Blowback in Boston

Sunday, April 21, 2013 3:56 AM

With respect to the terrorist bombings during the Boston Marathon last week, first and foremost this should serve as a wake-up call for the American people to learn a great deal more about faraway places and the adverse consequences of U.S. foreign policy over which they have heretofore exercised absolutely no control.

That is to say, no control except by a determined, well-heeled pressure group in the United States which has assumed near-total control over its area of interest in the Middle East and beyond. 

Professor Chalmers Johnson’s 2001 book, Blowback, The Cost and Consequences of American Empire needs to be updated, focusing not so much upon the Far East, but rather upon the Middle East and the Israel-first connection. The radical Islamic blowback which has targeted the innocent and unsuspecting American populace must be explained and understood.

Blowback to America--of which 9/11 and the Boston bombings of last week are the most outstanding examples--was completely avoidable. And so too was a large percentage of the chaos and destruction out there, among the natives in those faraway places. It has all been a horrible mistake and an expensive waste of time and lives in the aftermath of the Cold War.

Why continue down this path? That is the question of the moment.


Boston bombing suspect cites U.S. wars as motivation, officials say [The Washington Post]

By Scott Wilson, Greg Miller and Sari Horwitz, Published: April 23

The 19-year-old suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has told interrogators that the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan motivated him and his brother to carry out the attack, according to U.S. officials familiar with the interviews.

From his hospital bed, where he is now listed in fair condition, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has acknowledged his role in planting the explosives near the marathon finish line on April 15, the officials said. The first successful large-scale bombing in the post-Sept. 11, 2001, era, the Boston attack killed three people and wounded more than 250 others.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe an ongoing investigation, said Dzhokhar and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed by police as the two attempted to avoid capture, do not appear to have been directed by a foreign terrorist organization.

Rather, the officials said, the evidence so far suggests they were “self-radicalized” through Internet sites and U.S. actions in the Muslim world. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has specifically cited the U.S. war in Iraq, which ended in December 2011 with the removal of the last American forces, and the war in Afghanistan, where President Obama plans to end combat operations by the end of 2014.

Obama has made repairing U.S. relations with the Islamic world a foreign policy priority, even as he has expanded drone operations in Pakistan and other countries, which has inflamed Muslim public opinion.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has provided limited information to authorities that indicates he and his brother acted independently, without direction or significant influence from Islamist militants overseas. U.S. officials said they are still working to assemble a detailed timeline of a trip the older Tsarnaev took to Russia, but see no evidence that he received instructions there that led to the attack.

“These are persons operating inside the United States without a nexus” to an overseas group, a U.S. intelligence official said....


Update: “Chechen Terrorists and the Neocons”, Coleen Rowley, April 22nd, 2013.

Update 2: “Avoiding Reality on Terrorist Motivation”, The Future of Freedom Foundation, April 24th, 2013.

Update 3: Chalmers Johnson’s Obit in the New York Times, November 24th, 2010.