Whether we call them criminals or terrorists, the issue of motive in the Boston bombings is becoming increasingly clear. The bombers were motivated to kill people at the Boston Marathon by the death and destruction wreaked by the U.S. national-security state in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and neighboring areas.
That’s not to say, of course, that statists aren’t doing their best to avoid confronting that possibility. The last thing statists want the American people to do is focus on U.S. foreign policy and the role it has played and continues to play in engendering anger and rage that culminates in terrorist attacks on the United States.
Consider, for example, these excerpts from the front-page of Sunday’s New York Times in an article by NYT reporter Scott Shane:
As law enforcement and counterterrorism officials try to understand why Mr. Tsarnaev, 19, and his brother, Tamerlan, 26, would attack the Boston Marathon, they will have to consider a cryptic mix of national identity, ideology, religion, and personality….
It remains to be seen whether personal grievance or some type of ideology was behind the attack….
….it is conceivable that the motive for the attack will remain as inscrutable as those of some mass shootings in recent years.
Does the possibility that the bombings were blowback from U.S. foreign policy even enter Shane’s mind? You’d never know it from reading those excerpts. Yet, included with the article were three photographs: Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square bomber, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the accused terrorist in the Ft. Hood shooting, and Najibullah Zazi, an Afghan-American, who planned a suicide attack in the New York subways.
Did Shane read the excerpts under those photographs before he submitted his article for publication?
Under Shahzad’s photo: “He said he was motivated by American-led drone strikes in Pakistan.”
Under Hasan’s photo: “He reportedly consulted with the radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki on whether it was justified to kill American soldiers.”
Under Zazi’s photo: “motivated by the war in his homeland [Afghanistan].”
Interestingly, Shane does conclude his article with a point about Shahzad: “Calling himself ‘a Muslim soldier,’ Mr. Shahzad denounced the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen. The drones, he said, ‘kill women, children, they kill everybody. It’s a war, and in war, they kill people,’ he added. ‘They’re killing all Muslims.’”
Too bad that Shane didn’t wait to read the Sunday Washington Post before he published his article. The Post reported an argument that Albrecht Ammon, 21, had recently had with Tamerlan about the Bible and American foreign policy:
Ammon stated that Tamerlan said to him that “in Afghanistan, most casualties are innocent bystanders killed by American soldiers” and that “the Bible is a cheap copy of the Koran” and that the United States goes to war based on the Bible.” Ammon recalled that “It seemed that he didn’t have something against the American people, he had something against the American government, which baffles me with the marathon.”
Ever since 9/11, I have been arguing that the U.S. national-security state has become the greatest terrorist-producing machine in history. Most of the people they have killed in Afghanistan had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. Every person they killed in Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Everyone they’ve assassinated with drones had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks.
Every time they’ve killed people—whether brides and wedding parties, children, old people, or whoever—there are inevitably relatives, friends, countrymen, or fellow Muslims who have survived the onslaught. They get just as angry as Americans do when innocent people are killed. Some of those people get so filled with anger and rage that they decide to retaliate with violence, especially when they see what amounts to callous indifference to the loss of Muslim life at the hands of the U.S. national-security state.
Why is that so difficult to understand, especially when we see the reaction of the American people to the loss of innocent life in Boston? As we have seen, that anger and rage affects not only people over there, it also has a deep and profound effect on Muslims everywhere, including here in the United States.
American statists expect American Muslims to place nationalism above their religious convictions. They expect them to automatically defer to the judgments of the national-security state as automatically as American Christians do. But as we are learning over and over again, that expectation is not going to get fulfilled. Ultimately, there are people who are going to be radicalized by all the U.S. national-security state’s never-ending death and destruction, and that obviously includes American citizens of Muslim faith. That’s reality.
So, the question is: Is it all worth it?
It’s understandable that people in Boston would be ecstatic over the killing and capture of the Tsarnaev brothers. But the sad reality remains: The dead at the Boston Marathon and the runners who are now without legs or arms.
Is it worth it?
That was the question that “Sixty Minutes” posed to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright. She was asked whether the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children from the U.S. and UN sanctions on Iraq were worth it. Albright answered that the issue was a difficult one but that, yes, the deaths of those half-a-million children were, in fact, “worth it.”
By “it” she meant the U.S. national-security state’s 11-year crusade to effect regime change in Iraq.
(By the way, at his sentencing hearing after being convicted of the 1993 terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center, Ramzi Yousef angrily referred to the deaths of the Iraqi children from the sanctions in stating why he had committed the attacks.)
So what did the Boston victims die for? What did they lose their limbs for?
Well, not for freedom, as the statists have convinced themselves. After all, there isn’t one nation state in the world that is attempting to invade and conquer the United States and enslave the American people. In fact, no nation state on earth has the money to pull off such a monumental feat. They’re even more broke than the U.S. government is. Moreover, no nation state has even the remotest the military means to pull off a successful invasion and occupation of the United States and enslave Americans. Most important, no nation state has any interest in trying such a feat.
So, what have the Boston victims died for? What meaning can we ascribe to their deaths and to the victims who are now without arms or legs?
The discomforting reality is that the deaths and suffering are all about the hegemony of the U.S. national-security state in the Middle East, Afghanistan, and the rest of the world. That’s what this is all about. People are dying over here because the U.S. national-security state insists on staying over there and killing people who are resisting their hegemony.
Is it worth it? I say no. I say it’s time to bring the troops home and discharge them. It’s time to close those 1000 overseas U.S. military bases. It’s time to shut down the CIA. The national-security state is a cancer that is killing the American body politic. It brings nothing but death, destruction, bankruptcy, moral debauchery, and a loss of liberty to our land. It’s time to cast this Cold War artifact into the dustbin of history.
Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.
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