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Terrorism and the U.S. Death Machine


I wish someone — not the government, of course — would undertake a study as to why so many Americans avoid confronting the fact that the U.S. government and its death machine is the root cause of anti-American terrorism, especially among Muslims.

Consider this front-page article entitled “Who Will Become a Terrorist? Research Yields Few Clues,” from the New York Times yesterday. It’s a fascinating article precisely because it scrupulously avoids discussion of the U.S. death machine in the Middle East and its role in engendering terrorism against the United States.

Instead, the article cites expert after expert scratching his noodle, struggling to figure out what radicalizes all these young Muslim terrorists. Consider some excerpts from the article:

Despite millions of dollars in government-sponsored research, and a much-publicized White House pledge to find answers, there is still nothing close to a consensus on why someone becomes a terrorist….

“We are no closer to answering our original question about what leads people to political violence,” Marc Sageman, a psychologist and a longtime government consultant, wrote….

Law enforcement officials and government-funded community groups still regard money problems as an indicator of radicalization….

Europe, too, is grappling with these questions, but there is no clear answer….

Researching terrorism is admittedly difficult…

Hey, I have an idea: How about asking the terrorists themselves about what has motivated them to become radicalized? They would tell you that it’s because of the U.S. death machine in the Middle East and Afghanistan, which has been killing people in that part of the world for decades.

For example, see this article from The Independent soon after the attacks in Belgium: “Isis claims responsibility for Brussels attacks ‘in revenge for Belgian’s role fighting militants in Syria and Iraq.”

Now, wouldn’t you think that that would be an important point to discuss in an article exploring what motivates people to initiate terrorism? Well, not to the New York Times reporter who wrote that long article trying to figure out what causes terrorism.

Let’s see if we can follow the reasoning as to why the terrorists would seek revenge. The U.S. death machine goes abroad and kills people as part of a regime-change operations. There is no remorse for any of the dead. All the matters is the importance of the regime-change operation. No sacrifice in terms of people killed is too high compared to achieving regime change. The dead people have friends, relatives, countrymen, and people who share their religion. Some of them get angry over the deaths of all those people. They decide to retaliate. Some of them, feeling that they lack the armaments and personnel to attack the U.S. military component of the U.S. death machine, attack civilians, no doubt feeling that many of the civilians support their government’s death machine.

That seems pretty straightforward to me. Yet, it merits barely a mention in that entire New York Times article that cites all those people who are struggling to figure out why people become radicalized against the United States. Here is the lone reference in the article: “Research linking terrorism to American policies, meanwhile, is ignored.”

And so the article itself ignores it! Instead, it goes off on analyzing the various studies and reports in which experts are struggling mightily to figure out why people are angry at the United States.

It’s really no different with France and Belgian, which were once imperialist powers with colonies in the Middle East and elsewhere. The governments of both countries have been supporters and active participants in the U.S. death machine in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, or elsewhere. People in the Middle East know that. Why should it surprise anyone that they’ve struck both France and Belgian with acts of terrorism?

Not surprisingly, the terrorists haven’t struck in Switzerland. Maybe that’s because the Swiss have refused to participate in the U.S. government’s death machine.

So, why the refusal to confront the obvious — that these people aren’t radicalized by poverty, a difficult home life, their religion, a quest for adventure, an inadequate education, or by any of the other factors the experts have come up with after scratching their noodles for so long. Instead, they have been radicalized by the U.S. government’s death machine in the Middle East, which has been killing people in that part of the world for decades, and for no other reason than regime change.

Consider ISIS. It’s now Official Enemy #1, having replaced al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Iran, Putin (a close second), communism, and the Soviet Union. The U.S. says that is must continue to employ its death machine against ISIS.

Why is that? Why must the U.S. smash ISIS, which necessarily includes killing more people? Because ISIS is threatening the regime change that was brought about as a result of the U.S. war on Iraq, a country that never attacked the United States. That U.S. national-security state’s regime change in Iraq must be protected at all costs. It would be terrible, U.S. officials say, if their regime change was reversed by ISIS winning the civil war that U.S. interventionism has launched.

But why is it the U.S. government’s business who gains the reins of power in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world? Isn’t that the mindset of imperialists — that they have to get their people into public office in countries around the world?

I think the big problem is that that every American has been born and raised under the auspices of the national-security state and its death machine. The apparatus and its killing are now considered a permanent part of American life. It’s all considered part and parcel of our freedom and values. Regime change is now accepted as part of America’s governmental mission. Of course, the U.S. has the authority to kill people overseas, the mindset goes. How else is it going to achieve regime change?

It never occurs to people all this is bizarre and abnormal because they’ve lived with it all their lives. The killing at the hands of the death machine has become ordinary, mundane, and normal. People who object to it are considered the abnormal ones — the ones who just don’t understand the importance of regime change to “national security.”

Even worse, Americans have elevated their government to the level of a god, one that takes care of them with retirement pay and health care and educates their children. Thus, Americans are very much in the position of children. In their minds, their survival depends on their parents — the federal government. If they even hint at confronting what the dark side of the government is doing, who is to say that the government won’t retaliate by terminating their dole? Being cut off by his parents is a frightening notion to any child.

Worst of all, many Americans have elevated the national-security establishment to the level of a god, one that can do no wrong. To point out the obvious — that the U.S. government’s death machine is the root cause of the violence, chaos, mayhem, and terrorism in the Middle East is akin to, for them, heresy. It’s safer to just keep praising and glorifying the troops and thanking them for their service.

We libertarians will know we are making progress when a sufficiently large number of Americans are finally ready to acknowledge that the U.S. government and its death machine are what motivate people in the Middle East to retaliate with acts of terrorism. That’s the first step, a necessary one, to restore a peaceful, free, prosperous, and harmonious society to our land.

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

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