Does the US share some blame for the London Bombings?

In this thread, Diogenes claimed that the US was indirectly to blame for the London bombings today, sharing some of the responisibility with the bombers themselves:

emphasis added.

Does anyone agree?

The moral responisiblity for a person’s actions lies solely with the person who committed those actions, provided they were not coerced by anyone else. I can’t see how the US could have coerced the bombers in any way, so I see all of the responsibility being theirs and theirs alone.

Curiously though, Dio is inconsistent in how he applies this attitude (fancy that…shocked I’m sure). According to him ObL is not responsible for ANY of the deaths in Iraq…although his actions caused the chain of events that lead to the US invasion there. So, if I have it straight, the US is responsible for the attacks in London due to their invasion of Iraq (why its because of Iraq is still a mystery to me), even though AQ was not involved (right? AQ had no involvement in Iraq)…but ObL, who’s attack indirectly caused the chain of events leading up to the invasion of Iraq, gets a pass because, well, he wasn’t directly responsible.

But as DtC says in that same thread: “At least OBL had a REASON to kill civilians.”


I totally and absolutely DISagree. Remember, the 9/11 event was NOT the first time Al Queda had tried to destroy the World Trade Center. This was before George W Bush was President, so no we can’t blame him either. Al Queda is to blame. Nobody else is. It’s time to stop blaming us for every psycho bastard who comes down the pike.

An unequivocal NO here. And this is from someone who despises Bush, thinks this administration is both inept and corrupt, and believes Bush et al could’ve done far more damage to Al-Qaeda and its ilk by continuing the war in Afghanistan and not be sidetracked by the idiotic diversion in Iraq.

(have I made myself clear :slight_smile: )

Terrorism happens. It’s sad and tragic, and, unfortunately in this world climate, inevitable.

Would there have been this specific attack had the U.S. not gone to war with Iraq? Doubtful.

But at some point earlier or in the future, something similar would’ve happened. It’s just the way it is.

People, I think, share in the responsibility for the foreseeable consequences of their decisions. Note that the further that consequence is from you, the less share of the responsibility is yours. My responsibility for the death of a child in Burundi from starvation is pretty small, even though I could’ve chosen to foregone Internet service this month and fed that child. Nevertheless, I share in that responsibility.

Note also that responsibility isn’t a quantity, of which the share I take diminishes from the share you take. If the sentence for robbing a store is 10 years, and you and I rob the store together, we don’t each get five years; we each get the full 10 years, the full responsibility for the consequence of our decision.

Thus, if the London bombing was a foreseeable outcome of Bush’s decisions, then I say he shares in that responsibility, just as, if another atrocity would’ve been a foreseeable outcome of a different decision of his, he would’ve shared in that responsibility.

Saying this does not in any way diminish the responsibility of the murderers who planted the bombs; nor is it a moral principle designed for politics.


I don’t agree with it. Even if I were disposed to make such an argument (and I am not) it seems to me the blame should go first to the British themselves, who chose to go in with us of their own free will. Besides which, as Diogenes himself so rightly points out again and again, Iraq and Al Qaeda have nothing to do with each other. If the Al Qaeda attack on the WTC was not a valid pretext for war against Iraq, then our war against Iraq is not a valid pretext for Al Qaeda to attack London.

However, in the abstract, I can think of situations in which an agressive, invading nation is responsible for terrorist attacks against it. The French Resistance blew up quite a few trains themselves, and I think the Nazis blame the lion’s share of the blame for that. To be clear, though, I don’t think that the situation in Vichy France is remotely analogous to what’s going on in Iraq right now, and I’m not intending to compare our actions there to the Nazis in any way. I’m merely arguing against the principle John suggested at the end of his post.

On the other hand, I suppose you could put forward the argument that, because we went into Iraq instead of crushing Al Qaeda in the first place, we bear some responsibility for their still being an Al Qaeda in exsistence to perpetrate this bombing. But I don’t think that’s the argument Diogenes is trying to make.

The invasion of Iraq was not caused by 9/11. The decision to topple Hussein was made before 9/11 ever happened.

Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 or AQ but the US invasion of Iraq was a boon to AQ recruitment and further aggravated anti-US resentment in the Arab world. Just because Hussein was not involved with 9/11 does not mean that al Qaeda can’t be pissed about the US invading Iraq.

