Monday, April 02, 2007

Blowback and Newton's Third Law

In 1686, Sir Isaac Newton gave us his three laws of motion in the Principia Mathematica Philosophiae Naturalis. The Third Law is one that most of us likely remember: For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction.

Back in 2001, Chalmers Johnson, a prolific writer about defense and foreign policy issues, brought the term blowback into the vernacular. What is blowback? It is, says Mr. Johnson, "a metaphor for the unintended consequences of the US government's international activities."

Now I know some people are going to jump up and down and say, "Oh, you're saying America is the evil one" or "You think we deserve this." No, I think what Mr. Johnson is saying is that sometimes there's a reaction to something we do. Were I to strike my wife, I'd likely find myself sitting in the Portsmouth jail within a few hours. That's just the way it is.

So, why talk about blowback now? Because according to the British press, the Iranian situation with the British troops being held is in response to American actions.

From Patrick Cockburn in The Independent:
A failed American attempt to abduct two senior Iranian security officers on an official visit to northern Iraq was the starting pistol for a crisis that 10 weeks later led to Iranians seizing 15 British sailors and Marines.

Early on the morning of 11 January, helicopter-born US forces launched a surprise raid on a long-established Iranian liaison office in the city of Arbil in Iraqi Kurdistan. They captured five relatively junior Iranian officials whom the US accuses of being intelligence agents and still holds.

In reality the US attack had a far more ambitious objective, The Independent has learned. The aim of the raid, launched without informing the Kurdish authorities, was to seize two men at the very heart of the Iranian security establishment.
Newton was right.

My prediction: We'll start going tit for tat and pretty soon this will be a bloody mess, way of control.

Just what we stink'n need.

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