

    Blowback isn’t about going directly from Action A – Reaction B. The results of US/Western foreign policy over the past 50 years have laid the ground work for such an attack to become much more likely. Even in the best case, were one to argue that the region was becoming more radicalize of its own accord, western actions were accelerants.

    1. You are arguing a counter factual. We can never know that. Maybe it would have been worse. Look at what happened in Egypt and Iran. As soon as the US backed strong man collapsed, the radicals took over.

      The assumption is that the existence of the US backed guy made the radicals popular. That is hardly clear. Again, it goes back to the larger point that there is more going on in the world that what western governments are doing. Most of the actual radicals tend to be middle class and educated. And no amount of self loathing and apologies from the West was going to stop the advance of western mass culture and the threat it represents to traditional religious culture.

      Why do Muslims decide to become radicals? They haven’t always been and indeed, they were decidedly less radical at the height of imperialism and there are places like Malaysia that were ruled by western powers and are Muslim and are not radical.

      To me the culprit is Western fascism and leftism. That is all AL Qauda and the Mullahs that run Iran are, fascists. This thing has all of the hallmarks of Western fascism wearing religious garb.

  15. “The journalists ? whom the assassins identified by name before summarily executing them ? were not agents of French foreign policy.”

    Look, maybe Ron got this one wrong, but the above statement is not an argument that will convince me that he did. The office workers in the twin towers weren’t agents for the state, either. Terrorism, by definition, does not target only agents of the state or foreign policy.

    On the flip side of the coin, I disagree with using the term “terrorist” to describe insurgents that attack soldiers.

  16. The journalists ? whom the assassins identified by name before summarily executing them ? were not agents of French foreign policy.

    Neither were the people who died on 9/11. Or the Madrid Subway in 2004. Or the Boston marathon runners. None of them were agents of American or Spanish foreign policy. But saying that in order for the concept of blowback to be applicable, the dead have to be closely linked to foreign policy is nothing more than a case of Moving the Goalposts, Ms. Dalmia.

    Why not consider the possibility that these terrorists were killing two birds with one stone? That is they wanted to make a big attack to send a message and at the same time getting rid of a bunch of cartoonists who create pornographic cartoons that insult their religion? Can’t you at least acknowledge a modicum of rationality behind their thinking?

    1. Can’t you at least acknowledge a modicum of rationality behind their thinking?

      Okay, what if they were. What does that mean? Should we totally pull out of the middle east to make them happy? If not, then what? And if we should, why do you think doing that would satisfy them? Wouldn’t they just continue doing what they are doing so they can make it impossible to criticize Islam? And once they got that, why wouldn’t they move on to other goals?

      Even if you are right OM, I am left with the question of so fucking what? Do you want the French and US governments to now base their foreign policy on the demands of lunatics and if not then who gives a shit why the lunatics are doing what they are doing?

      1. Why not pull out of the Middle East? It’s not like we let them bomb Minnesota just because it sucks there…

        1. Okay, lets do that. Why do you think that would stop this and not embolden them? They want it to be illegal to criticize Muhammad too. They got us out of the middle east via terror, why wouldn’t they continue doing what they are doing to get more? And if they do, we are right back where we started.

          Blow back only matters if you assume these people can be placated. If they can’t, then it doesn’t matter why they are doing what they are doing since us stopping whatever they are pissed off about isn’t going to bring us peace.

          1. “They got us out of the middle east via terror”

            You’d think we’d take the hint…

            I mean, there have been terror attacks all this time and we’ve had military presence and military strikes throughout the Middle East. Is there a possibility that pulling out (or at least not bombing innocent people as often) could be positive? I mean, we’ve been trying the same thing over and over, why not give an alternate method a shot for once.

            1. That or maybe those terror attacks have nothing to do with our being there? There are terror attacks all over the world. Indeed, Al Quada’s biggest bitch was that we were in Saudi Arabia. We are not there anymore. And we left Iraq completely when ISIS arose. How the hell is ISIS in response to US involvement? We were gone when they showed up?

