Elon Musk made a very important point recently.
In a recent interview about the Israel-Palestine conflict, the richest man on earth and X owner observed, “If you kill somebody’s child in Gaza, you’ve made at least a few Hamas members.”
Musk hasn’t been the only one to make this point. In an early November interview that covered the same subject, Republican Senator Rand Paul wondered, “Are 10 new terrorists created for every civilian that is killed?”
What both Musk and Paul are talking about is called ‘blowback,’ a CIA term to describe the unintended consequences of foreign policy. “There always is the question of blowback,” Paul would add.
There always is the question – or at least should be. If we’re smart.
If you’re creating more terrorists in the future with your actions today, what are you really accomplishing?
Or as Musk asked, “If you’ve created more than you’ve killed, you’ve not succeeded.”
Without question, Israel had every right to retaliate after the Hamas terrorist attack on October 7. But is what their government continues to do to Gaza right now making Israel more secure – or less?
It’s a question worth asking, as Musk appears to be doing.
Antiwar conservative Pat Buchanan said on MSNBC 14 years ago during the 2009 Gaza War, “I tell you how you create people for Hamas. You kill 675 people. You wound and you injure 3000. What do you think the brothers and sisters of those 5 little girls that died – what are they gonna be when they grow up?”
When Buchanan said this, it was when many in Hamas today were still children.
Musk made the same point about what’s going on in the region today, saying, “If you’re not gonna just outright commit genocide, like, against an entire people, which would obviously not be acceptable… it really shouldn’t be acceptable to anyone. Then you’re basically going to leave a lot of people alive who subsequently hate Israel.”
He’s not wrong. They unfortunately are going to hate America too.
Every nation must defend itself, but blowback is always a real danger. 9/11 was a tragic example. And we are fools if we don’t think about how what’s happening right now might affect all of our futures.