When I traveled the world representing the United States during the George W. Bush administration, I was often confronted by people who wanted to blame the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, on American foreign policy.
U.S. support for Israel, along with the suffering of the Palestinian people, they told me, had spawned the resentment and anger that resulted in the attacks on our country.
No, I always answered, you cannot blame the murder of innocent people on any grievance, no matter how legitimate. The only organization and people responsible for Sept. 11 are al-Qaeda and the 19 hijackers who carried out its murderous mission.
Sure. Doesn't mean that the people who are pissed off at US Foreign Policy don't have a decent reason to be pissed off sometimes. No, I don't blame anyone but Al Qaeda and assorted idiots for 9/11.
But I blame a lot of stupid people for insisting on supporting corrupt, oppressive Arab regimes as well as funneling money toward the Israeli settlers and their political supporters over the years. Stop that money and you stop a huge part of the problem getting worse every day. That's something that our side can do unilaterally without cost to us - to immediately and tangibly improve the odds of the situation being resolved in the next fifty years. In fact it would save us money that we can spend on more worthwhile causes.
I also blame a lot of US policies for making us look bad, and giving us a bad rap. Guantanamo. Abu Ghraib. Invading Iraq rather than just assassinating Saddam and his sons. Knee-jerk vetoes at the UN.
Meh. Sounds like Karen Hughes will do anything, and say anything, to defend her own country and her administration's policies - no matter the cost to truth and human dignity. Screw looking at other people's arguments and figuring out if there's any legitimate issues there. Let's just stand fast and try to shout louder than the other side.