Blame Blair or Bush, Not the Bombers

Debra Saunders: Blame Blair or Bush, Not the Bombers

At a press conference Thursday, journalists asked Blair and visiting Australian Prime Minister John Howard if they felt responsible for actions — sending troops to aid in U.S.-led military efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq — that put Brits and Aussies in peril’s way.

“Do you feel that, in a sense, your policies may have put people in this position?” one reporter asked. Said another: “Do incidents like this, coming just 14 days after the horrific attacks, suggest the war against terror is being lost on the streets?”

Howard’s answer was on the money: “Can I remind you that the murder of 88 Australians in Bali took place before the operation in Iraq? Can I remind you that the 11th of September occurred before the operation in Iraq? Can I also remind you that the very first occasion that bin Laden specifically referred to Australia was in the context of Australia’s involvement in liberating the people of East Timor? Are people, by implication, suggesting that we shouldn’t have done that?”

Howard then added, “This is about hatred of a way of life.” And: “We lose sight of the challenge we have if we allow ourselves to see these attacks in the context of particular circumstances rather than the abuse, through a perverted ideology, of people — and their murder.”

Howard is right. The terrorists win every time free people blame attacks not on the bombers, but on those who didn’t blow up civilians on subways and double-decker buses.

Imagine if anti-abortion terrorists killed 52 civilians and themselves, and Americans blamed feminism, or abortion rights, or the U.S. Supreme Court for Roe vs. Wade. Because the equivalent is happening at home and abroad.

While it’s entirely appropriate to question the ramifications of Western involvement in the Middle East, the major media have embraced an ahistorical causal relationship that puts all blame for terrorism on American/Western policy and none on Islamist ideology.

FILED UNDER: Afghanistan War, Iraq War, Middle East, Terrorism, , , , ,
Leopold Stotch
About Leopold Stotch
“Dr. Leopold Stotch” was the pseudonym of political science professor then at a major research university inside the beltway. He has a PhD in International Relations. He contributed 165 pieces to OTB between November 2004 and February 2006.


  1. Kenny says:

    I agree with your last statement, its the Islamics to blame.

  2. ozzippit says:

    If in peril, I’d love to have John Howard watching my back.