              You could say that ISIS arose because we whacked Saddam and the government that replaced him wasn’t strong enough or brutal enough to stop them. Even if that is true, however, that just makes us responsible for stopping Iraq from stopping ISIS. It doesn’t mean we are responsible for ISIS in the first place.

              The point is that these things have reasons that go beyond us. ISIS arose for its own reasons. And further, no matter what we do, our culture is still going to omnipresent in the world. And that fact is always going to make us an easy target for religious radicals to blame all of the world’s problems on. “Join the Jihad and attack the evil and decadent west” is always going to be a potent recruiting slogan, no matter what we do. In fact, our presence there seems to have had little effect on its overall effectiveness one way or another. Our leaving Iraq didn’t seem to hurt ISIS recruiting efforts did it?

              1. We gave the Mujaheddin weapons – Taliban.
                We helped get rid of Saddam – ISIS.
                We encouraged the Arab Spring – North Africa and Syria are controlled by crazy people.

                I’m not saying we’re responsible for the Taliban, ISIS, or any specific rise in terror. The point is that those specific actions didn’t prevent it from rising. Why don’t we try something new for once?

                1. We gave the Mujaheddin weapons – Taliban.

                  No. We gave weapons to the Northern Alliance. We never gave weapons to the Taliban. The Taliban came later and they were Pashtoons. We never gave the Taliban weapons.

                  Getting rid of Saddam is not what caused ISIS. ISIS arose in Syria not Iraq. And ISIS arose nearly 10 years after Saddam. At most our getting rid of Saddam created a power vaccum that ISIS took, but it didn’t cause them to arise. Saying it did is saying that our sin is not helping to keep the dictators in power to keep the radicals down, which I don’t think you would agree with.

                  We encouraged the Arab Spring – North Africa and Syria are controlled by crazy people.

                  So, we should have just kept supporting nasty, horrible dictators to keep the crazies in line and that would have made us more popular?

                  1. I said that those actions didn’t cause those things, but they didnt stop them either. That’s the point, that our intervention has done nothing to prevent 9/11 or the USS Cole bombing or the Boston Marathon bombing. Let’s try something else, for like just a year…

                    1. The Cole bombing was not an intervention. The ship was not t here making war or doing anything. But, it was attacked and we did virtually nothing in response. This gave Bin Ladin a great propaganda coup and further convinced him and his followers that if they just hit us hard enough, we would bend to their will and abandon the middle east. That didn’t work out very well for Bin Ladin or the US.

                    2. John,

                      The Cole was a military ship and represented the US presence in the Middle East – the U.S. and other Western countries have been meddling there for a very long time.

          2. Re: John,

            Okay, lets do that. Why do you think that would stop this and not embolden them?

            Do you want to eradicate them from the face of the earth, John? Is that the end game for you?

            1. Do the ends justify the means, because then it would probably work…I mean, Japan has been pretty placid since we razed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

              1. The point is blood, the Japanese left us no choice but to do that. They are the ones who attacked us and they are the ones who refused to surrender even when the war was obviously lost.

                Sometimes people just don’t want peace and can’t be placated. Some people like war, because they think they can win. I don’t know why people assume that you can always bargain your way out of danger. Sometimes you can’t.

                1. John, that’s the point I made. It would totally work. If we just nuked any country with a majority Muslim population and they brought them cars and technology, they would totally become placid like the Japanese!

                  1. Nuking didn’t placate the Japanese though, the threat of a Soviet invasion did.

            2. No Old Mexican. But, that is not up to me. I don’t get to choose when I get peace. They do. Just because I want them to stop and leave me alone, doesn’t mean they will. That is their choice.

              What reason is there to believe that they are going to be placated by changing US policy? We left Iraq, that didn’t seem to help. You tell me what about anything they have ever done indicates that changing US policy will cause them to stop?

          3. “Why do you think that would stop this and not embolden them?”

