There’s little that pisses me off more than this sentence. It’s been used to justify thirteen years of warfare and widespread state surveillance, and it’s complete bullshit.
They hate our freedoms as much as we hate theirs; it’s really got nothing to do with why what happened did. It’s the conception of justice as vengeance. It’s the belief that our way of life is average, normal, and optimal, and imposing it on others is, in a universal sense, justifiable. It neglects centuries of Western powers rampaging through the Middle East in pursuit of religious or economic gain and in the process leaving power vacuums and anger, leading to further intervention, leading to further power vacuums and anger.
No matter who is responsible, the cycle of suffering will continue. While someone over here mumbles “mrrca” repeated, asserting their own patriotic righteousness, just that same mumbling sounds like “Allahu akbar” on the other side of the globe. They both believe in the absolute truth and justice of their own side, and to push on other another reinforces and maintains that sentiment. The equal and opposite reaction is evil, and the push becomes good. The justification is built on a selective compassion for dead compatriots. Death begets death, the slaughter continues, and as a solution, violence allows for one and only one victory condition: suppression or annihilation of the opposition.
So, here we are again, bombing what festered in a power vacuum we created. Nor will this be the last time. Nor will the next time be the last time.
Bombs are expensive. As long as there is someone to drop the bomb on, there are those who sell bombs. Bombs are good for business. Bombs guided by expensive electronics are even better.
George Orwell rolls in his grave.