When a massive tragedy strikes, there is temptation to find someone easy to blame. This happens in America all the time, with every economic or political problem being blamed on the previous administration, even if said individual demonstrably had nothing to do with it. Not saying it's always wrong, just that it's the emergency fallback, the duct tape of political arguments.
And now, it's going on again. There's a certain writer (I'm not going to say who) who is very well educated. He knows a lot about history.
And he's blaming the Paris terror attacks on former President George H.W. Bush Jr. and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
And his readers are agreeing with this, blaming their declaration of the Iraq War for this.
These people are idiots.
Over the years, this guy has said some questionable things about the Iraq War, as well as attribute my support of it to guilt over there supposedly being no weapons of mass destruction found there (actually, we have proof that there were, which I will get to anon), dismissing things that have come to light as fabricated media stories to help justify our actions. So for anyone who is looking to blame Shrub and Blair for this, sit down, put on a hat, and shut up. Because I'm about to ruin your little fantasy.
Let's get the most obvious point out of the way first -- if ISIS is so angry at the US and the UK, why are they targeting France?!? I know NPD's like to make scapegoats, but really?
If you really want to blame a US President for fostering terrorism, you have to start with Jimmy Carter. In 1979, Russia, which has a nasty tendency to seek to conquer new lands every couple of generations (hello, Ukraine, how are you holding up out there?), invaded Afghanistan back in 1979, trying to take advantage of the civil war that started when Mohammad Zahir Shah, the King of Afghanistan, was deposed and sent into exile. To counter this, the US started aiding and training mujahedeen rebels with the help of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. This was 1979, firmly in the Jimmy Carter presidency. Among the people being trained by the US was a fellow by the name of Osama bin Laden, who was receiving aid and training through the Carter Administration, the Reagan administration, and the Bush Sr. administration, until Russia gave up in 1989 (this did not stop us from propping up bin Laden, who had been given $43 mil from the US in May of 2001). Feeling the job done, the US pulled out its troops, leaving the various factions united by a common enemy to fight amongst themselves for control of the country.
Side note: this is where the Taliban came from. They were students from the Pakistan border region who formed in the mid 90's. The eventually claimed 90% of the country and drove the Northern Alliance out.
While we were training terrorists in the midst of our Cold War psychosis, we did nothing to stop their emboldening. For example, in 1982, Muslim extremists ran a car bomb into the US Marine barracks in Beirut. Reagan's response? He pulled out troops out of Beruit. Bad behavior rewarded is bad behavior repeated. December 1992, a hotel in Yemen used by US military personel was bombed. February 1993 (barely a month into the Bill Clinton administration), the World Trade Center bombing and the first Islamic radical attack in the US. November 1995, a US military training camp in Saudi Arabia is attacked by people claiming to have been inspired by bin Laden, killing 5 Americans. June 1996, a Saudi Arabian apartment complex used by US military is bombed, killing 19 Americans and injuring almost 400. August 1998, US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania are bombed, 257 killed, thousands injured. Clinton finally responded by ordering the launching of missiles in Sudan and Afghanistan. Results? The October 2000 attack on the USS Cole ported in Yemen, 17 killed, 39 injured, ship almost sunk.
All of these things happened BEFORE the Coalition Of The Willing headed by Shrub and Blair. And it wasn't just the US being targeted, either. In December 1994, Algerian hijackers tried to crash an Air France jet liner into the Eiffel Tower. It ended with commandos storming the plane and killing the hijackers. July 1995, a Paris subway station is bombed, resulting in 150 injured and 8 dead. In November 1997, a bus in Luxor, Egypt is attacked, killing 58 mostly European tourists. After the Iraq War? The only organized terrorist attack on the US or the UK tied to radical Islam was July 7 2005, when al-Qaida bombers hit three London subway trains and a bus, killing 52 commuters.
Now, here's the stupid part -- the refugees pouring in from Syria? They've been telling the press that money and training for ISIS soldiers is coming from Turkey and Saudi Arabia, two of our supposed allies in the region. Is anyone listening? Nope, it's all Shrub and Blair's fault! Three months ago, France lifted its mandatory search of bags, making it easier to transport weapons (I should note that the soccer stadium bombing could have been a whole lot worse -- the guy tried to enter but security wouldn't let him, so he blew up outside). Could that have had something to do with it? No, it's Shrub and Blair's fault!
As for those saying we never should have invaded Iraq, we found nothing there, bullshit. 1) We found aluminum firing pins. These things only exist to detonate nuclear weapons, the metal is too soft and maliable to be used with anything else. This isn't like finding a gun where it could be for sport or home defense or whatever, these are for nuclear weapons. I read that on one of the back pages of the Chicago Tribune as the war was winding down. 2) The documents leaked by Edward Snowden reveal that, as US troops searched and patroled the areas where chemical weapons were believed to be kept, they developed symptoms consistent with exposure to chemical weapons. They. Were. There. The Obama administration, for some reason, is refusing to allow this to become public knowledge. Between the toxicology reports and the aluminum firing pins, the only reason we didn't find anything was it was moved before we got there. They had the stuff. They were ready to kill us. We had every right to go in.
I know it's tempting to find someone easy to blame. But reality is always more complex, and it not only saddles people with a bum rap, it ignores how exactly this problem came to be in the first place.
If you're going to blame someone, choose someone that makes more sense. Class dismissed.