OSU’s Foreign Policy Blowback

by | Dec 1, 2016


Those who keep hoping that gun control will protect them from terrorist retaliation for U.S. interventionism in the Middle East had their hopes dashed last week at Ohio State University. That’s because the lack of a gun didn’t stop Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a Somali-born Ohio State student, from intentionally driving a car into pedestrians and then slashing people with a butcher knife.

This is what all too many Americans just don’t yet get — that local, state, and federal government officials cannot keep everyone safe all the time from the threat of terrorist retaliation for the U.S. national-security state’s continued interventionsim in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Last summer I was speaking at the annual Freedom Fest conference in Las Vegas. When I walked outside in daytime and nighttime, I was absolutely stunned by the large crowds on the sidewalks. I thought to myself: All of us are sitting ducks for anyone who wishes to kill Americans in retaliation for the U.S. government’s perpetual killing machine in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, and Afghanistan. That is, there was nothing local authorities in Las Vegas could do to prevent a car going at top speed from plowing into the throng of people on some sidewalk on the strip.

This past year, the Washington Nationals baseball team began requiring everyone to walk through a metal detector, another sign of how the Pentagon and the CIA have altered American society through their interventionist antics abroad.

Okay, that’s fine for baseball fans. But do you see any metal detectors at shopping malls or most other private buildings? All that a person has to do is take a big bomb into one of those places and detonate it. No gun needed.

This week the Islamic State took credit for the assaults at Ohio State, calling Artan one of its “soldiers.” According to the New York Times:

Shortly before the attack, the student had warned on social media about what he called mistreatment of Muslims, NBC reported. If the United States wants “Muslims to stop carrying lone wolf attacks, then make peace with ‘dawla in al sham.’ [the Islamic State’s territory in Syria and Iraq].”

Ever since 9/11, interventionists have hoped that after every terrorist attack here in the United States, there would be evidence that the attackers were motivated by their religious faith. In that way, interventionists could say, “See, it has nothing to do with the fact that the U.S. government is killing, maiming, kidnapping, torturing, abusing, and humiliating Muslims over there. It’s all because Muslims are coming to America to establish a caliphate.”

Alas, their hopes have been dashed every single time. Every person who has engaged in a terrorist attack on American soil — stretching back to the 1993 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center — has expressly stated that he has been motivated by the death and destruction that U.S. interventionism has wreaked in the Middle East or Afghanistan.

Why are interventionists so obtuse when it comes to anti-American terrorist blowback from U.S. interventionism abroad? Because the national security state — i.e., the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA — is their everything. It is their god. The last thing they are ever going to do is question or challenge whatever their god is doing.

In the meantime, as I have pointed out time and time again even before the 9/11 attacks, the anti-American terrorist blowback will continue so long as the Pentagon and the CIA continue to kill people over there. Consider it simply a cost of interventionism.

Should that cause Americans to live their lives in fear or deep anxiety? Should Americans continue sacrificing their rights and liberties to the national-security state in order to be kept “safe” from the terrorist threat that is being generated by the national-security state’s continued interventionism abroad?

Of course not! Just because there are terrorist retaliatory attacks here in the United States doesn’t mean that the Muslims are coming and invading America and taking over the federal government and replacing President-Elect Trump’s cabinet picks with theirs. It just means that a certain relatively small number of Americans will continue to be killed or injured, like those at Ohio State, out of retaliation for the U.S. government’s continued killing in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Of course, that’s no consolation for those who do hit the blowback lottery, like those students at Ohio State, or the people in that nightclub in Orlando, or the people at the Boston Marathon, or the people in San Bernardino, and others yet to come. For those who hit the blowback lottery, the number of people killed and injured doesn’t look relatively small.

I know that I say this after every terrorist attack but it bears repeating: If Americans want to live lives of normality and peace — that is, lives where terrorist blowback no longer exists, there is only one way to achieve that: Bring the troops home now. Not one more killing at the hands of the U.S. national-security establishment. Leave ISIS, the organization that the U.S. invasion of Iraq brought into existence, alone. ISIS is not coming to get us and isn’t going to take over the federal government. Leave the Middle East alone to work out the solutions to the chaos and mayhem that U.S. interventionism has produced and continues to produce. Stop pouring interventionist fuel on the fire that U.S. interventionism has unleashed.

Reprinted with permission from Future of Freedom Foundation.


  • Jacob G. Hornberger

    Jacob George Hornberger is an American attorney, author, and politician who was a Libertarian candidate for president in 2000 and 2020. He is the founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation.

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