During an interview last week, Republican Senator Rand Paul wondered what might be ahead for Israel in the ongoing Israel-Palestine war, “This is ultimately a judgment that Israel will have to make. Whether or not the Hamas disruption chain on command is now sufficient or whether they go on.”
Then Paul asked a question that should probably be asked more, both by Israel and the United States, as this Middle East conflict escalates.
Paul told Counter Points, “Because you are right, as more civilians die in Gaza, not intentionally, but as they die in Gaza, there’s always the question: Are ten new terrorists created for every civilian that was killed?”
What Sen. Paul is talking about is ‘blowback,’ a term invented by the CIA to describe the unintended consequences of America’s foreign policy.
When Donald Trump used to say that “Hillary Clinton created ISIS with Obama,” what he meant was not that they actually created ISIS, but that when the Obama administration ordered strikes and overthrew Libya’s government in 2011, it created a vacuum that was filled by ISIS.
That’s blowback. Obama later called that action the greatest regret of his presidency.
9/11 is considered by some to be the greatest example of blowback in American history.
Since the horrible terrorist attack on Israeli citizens on October 7, me, as an American sitting many, many miles away from this war, I’ve had two primary thoughts:
- It’s unimaginably heartbreaking how many innocent people are dying right now.
- How much future blowback has already been created and continues to be created?
As Sen. Paul said, it’s up to Israel to decide how far they’re willing to go. But it won’t be surprising if they do even more. It won’t be surprising if US boots end up on the ground there.
No one should be surprised that so many people in that part of the world see the US and Israel as the same. America shouldn’t even be involved in this war—but unfortunately we’ve been involved for a very long time in a myriad of ways.
How many new terrorists are being created right now for each civilian killed?
It’s a question worth asking. Now more than ever.