            I think you have a cartoonish understanding of the situation. But I’ll play along…

            Granted, it might embolden the current bunch…. That’s the price of the belligerent behavior of the USG.

            But at least we would not be creating new recruits. You can’t just try to deal with the current situation. You have to have a long term view that sees an end. And the only thing I’m sure of is that if the USG keeps blowing people up around the world then we will all have targets on our backs for the duration…. including my kids. Frankly, I would sooner dismantle the USG than leave it in place to paint targets on my childrens’ backs.

      2. Re: John,

        Do you want the French and US governments to now base their foreign policy on the demands of lunatics and if not then who gives a shit why the lunatics are doing what they are doing?

        How about basing the policies on the NAP and according to what the Constitution says, for a fucking change?

        1. How about basing the policies on the NAP and according to what the Constitution says, for a fucking change?

          And if that doesn’t work, what then? And what about these people makes you believe that our leaving them alone will make any difference to them?

          1. What makes you think that bombing them is having the intended effect?

            1. Because eventually everyone gets tired of dying or the part of society that is happy to die, does so leaving behind the ones who prefer to live.

              It is a brutal truth that you don’t get peace until your enemies give it to you and your enemies won’t give you peace until their will to fight has been broken.

              The question is how do you break their will to fight? That is a tough problem with no one answer. That being said, I see nothing from their past behavior that gives me any hope that our leaving the middle east or any amount of trying to placate them will break their will to fight or do anything but embolden them to demand more.

              1. give em porn. Problem solved. Hack their internet and give the entirety of the middle east access too all porn generated by the US.

          2. Re: John,

            And if that doesn’t work, what then?

            Why wouldn’t it work? It is much easier to contain them in their countries without having troops dispersed everywhere. Also, America no longer has the money to keep intervening.

            And what about these people makes you believe that our leaving them alone will make any difference to them?

            You’re again assuming their actions are completely irrational, John.

            1. Why wouldn’t it work?

              Because they want a lot more than us to just leave them alone and us being their enemy is good thing for them. It gives them a purpose and an enemy. Its like I said above, discussing how we can stop them from doing what they are doing by changing our policy is like discussing what the Jews and Germany could have done differently to stop people from going Nazis. You just assume that they are acting only in response to us and have no other motivations. And there is no evidence that is true.

              And I am not assuming they are irrational. If using terror got us to leave the middle east, why would they stop there? A lot of Muslims in France and the US and other places would like where they live to be under Islamic law. It would be irrational for them to stop doing a tactic that clearly is getting them results. What would be irrational about further attacking your enemy when previous attacks have produced the results you want?

  17. I know I’m repeating what others have more or less said, but…

    Blowback, which at its core blames the victim

    That’s such utter horseshit. Blowback blames the policies of the State. Yes, all citizens are ultimately responsible for those policies, but almost to a person, the individuals within the state are not specifically responsible for those policies.

    The point of the Blowback argument is to speak to the motivation of the bad actors. It is not remotely a causal argument putting individual citizens at fault for the actions of bad actors.

    1. Blowback blames the policies of the State.

      Okay. So you are telling me that it is the US and French government’s fault that these people did this. Alright, I ask you the same question I asked OM, what the fuck do you want to do about that?

      And I will even grant you the possibility of totally leaving the middle east and giving in to every single demand radical Muslims are making. We will have Obama give an official US apology for every bad thing we have ever done, we will send a stipend of reparation money to every Muslim in the world and there will no longer be any US soldier anywhere outside of US borders.

      Okay, now what? Why do you think that will stop this and not embolden them to demand more? And if it will embolden them, then why the hell does it matter why they are doing what they are doing?

      1. Why do you think that will stop this and not embolden them to demand more?

        Why do you think it won’t? Your supposition is that a worldwide caliphate is the one true goal. I’m not buying that.

        Look, I don’t actually believe that anything is going to stop psychopaths who believe that blasphemy justifies murder. Those cocksuckers are insane and Blowback wasn’t a factor that led to Charlie Hebdo. But the “Blowback blames the victim (i.e. the individual” statement is horseshit.

