The Blow Back Theory


One of the more common theories that you hear among libertarians and other progressives is that the reason terrorist attacks happen is because of our military presence and operations in other countries. Now in and of itself that is neither here nor there. It is like saying the ice on the road caused the wreck. The statement itself does include a moral element per se. But often the underlying assumption behind this statement is that the terrorists are justified or semi-justified in attacks like Nice because of our military presence.  Even Christians tend to justify or soften the condemnation of various terrorists acts based on this line of reasoning.

But, even assuming the American military was purposely targeting civilians in a non-military zone and then killing them through acts of violence done by secret soldiers planted in that city for the express purpose of killing civilians, that does not justify the terrorists doing the same thing. There is a just way to wage war. And ISIS is not doing that. There is no justification for Nice or Paris. It was wicked and should be condemned as such.

I live in West Virginia. Imagine if a military unit from Ohio decided to set up a military or psuedo-military installation in our state. What would be the just options after all peaceful efforts at negotiation were exhausted? There are two and only two. Attack the military installation that they put in place in West Virginia or go and attack their military installations in Ohio. This would be the courageous and just thing to do. It would not be courageous or just for West Virginia to send citizens to Cincinnati and begin picking off children with a sniper rifle. That would be wicked.

This is not a justification of American foreign policy. It is terrible and we have meddled in far too many countries. We should pull out and let the nations deal with their issues. I do not think we should have military bases all over the world. Nor is this to say that the American military has not done some wicked things in her history.

But that in no way justifies ISIS and the barbaric, terrorists acts they commit against civilians. When Christians imply that it does they are buying into the idea that victims have free reign to do as they please. If you have been victimized then you are no longer bound by a moral code. This is a dark lie from the pit and does tremendous harm. If ISIS really had courage and cared about their region and people they would amass an army and seek to drive out the invaders or whatever they call us or they would negotiate for peace, which would include us leaving their countries or region.  That is just and right.

We can condemn American foreign policy and at the same time condemn the ISIS attacks. When Christians condemn the former and not the latter they show themselves to be postmodern in their thinking instead of biblical.