|Kane says actions have consequences|
(CNN) - Presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul reiterated his controversial stance Sunday that some policies of the United States contributed to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Speaking on the CBS program “Face the Nation,” Paul said his views were consistent with analysis from various groups...Why is this claim somehow surprising? To deny that our policies might have something to do with how the rest of the world treats us leaves only two alternatives.
The first is to deny that we have any effect whatsoever in the world. Our actions never bring about reactions. America is proof that Newton's Third Law of Motion does not apply to cool people.
The second possibility is that our actions do bring about reactions, but only predictable reactions that work in our favor. No matter what we do to or for people, they will always react with gratitude, and the people who are harmed by our actions** see the wisdom of our policy and change their wicked ways.
If neither of those possibilities makes sense, then we ought to be open to the possibility that our actions in the world do bring about consequences, and some of them we don't like very much. That is not necessarily an argument against doing any specific action, but it is an argument that we ought to take our actions seriously and count the cost of them, including the not wholly unpredictable costs that someone might visit on us if we pursue them.
There never was a stupider, more self-serving explanation for 9/11 than "They hate our freedoms." But what is amazing to me is not that Americans will grab onto any slogan that absolves them of responsibility for their own almost-rape, but that they are taken wholly by surprise when a politician tells them the startling truth that what they do actually makes a difference.
* The headline is not actually from the article, but is the text of the link on the front page.
** We don't even have to direct harm at them - we just need to help their enemies. For example, helping to create a stable and prosperous Iraq hurts those who gain by an unstable, unprosperous Iraq. These people are called 'Iranians.'