      2. I’ll give the answer you don’t think anyone will give: Dismantle the USG. It is an anti-human nightmare.

    2. Blowback is applying tne asinine standard of the Precautionary Principle to foteign policy. It is a guide to sclerosis, not a rational guide to ehat policies are worthwhile pursuing. It gives your petception of your antagonists a veto over your morals and intetests.

      1. Mickey Rat, Does the knowledge that going into the parking lot of a biker bar with a knife and slashing the tires of motorcycles might get you hurt change your behavior? Or is that something a rational person would not do anyway?

        1. No, it does not, as I would not slash other people tires just for the hell of it to begin with.

          If you saw a woman being assaulted by a couple of men with the apparent intent to rape her, do you do nothing because they may get violent with you?

          1. That’s why “blowback” is asinine, it treats every active choice as the same, regardless of the circumstances.

          2. “If you saw a woman being assaulted by a couple of men with the apparent intent to rape her, do you do nothing because they may get violent with you?”

            Of course I would do whatever I could to stop it. What I would not do is peer into the windows of homes that do not belong to be or drone bomb weddings and funerals.

    3. “Yes, all citizens are ultimately responsible for those policies,…”

      No. Well, I suppose it depends on how you define “citizen”. If you vote, and voluntarily participate in the system, then yes. If you don’t vote, or you do so not as a voluntary participant, but as a pragmatic way of minimizing the impact of the slave driver, then no.

  18. By the way, it’s not getting much attention in the U.S. media, but in Africa, Christians are now starting to engage in reprisal killings against Muslims.

    If these Islamonazis keep on doing what they’re doing, half the continent of Africa might soon find itself engulfed in an all-out religious war. The Africans don’t follow the same sort of politically correct niceties that we do in Europe and America.

    1. Yep – it’s going to be an old school religious war there. The losers will be dead or expelled.

  19. Can we at least all agree that the mere fact that Shikha wrote this article is enough to prove that both Pauls were right? I don’t think I even need to read it to know I disagree with her (or at the very least her “reasoning”) on almost everything.

    1. No. But her name is probably too hilarious for you to read it anyway.

      1. It’s funny how a humorous throw away comment can stick with you. Oy vey 🙂

        1. Heh. Yeah, you have to watch out around here. A lot of sharp people with good minds for remembering pointless minutia.

  20. What would help in France would be policies to help Frankify Muslim immigrants & their descendants by scattering them instead of concentrating them in ghettos. I don’t know what policies those could be, because my understanding is that the ghettoizing is the result of diffuse tendencies in terms of prejudice, etc. rather than focused gov’t policies, but there’s probably something that could be done.

    1. Those ghettos are a really bad idea for all involved. I get the feeling that if the current French government doesn’t fix the problem, a future one will with heavy artillery.

    2. You could easily say the same exact thing about our inner city ghettos right here in America.

      I strongly suspect that some people simply can’t be “assimilated” into modern mainstream society, because at heart they don’t want to be.

      1. Don’t think they are comparable at all. While there is a racial aspect to American ghettos, not a religious one.

        And while we can complain about police tactics there – the police are actually there.

        1. Drake,

          The key is that in both cases there are cultural differences. Race has little to do with it – except in very superficial ways.

  21. Ron’s comment was incorrect, but in at least one sense you can in fact connect these attacks directly to imperialism:

    France went through a phase where it attempted to hold on to Algeria by pretending that Algeria was part of metropolitan France.

    That didn’t win them the Algerian war, but it did create a moment in time when lots of Algerians were able to move to mainland France. Not “emigrate”, mind you, but “move”, in the way that Puerto Ricans “move” and do not “emigrate” to New York.

    You can blame the Turks in Germany on immigration policy, and and you can blame the North Africans in Denmark and Scandinavia on immigration policy, but you can’t blame the Algerians in France on immigration policy. The Algerians in France are there because of wartime political policy. That makes their ongoing sins (all of them; not just this incident) after-the-fact consequences of a momentary play for advantage in an imperialistic conflict.

