All of this analysis would be true if America were using its drones to launch unprovoked attacks against targets in Pakistan. But it is not. These attacks are provoked. And who is doing the provoking? Jihadists, who, for all the obvious reasons, want us to believe that it is our actions that cause the violence they inflict on us. Ask yourself this question: Did American drone attacks in Pakistan cause 9/11? Or the attack on the U.S.S. Cole? Or the embassy bombings in Africa?No. Really. HOW? How is it possible?
It is the most trivially obvious thing in the world to realize that people are going to pay one hell of a lot more attention to attacks on their friends and family than they are to attacks that happened almost a decade ago and almost a world away, and they are sure as hell not going to pay much attention to this sort of reasoning when the attacks are being made on people who were not directly connected with either the Cole or 9/11 bombings? Yes, they might be jihadists—though predators aren't exactly the most accurate platform in America's arsenal so there's a good chance that many might not be—but they are not going to agree with Goldberg's reasoning, any more than Goldberg would believe that blowing up a building in DC is acceptable because of what America got up to in, say, El Salvador.
Look, idiot, this is absurdly simple. The whole "predator attacks cause more retaliatory attacks" idea is based on the notion that they don't care whether or not you think your actions are justified. It's not a normative argument, it's a factual argument: bombs drop, they get mad, they "respond". The fact that the bombing is a response to something that they did does not mean that they aren't responding in turn to what you did. That's what escalation IS: response building on response building on response. Nobody gives a shit about "he started it!"
That's why one has to be thoughtful about any sort of military response to terrorism: even if it is justified, it's going to carry consequences, and you have to recognize and understand those consequences before making those decisions. Saying "he started it!" is what a CHILD does.
(Not that it's surprising to see someone from the Atlantic acting like a child. They provide a platform for Jane Galt, after all.)
The truly hilarious part of the story is here:
"No terrorism group has the word 'terrorism' in its name. They see themselves as reluctant fighters, always retaliating, never initiating."Well, nobody should say that terrorists never learn. Looks like they learned that little trick reeeeal well.