The root-causes cited often sound familiarly like, if not identical to, those “grievances” the authors of “understanding” have against the United States and Britain. So this week it is Iraq we have been punished for; the dead Indonesians paid the price for Afghanistan; and 9/11 was for, you know, US foreign policy and “our” support of Israel. (I know I’m using a lot of inverted commas here but the children of Foucault deserve to have some thrown back at them).
All of these explanations are partly true. Shock horror and, indeed, no shit (emphasis on the partly). Even if we accept – and we should – that the chief cause of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism is Islamic fundamentalism, those who attacked our capital were, i’m sure, not fans of regime-change; the Bali bombers did, I’m sure, think Australians deserved to die – extra – because of the removal of their allies The Taliban; and Mohammed Atta et al were, we know, opposed to (the existence of a) US foreign policy.
But, so what?
Are critics suggesting that we design our foreign policy in order not to piss off Islamic fundamentalists?
Quite. The only way to stop attacks is through security – foreign policy should be about what’s right, and independent of anything else.