  22. Ron is correct here. Western Imperialism (both military and cultural) is the ultimate cause for increased Muslim radicalization while a bunch of silly cartoons is the proximate.

    With that being said, as Thomas Jefferson discovered first-hand, Muslims have always been irrational by western standards and blowback won’t explain that.

    1. Actually, there was a time, especially during the Middle Ages, when Islamic countries were far more rational, tolerant, and educated on average than Europe.

      1. That time consisted of a couple of generations of assimilation after the Muslim conquest. Once they were fully assimilated, the Muslim world stagnated.

        During that “golden” age of tolerance, the Muslim world was imperialistic / expansionist, enthusiastic consumers of non-Muslim slaves, and charged non-Muslims special taxes for their tolerance.

      2. Educated, certainly. Rational and tolerant that’s easily contestable especially due to the subjectivity of the terms themselves.

        1. That is a good point though, many Muslim trade routes were destroyed by Crusaders and Mongols leading to the rise in Muslim piratry.

          That might be stretching the concepts to explain far too much though.

      3. Maybe, but at that time Islam were also rather interested in conquering Europe, so it was a relative thing.

  23. I think Rand’s transgression is not as severe as Ron’s and he probably isn’t even heartfelt in what he says.

  24. The “we did it” theory is fucking stupid. We should be getting attacked by Germany, the Phillipinnes, and descendants of other countries but we’re only being attacked by Muslims. Other countries that have no relation to Islam like Thailand and Sweden should never have attacks, but they do from Muslims.

    You people are just too stupid to figure out the common thread. Same goes for the poverty excuse.

    1. “The “we did it” theory is fucking stupid.”

      You mean the straw man argument you just made up? Yes, that straw man argument is fucking stupid.

      “We should be getting attacked by Germany, the Philippines”

      In case you are unaware we are no longer at war with either of those countries.

      “Other countries that have no relation to Islam like Thailand and Sweden should never have attacks, but they do from Muslims.”

      Are you saying that the only violent crimes that occur in those two countries are committed by Muslims? Do you have statistics to back this up?

    2. Not ‘we’ – the coercive state.

      It’s “fucking stupid” to believe that violent interference in the lives of others won’t result in blowback.

      1. Matt N, true, I sometimes finding myself misusing “We” in this context. It is a bad habit.

  25. “Blowback, which at its core blames the victim….”

    Bullshit. It blames the coercive French state. The point is that the victims are victims of the French government, as well as the attackers. Claiming to represent all French people, going around the world and treating people inhumanely, the French government paints a target, not only on themselves, but on the backs of all French people.

    One would expect someone writing for a supposedly libertarian rag would get that….

  26. Ok I couldn’t take the stupidity of reading your article anymore. Of course this is blowback. This is blowback from a policy inflicted by the West on the Muslim world. These terrorists were radicalized long before this occurred. I mean what the hell are you even talking about. These cartoons are not the reason this happened. If it wasn’t the cartoons it would have been something else eventually.

    How about you take a step back and think, who attacked who first? The US and other NATO forces clearly attacked and were involved in the middle east long before there were terrorists attacks from the radical Muslim world. At this point there are many attacks we have yet to see and they all have something to do with our continued involvement in Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Iran and every god damn country over there that is none of our business.

    As for Rand’s position, hell I would restrict immigration if I were France too. You have to protect yourself and that is one way to do it, but of course France and the West brought these attacks on to themselves through piss poor foreign policy. These guys didn’t hop out of the sand one day and hate France for no reason, they were radicalized by the very same people who we radicalized with our bombs. Unintended consequences is what this is, just because you can’t connect the dots doesn’t mean Ron Paul is wrong or Rand Paul is wrong.

    Nice headline btw, did you do that purely so you could get views? Losers.

  27. It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
    Aristotle

    The question is have YOU entertained it yet or just following media and official reports.

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