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Matt Wuerker
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Originally posted to Comics on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 02:50 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Lol - love the guy peeking out of Afghanistan :) (11+ / 0-)

    I ♥ President Barack Obama.

    by ericlewis0 on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 02:54:27 PM PDT

  •  Mm. Wonder what the pipe (6+ / 0-)

    That we see the very end of, but can't see the label of, is from? Probably Iraq. Regardless, a wonderful cartoon.

  •  That's not such a bad blowback , imho . (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, sweatyb, rebel ga, ericlewis0, ram27

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 02:59:42 PM PDT

  •  Like the cartoon but wonder (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ram27, All In, HSans

    what the overall blowback is? If each country that is responsible for despicable policies has to expect blowback, why is this a fundamentally North American problem? Yeah, we suck, we've sucked, we'll suck again. Other countries? Hello? If our citizens today are responsible for everything North American politicians have done throughout history -- what's the solution? It's actually not cartoonishly amusing that we are reaping what we sowed. Are we the only sowers? What do other countries reap? Are we the only bad players in the Middle East, in Central America, on the world stage?

    •  American exceptionalism (13+ / 0-)

      We in the United States don't appear to be convinced that the natural and predictable sequelae of our actions around the world will have any consequences for ourselves. For example, let's say some really pissed-off people from other countries decided to strike at symbols of U.S. power. Just for a couple of the more oppressive symbols, let's say financial and military.

      Would our citizens recognize that significance of those attacks? That they were aimed at the symbols of our financial and military oppression? Would we understand that the targets had been carefully chosen, and that they meant something? Or would we completely overlook the reasons for the attack against us, and simply reduce it to an act of terrorism that must be met with an overwhelming military response against ill-defined "enemies" who may or may not have had anything to do with the attacks?

      Are we the only bad players? Not by any means. Are we the only bad players who think we're above reproach and immune to blowback? It's quite possible.

      •  Every great empire did it (12+ / 0-)

        going back at least to the Romans and the Persians. The entire world is still suffering blowback from the Crusades, and from the Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, Belgian, British, Russian, Turkish, Prussian, Austrian, and Japanese empires, among others.

        But the US is now the sole superpower, and we are still handing out arms and getting caught doing covert ops, so we're It.

        We could be ending poverty and oppression at home and abroad, but Noooooo, that's unAmerican.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 07:54:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The hate us for our freedom... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bluegeorgia, raspberryberet

        was Dubya's battle cry. So the answer to your question

        "That they were aimed at the symbols of our financial and military oppression? Would we understand that the targets had been carefully chosen, and that they meant something? "

        is

        "No. We understood this to be another opportunity for the MIC sharholders to get rich after the end of cold war"

        •  Remember as well (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bluegeorgia, 2BeeWise, Listner2

          Ward Churchill identified the World Trade Center as the beating heart of American-style capitalism, and that the September 11 attacks could be understood as a blow against that oppression, he was pilloried badly and hung out to dry by the popular media.

          Yes, his characterization of the technocratic corps of global capitalism as "little Eichmanns" may have been over the top, but considering the level of discourse we hear nowadays from one political party in particular, well . . .

          No, we willfully ignore our own sins while never forgetting everyone else's.

          •  Gratuitous (0+ / 0-)

            Churchill was of course correct. I remember an interview with Bin Laden post 9/11 where he was asked about the "purpose" of the attacks. The then smiling Osama said "To bring the economy of the United States to it's knees". Soon after the Bush debacle began doing just that.
              I also keep hearing over and over the statement by our own "Ike" where he said in effect, God help this country if we ever have a President that doesn't understand the Military/Industrial complex.

              My sincere hope is that one day we will elect a President who proclaims to the world that we were wrong about this war business and that the United States is embarking on a new, more philanthropic effort to see how we can save the planet, instead of just killin folks.

