"Every single American can exclaim, 'Nothing justifies what they did in New York and Washington,' not even the bombs that our government has dropped on them for ten years or the embargo that has caused the deaths of so many children. That's of course true…The issue is simply an acceptance of reality and a fundamental fact of life: When governments do bad things to people, people sometimes retaliate."
by:
Jacob G. Hornberger
Author, journalist, politician, and the founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation
Source:
Liberty, Security, and the War on Terrorism (2010)
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Reader comments about this quote:
What American bombs were being dropped on Afghanistan when 9/11 took place. What embargo was killing Saudi or Afghan children? This quote is factually uninformed and misleading.
 -- Wendell, Juneau, AK     
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    I might buy into this BS if this terrorist type behavior was focused only on the USA. The terrorism is their method at the moment and it surfaces all over the globe. We don't know for sure what they want, but the flow of information says their aim is ultimately world conquest and the destruction of democracy, capitalism, Christianity, and representative government, followed by a world-wide Muslim government. The terrorism has been going on in India, Indonesia, Russia, the USA, and many countries in Europe. If anything, the USA has shown great restraint since the embassy hostage taking during the Carter administration. International Law gives special status to embassies and the people working there. Violating the terms of international law and taking the people at the embassy hostage was a flagrant act. The UN did nothing. The World Court did nothing. NATO did nothing. The "great" Jimmy 'scared of a bunny rabbit' Carter launched a half-hearted strike to get the hostages out and it failed. Were I the President of the USA on 9/11, there would have been mushroom shaped clouds over every capitol city of a Muslim state just for openers. Serious message to follow. Please don't feed me this nonsense of people retaliating. You are talking about state sponsored, religiously veiled, terrorism. Nothing more. Nothing less. 72 virgins as a reward for killing people via suicide bombings, etc. is simply beyond the standards of civilized people and a mockery of religion. I wonder if I could express any personal opinion on the terrorism in any Muslim country and remain alive and free. You head the Future of Freedom foundation. You advocate the destruction of freedom. Make up your mind.
     -- J. B. Wulff, Bristol, CT     
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    His last statement is true. Governments must be wise and measured and represent their people. The references to 9/11 and rest is food for thought but generally BS. Wulff, you highlighted very well how wise and measured the US has tried to be.When you big and strong sometimes you must be gentle and slow. Look how we and our South Korean friends handled the attack and killing of civilians recently over their as well as the sinking of a S. Korean sub. Clinton and Bush gave The Taliban every opportunity to hand over Ben Laden before and after 9/11 but they refused. Hornberger needs more facts in his file.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    interesting
     -- Kimo, Lahaina     
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    Perhaps he is talking about US meddling in the internal affairs of other countries and our CIA actions.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
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    Perhaps Hornberger was referring to the 10 years of bombing Iraq before 9/11. Perhaps he refers to all the little undeclared wars over the last 30 years in which the US military protects 'American interests' abroad. How is Islamophobia any different than Yankee-phobia? Do not these Middle Eastern and Asian countries know something is wrong when Americans patrol their streets in army fatigues? Would we ever put up with foreigners doing the same in our country? Frankly I am getting tired of Executive 'wars' -- only Congress can declare war, and yet war has not been declared since WWII and tens of thousands of Americans have been killed in 'wars' since -- not to mention the enormous debt laid upon the shoulders of the populace. The wars in the Middle East are being referred to as the 'Long War' -- look, if the government wants the People to pay for war, then Congress has to put it to a vote. When the President can simply declare war, and load us with trillions in debt without a declaration of war, this is nothing more than a dictatorship. These 'wars' are not for our security, but for profit and power -- it is about oil and the subjegation of weak nations with valuable resources. Just remember, the folks being bombed in Afghanistan day after day will not forget. Karma is a bitch, and there is no reason to believe that America has any special dispensation from heaven to not reap what it has sown.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Touchy Subject. Wendell, Clinton was bombing Kurds. And our own forces have been guilty of unnecessary violence in corners of the world that don't make the news. Yes there is retaliation for this. In Fact the CIA calls it "Blowback" and there is a book of the same name out there.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    It seems Hornberger is so far left that saying things that are divorced from reality become a statement of fact to him. Obama needs to hire him when Bagdad bob gibbs gets fired.
     -- joe mn, Rochester, MN     
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    No matter how moderate or polite a nation is, it cannot elude the evil agenda of evil people. War is often inevitable. America engages in war in seperate corners of the earth in order to prevent that war from meeting us here at home. We would rather play in their back yard than let them come into ours. In the past, America has been guilty of crimes throughout the World. We often walk a fine line between what is justified and what is not. But not when it comes to Afgahnistan. There, terrorism has been alive and well years before 9/11. Clinton and even pre-9/11 Bush were moderate when it came to bringing justice into this region. Our moderacy was interpreted by them as a weakness that they endeavored to exploit. These terrorist today call us heathens, infedels, and criminals, but they are not calling us weak and they are not attacking us here at home. It is, to some degree, true that we went there to gain more world power, but it cannot be refuted that the common American citizen here at home is safer because of it.
     -- Publius     
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    Archer...Much of the reason why Congress does not declare war is because the Congressmen are spineless. They fear that the war will go too long and the People will become discontented and vote them out because they are the ones who declared war. They would rather fight the war in a manner in which they have a scapegoat to blame the war on (the president) and so they may be able to pull the plug when the polls are not in their favor. In many cases the Congressmen believe in the necessity of the fight. When they preach against it and lay the blame on the oppossing party or the president, they often have no intention of ending the war, they are just playing political games.
     -- Publius     
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