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Blowback: Why They Try to Bomb Us

Posted on May 14, 2010
By David Sirota

Imagine, if you can, an alternate universe.

Imagine that in this alternate universe, a foreign military power begins flying remote-controlled warplanes over your town, using onboard missiles to kill hundreds of your innocent neighbors.

Now imagine that when you read the newspaper about this ongoing bloodbath, you learn that the foreign nation’s top general is nonchalantly telling reporters that his troops are also killing “an amazing number” of your cultural brethren in an adjacent country. Imagine further learning that this foreign power is expanding the drone attacks on your community despite the attacks’ well-known record of killing innocents. And finally, imagine that when you turn on your television, you see the perpetrator nation’s tuxedo-clad leader cracking stand-up comedy jokes about drone strikes—jokes that prompt guffaws from an audience of that nation’s elite.

Ask yourself: How would you and your fellow citizens respond? Would you call homegrown militias mounting a defense “patriots” or would you call them “terrorists”? Would you agree with your leaders when they angrily tell reporters that violent defiance should be expected?

Fortunately, most Americans don’t have to worry about these queries in their own lives. But how we answer them in a hypothetical thought experiment provides us insight into how Pakistanis are likely to be feeling right now. Why? Because thanks to our continued drone assaults on their country, Pakistanis now confront these issues every day. And if they answer these questions as many of us undoubtedly would in a similar situation—well, that should trouble every American in this age of asymmetrical warfare.

Though we don’t like to call it mass murder, the U.S. government’s undeclared drone war in Pakistan is devolving into just that. As noted by a former counterinsurgency adviser to Gen. David Petraeus and a former Army officer in Afghanistan, the operation has become a haphazard massacre.

“Press reports suggest that over the last three years drone strikes have killed about 14 terrorist leaders,” David Kilcullen and Andrew Exum wrote in 2009. “But, according to Pakistani sources, they have also killed some 700 civilians. This is 50 civilians for every militant killed.”

Making matters worse, Gen. Stanley McChrystal has, indeed, told journalists that in Afghanistan, U.S. troops have “shot an amazing number of people” and “none has proven to have been a real threat.” Meanwhile, President Barack Obama used his internationally televised speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner to jest about drone warfare—and the assembled Washington glitterati did, in fact, reward him with approving laughs.

By eerie coincidence, that latter display of monstrous insouciance occurred on the same night as the failed effort to raze Times Square. Though America reacted to that despicable terrorism attempt with its routine spasms of cartoonish shock (why do they hate us?!), the assailant’s motive was anything but baffling. As law enforcement officials soon reported, the accused bomber was probably trained and inspired by Pakistani groups seeking revenge for U.S. drone strikes.

“This is a blowback,” said Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi. “This is a reaction. And you could expect that ... let’s not be naive.”

Obviously, regardless of rationale, a “reaction” that involves trying to incinerate civilians in Manhattan is abhorrent and unacceptable. But so is Obama’s move to intensify drone assaults that we know are regularly incinerating innocent civilians in Pakistan. And while Qureshi’s statement about “expecting” blowback seems radical, he’s merely echoing the CIA’s reminder that “possibilities of blowback” arise when we conduct martial operations abroad.

We might remember that somehow-forgotten warning come the next terrorist assault. No matter how surprised we may feel after that inevitable (and inevitably deplorable) attack, the fact remains that until we halt our own indiscriminately violent actions, we ought to expect equally indiscriminate and equally violent reactions.

David Sirota is the author of the best-selling books “Hostile Takeover” and “The Uprising.” He hosts the morning show on AM760 in Colorado and blogs at E-mail him at or follow him on Twitter @davidsirota.

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Added: May-15-2010 Occurred On: May-14-2010
By: gregory_peckory
Afghanistan, Other
Tags: Afghanistan, Pakistan, New York, terrorism, bombings,
Views: 8343 | Comments: 10 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 1 | Shared: 140 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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  • God help them if they do get a bomb to go off successfully. You would see B-52's on non-stop bombing runs over that region in Pakistan.

    And shove this limp noodle libtard logic where the sun don't shine. They see that kind of thinking as weakness and it only encourages more savagery. The only thing these cave monkeys respect is brute force.

    Posted May-15-2010 By 

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  • More liberal apologist bullshit. America responded to muslim fanatical aggression. The US has placed a bootheel on the throat of murderous, fanatical, muslim freaks that dream of a global muslim theocracy.

    This filth murdered thousands of our people in a single stroke, and we have responded by destoying their dank, dark holes that this vermin crawl into and breed. And we are committed to killing as many as we must kill until they crawl back into their holes.

    History is full of muslim up More..

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    • Exactly.
      'It's our fault they tried to bomb Times Square because we are prosecuting a war against them' is the basic premise here, and 'if we stop killing them, they'll stop killing us' is the theory.
      Trouble is, they bombed US first, and if we don't kill them first, they will kill more of us.
      Simple math.

      Posted May-15-2010 By 

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    • I agree, what this article fails to mention is that the leaders of these "patriots" want to create a global Muslim theocracy similar to Nazi Germany. Some of the ordinary fighters might be doing what they do for the right reasons but most of their leaders are downright evil.

      Posted May-15-2010 By 

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  • The United States' unrelenting support of Israel over the years has been the biggest recruitment tool to Islamic terrorist organisations. While Israel steals land, builds colonies on that stolen land, bulldozes Palestinian homes, shoots and bombs unarmed civilians (well over 7,000 killed since 2000), holds Palestinians in prison without charge or legal access, deliberately destroys Palestinian civilian infrastructure and enforces ethnic cleansing the United States sends them billions of dollars More..

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  • Nuke em...

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  • Couldn't agree more. As long as we keep fucking around in that part of the World, using young Americans to fight Goldman Sach's battles for them, we will have to deal with being a major target of the ragheads. Unfortunately, the leftards use information like this to justify disarming us and leaving us vulnerable as if it's their job to mete out justice to their own civilization by taking sides with those who now definitely want to destroy it.

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  • Very well put , basically the USA is no different from any other country trying to expand its empire.

    The United states is one of the greatest terrorist organisation in history

    Posted May-15-2010 By 

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    • Hardly- we've freed W.Europe from Hitler, most of the Wpacific islands from Japanese Military, SKorea from communism, and Iraq from fanatics...they get a 2nd chance. By the way, if the flag you display is where you claim you're from, the U.S. saved NZ too- otherwise, you'd be thinking, speaking, and writing Japanese...if they had let your forebearers live. You're a freakin' troll.

      Posted May-15-2010 By 

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  • Like I say all the time you cannot invade, occupy and bomb peoples homes and think there will be no blowback. The American empire has been invading and occupying far too long.

    Posted Apr-24-2013 By 

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