    •  Ideals, conceived and/or realized (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ram27, All In, oafling, cjtjc

      Reginahny: You aren't wrong.  But there are a couple thoughts to entertain.  We (by which I mean Americans as a whole) have a kind of national mythos that we operate out of a kind of specialness, and with a kind of moral authority (largely based on being a, mostly, non-colonial power).  We really are the first nation intentionally built on stated ideals, rather than some form of tribal kinship.

      We built up a rather large fund of generalized goodwill in the world, up through--call it the Vietnam era/1970--largely by operating on those ideals, rather than operating as a 'great power'.  People cut us some slack when we did stupid things, because they saw that we meant well, and tried to repair our errors once we saw them.  Also, there was still enough separation, physical, financial, and resource, to mitigate the consequences of the actions of any one nation on others.

      In the last 30-40 years, we've stopped operating on the ideals that created the Marshall Plan, and rebuilt Japan after WWII, and started trying to act more like a 'normal' great power.  This means not raising standards for others, and developing a certain condescention.  That's not making us any friends.

      We've also got a much more tightly linked world.  Consider: the 'Great Recession' began in Icelandic banks, who were holding US pension fund investments.

      The icing on the cake is probably our own political system. You know the old joke? "A statesman is a dead politician"? I can remember when we had a few living statemen (always the minority, of course).  It's now nearly impossible to even find a discussion of truly national concerns--they all seem to focus on party.

      So, no, we aren't the only bad actors.  For most of our history, we've been rather better actors.  But we are held to a higher standard than most.

    •  France (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bluegeorgia

      You may want to look at France and the problems it has reaped to try and absorb immigrants from their former 'Spheres of influence' - North Africa mainly.

      The US is not alone. South Africa also has a problem absorbing people from other countries in Africa - not just Southern Africa either.

      A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism. -Carl Sagan

      by HSans on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 11:34:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was actually thinking the other day (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allie4fairness, houyhnhnm, ram27

    That perhaps we should be blaming the Central American mess on Reagan/Iran-Contra, but I was concerned that was reaching too far back as I'm actually not real familiar with what's happened down there in the last 30 years.

    •  Here are a few links to get you started (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Anak, Mary Mike, arlene, loblolly, War4Sale

      Light is seen through a small hole.

      by houyhnhnm on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 03:58:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It goes back much further (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobcat41702, houyhnhnm, ram27, HSans, Katannah

      The Spanish-American war, more than a century ago, and the Monroe Doctrine in 1823. Then we had the Texas secession from Mexico, and the Mexican War when we stole everything from there to California.

      It got particularly bad when the Cold War started in the 1940s, and the US rushed to support every tin-pot dictator in all of Latin America and teach their military and secret police forces how to be even nastier. Nixon and the War on Drugs created the drug cartels in the same way that Prohibition created Mob bootlegging, and the CIA propped up drug smugglers, and may have dealt some drugs itself.

      Disclosure: My grandfather was a bootlegger for some part of the Mob in New Jersey.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 08:18:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Try 1492 (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bobcat41702, ram27, oafling

        The European parts of all of us stole everything from Plymouth Rock to Alcatraz, and anything in between.  And yes, I include Canada as guilty of the same.

        In my opinion the only good thing that America can claim, along with our allies, is the defeat of fascism in the second world war.

        Before that time and ever since, this country has been the bully of the world.  The United States has fabricated excuses to invade other sovereignties and then claim we are protecting this country.

        Now that we have messed up the world (and others are just as guilty of this) we are hell-bent on destroying the environment and our society and people.  We are like the lemmings who throw themselves off cliffs in mass suicides.

        This could be a good place.  But it isn't.  Politically this is a living hell.  It's time to throw the politicians over the cliff and save ourselves.

        •  A little harsh (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ram27, oafling

          Lets not assume that the Native tribes weren't bullying each other before we got here. We (i.e. Europe) just had such a technological advantage that we were much much more effective - there was no balance like there presumably was between the native tribes.

