Blowback: America's Most Insidious ExportSubmitted by Marc Clair on Tue, 09/24/2013 - 13:48
It used to be that America’s best known exports around the globe were cool cars, rock and roll, and movies. Many citizens around the world have been drawn to American culture, and for those Americans that travel abroad there are always constant reminders of home, whether it’s hearing “Beat It” blasting from a storefront or stumbling upon a dubbed-over episode of “Seinfeld” in your hotel.
But those who actually live overseas are getting a lot more from America than the hip music and classic sitcoms.
The recent attack against civilians in Nairobi’s Westgate mall by Somalia’s Al-Shabab militia is covered by most media in traditional fashion: as a senseless, barbaric attack with no logical cause whatsoever. From USA Today, “Nairobi Mall Attack Strikes Against All of Us”:
As on 9/11, terrorists are waging a war on our modern, democratic way of life. Today, we are all Kenyans.
It’s the post-9/11 nightmare that Americans have been half expecting: al-Qaeda gunmen attack a shopping mall, take hostages, leave behind carnage and a sickening repeat question: “Why us?”
It’s a valid question. Why “us”? Why “them”?
People always have motivations for their actions, regardless of how horrific those actions may be.
In the case of the Nairobi attack, this was a direct response to the Kenyan government sending troops to Somalia in order to wage war against the militant group Al-Shabab. As with 9/11 in the U.S., Kenya’s foreign intervention has resulted in blowback upon its citizens. They are the dual victims of extraction of their wealth by the Kenyan government, and now the direct victims of attacks resulting from how that money was appropriated.