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Reaping the consequences of US foreign policy 4, January 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in American ME Relations.
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Stephen Walt has an excellent post over at Foreign Policy discussing the recent attempted airline attack. He points out – as basic as this may seem – that US foreign policy has consequences and such near-attacks like this are one direct effect. The US is a big, powerful, interventionist country, yet most Americans just don’t seem to appreciate this fact.

As a society, we seem to believe that we can send thousands of troops to invade other countries, send Reapers and Predators to fire missiles at people we think might — repeat, might — be terrorists, and underwrite the oppressive policies of a host of “friendly” governments, yet never pay any significant price for it back here at home.

I’m not for one minute justifying what groups like al Qaeda do; my point is that we shouldn’t be surprised by it. When a very powerful country spends a lot of time interfering in other’s affairs, and sometimes backing obvious injustices like the Gaza War, then it ought to expect some people to be very angry about it.

Yet Americans still find this surprising, and demand more and more extreme measures to “protect” us. We are like a heavy smoker who gets upset when they get diagnosed with emphysema, or a glutton who thinks it is “unfair” when he winds up with diabetes and high blood pressure.

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