News Release

“Blowback”?

RABBI ARTHUR WASKOW
Director of The Shalom Center and author of Godwrestling — Round 2, Waskow said today: “Even the greatest oceans do not shield us; even the mightiest buildings do not shield us; even the wealthiest balance sheets and the most powerful weapons do not shield us. The lesson is that only a world where we all recognize our vulnerability can become a world where all communities feel responsible to all other communities. And only such a world can prevent such acts of rage and murder. If I treat my neighbor’s pain and grief as foreign, I will end up suffering when my neighbor’s pain and grief curdle into rage. This does not mean ignoring or forgiving whoever wrought such bloodiness. They must be found and brought to trial, without killing still more innocents. Their violence must be halted, their rage must be calmed — and the pain behind them must be heard and addressed. Human beings become terrorists in a pool of despair, we must dry up that pool of despair by replacing despair with dignity and justice in all neighborhoods on this planet.”
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JEFFREY SOMMERS
Assistant professor of history at North Georgia College and State University, Sommers said today: “Colin Powell said yesterday that Osama bin Laden is the prime suspect. If that accusation is right, this would be what the CIA calls ‘blowback’ — when what we’ve created blows back in our face. The Taliban’s coming to power is partly the outcome of the U.S. support of the Mujahadeen — a pluralist group with a radical Islamic faction — in the 1980s in its war against the Soviet Union. Blowback might erupt quickly, or simmer for decades. In Afghanistan, we trained the fundamentalists for covert operations — the stuff of terrorism. After they came to power, they turned on their former benefactor, the U.S., which had achieved the smooth flow of oil from the Middle East at a terrible human cost. A decade of bombing and sanctions has left Saddam Hussein in power but over 700,000 Iraqi children are dead. Palestinians live under a brutal military occupation. When the Arabic nations try and address this matter civilly in the UN, as they just tried last week at the Durban conference, they are rebuffed. When blowback strikes, the consequences are as devastating as they are tragic.”
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DAVID GIBBS
Associate professor of political science at the University of Arizona and author of the recent articles “Afghanistan: The Soviet Invasion in Retrospect” and “Washington’s New Interventionism,” Gibbs said today: “Bin Laden began his military career during the 1980s, as a fighter with Muslim groups in Afghanistan that were armed and trained by the CIA. The Taliban government of Afghanistan, which supports Bin Laden’s organization, consists of elements that also were supported by the CIA. It is ironic that some of the alleged villains in the recent terrorist attacks may well be products of past U.S. policies. A major problem with military ‘solutions’ is that they often create far more problems than they solve. The CIA’s operations in Afghanistan during the 1980s, which have helped to generate terrorism in recent years, are spectacular examples of such policy failures.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167