          •  why the aborigines were decimated (0+ / 0-)

            The original inhabitants of the western hemisphere were decimated less by superior technology than by diseases against which they had no immunity, especially smallpox.
            Read "Guns, Germs and Steel" by Jared Diamond.

        •  Beating Fascism (0+ / 0-)

          But it seems that beating Fascism during the Second World War has not provided the world with immunity from Fascism thereafter.

          A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism. -Carl Sagan

          by HSans on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 11:40:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Particularly since we literally hired the Nazis (0+ / 0-)

            To give one example, the CIA shielded Klaus Barbie "the Butcher of Lyon" from French prosecution and put him to work in doing counterintelligence, including torture and murder, against the Left and indigenous people in Bolivia.

            We may both know that, but most Americans have no clue about it and wouldn't believe us if we tried to educate them.

            Feel trickled on yet?

            by War4Sale on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 11:58:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  blowback (0+ / 0-)

        I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned the trilogy of books by Chalmers Johnson, beginning with "Blowback".
        Google Chalmers Johnson to read about him (Wikipedia) and read his books for some real historical perspective.

    •  Reading helps (0+ / 0-)

      Reading should help. Turning off the TeeVee should help. Taking some history courses should help.

      I'm just saying ...

      A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism. -Carl Sagan

      by HSans on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 11:37:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sometimes things do take a number of years to s... (0+ / 0-)

      Sometimes things do take a number of years to surface, so you may be on to something.

  •  When I was in Nicaragua in 1990 (5+ / 0-)

    I visited a refuge for orphans from El Salvador. I knew someone who had connections.  Ordinarily they did not allow North Americans to visit.

    We had come into a large room and were gathered near the door talking quietly to our guide.  There was a group of children playing together on the opposite side of the room looking just like normal children everywhere.  

    Suddenly, they became aware of us and they froze in terror. The change was so sudden and so shocking. I've never been able to get that image out of my mind.  

    Light is seen through a small hole.

    by houyhnhnm on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 03:20:27 PM PDT

  •  It goes much further back than the 80s (7+ / 0-)

    Try much earlier when US policy and military propped up the US Fruit company establishing banana republics..

    Jesus only performs miracles for people with enough time on their hands to make that crap up.

    by KneecapBuster on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 03:23:13 PM PDT

  •  some here seem unaware of exactly what we do south (10+ / 0-)

    border…others are apologists…

    I land on the side of the cartoonist

    http://www.soaw.org/

    The heartbreaking stories emanating from the immigration detention centers near the border have rightly been making the news. However the U.S. media has largely ignored the real lessons from the increasing number of Unaccompanied Minors being detained near the U.S. border. This “humanitarian crisis” has not been caused by the criminal nature of the people of Central America, irresponsible parenting, or the clichéd pursuit of the “American Dream”. Children and their families are coming to the U.S. to survive. At its root, they are too often trying to escape the devastating consequences of past and present U.S. foreign policy in the region.
    fel free to browse through the above website.
  •  "Our" Problems (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bluegeorgia, raspberryberet

    Political problems are always determined to be such by men whose fall back position to their resolution is death.

    It is within the accepted margin of error that nearly one half of war casualties are civilian of which statistically well over half are women and children.

       

  •  Where's China? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bluegeorgia, raspberryberet

    I'm sure that Nixon and Bush the First thought they were opening a huge market for American goods.
    Surprise! We send them our jobs and ideas, and they send us their junk tires and poison toothpaste.
    Just can't trust a "Communist" with almost as much inequality as we have.
    We did manage to teach them some of our 19th-century labor practices, though.

    "To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence." - Mark Twain

    by CaptainAnalog on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 03:13:42 PM PDT

  •  I must be missing something... (0+ / 0-)

    Granted, I don't have a TV, so I don't listen to the corporate media, which is a plus.  But what is going on in central America that amounts to blowback right now?

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