That was a sarcastic comment on Bush, not an expression of any approval for bin Laden. I said in the same thread that ObL’s “reason” was not legitimate.

The Brits were lied to as well, but maybe Blair should take a drop of blame.

The bombing of the Israeli Paradise hotel in Mombasa left 16 dead. The Bali bombing killed 202. 21 people were killed in a synagogue bombing in Tunis. Five more were killed in a church bombing in Pakistan.

230 people died when our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed. 19 of our servicemembers were killed in the Dharan bombing. 17 more died when the USS Cole was bombed.

And 2,986 people died on 9/11.

That’s a huge deathtoll from terrorism committed by Islamic militants. Sadly, this list isn’t comprehensive, just illustrative. And all of these attacks, every one, took place before we invaded Iraq.

Seems to me, Diogenes, that you’re just looking to place the blame on the current administration. And you do so blind, totally blind, to the obvious fact that Islamic terrorism has been a problem for quite a while now.

If this attack was precipitated by the Iraq conflict, pray tell what precipitated all of these others?

If their reasons aren’t legitimate, why should we heed them? Wouldn’t that just give terrorists what they want?

You seem to want appeasement, as long as we don’t call it that.

I’m curious - is there any real indication that any policy change, no matter how accomodating, by the big western powers would be satisfactory to the fanatics conducting the terrorist attacks? All the rhetoric I’ve heard from the radicals seems to indicate that the only way that western culture will be accepted is only through its complete eradication. Put simply, aren’t we targets at this point simply by existing and regardless of what we may do on the global stage?
I’m not suggesting that this is a reasonable excuse for our actions in Iraq, I’m just wondering if it’s a lose-lose situation as regards a possible diplomatic solution.

I agree with Diogenes, to a point. It depends on what premises you’re starting from. If invading Iraq made terrorist attacks against coalition members more likely, and if that was a foreseeable consequence of the invasion, then we, as the prime mover behind the war, bear some responsibility for any such attacks. I believe the first two statements to be true, hence I believe the last statement is also true.

Note that you can believe all of those things and still support the war. It could be that the war will achieve a good that more than makes up for the increased risk of terror attacks in the long run, and I’d wager that the war’s architects believe precisely that.

Why do you think that? Say I sell a gun to someone I know to be thief, and he winds up using it to shoot someone in the course of a robbery. Don’t I bear some responsibility for the other person’s bad acts? I’m not saying the two situations are analogous, only that the quoted statement strikes me as odd.

That’s not been my reading of the rhetoric. It seems to me that, on balance, the gist of it is “get out of all Muslim countries and withdraw support for Israel.” I find the whole “they hate us because of our freedom” meme to be excedingly implausible.

I’m not suggesting we do what they say, of course, only that we could accomodate them if we really wanted.

by Left Hand of Dorkness

There’s a huge propblem with this line of reasoning. It ignores that there may be no perfect way through. Regardless of what Bush did, more terrorist attacks would occur. It therefore amounts to: which way is better? Which is an unprovable matter of opinion (although obviously, **Dio ** is wrong because he disagrees with me, who is always right!). :slight_smile:

It also ultimately comes down to everyone being guilty for not stopping all foreseeable tragedies, because pretty much everything *is * foreseeable, if you’re thinking about it. But this also mixes up questions about ability and rights. And it becomes a more serious problem: how far can one morally go to stop another evil?

Including plans to release poison gas in London Tube in November 2002.

Who said anything about “heeding” or “appeasing?” What the hell are you talking about?

What does any of this absolve of us of our own culpability in the London bombings?

I know, I know. Islam bad. America good. There are no shades of gray. It’s impossible for America to be wrong.

The invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with stopping evil. The forseeable consequences are worse because there was no REASON to invade Iraq.

I don’t understand this progression. Reasons need not be legitimate; people hold positions and conclusions that are illogical or unreasonable with frequency. While one is free to say such conclusions are incorrect, one cannot necessarily ignore them, as the person is basing future action upon them.
I’m nitpicking, I know…but acknowleging and charting the logic of the perpetrators is not the same thing as certifying or approbating it.

Nonsense. They will still have a greivance against us- real or imagined. If it wasn’t for Iraq, it’s be troops in Saudi. if it wasn’t for troops in Saudi, it’d be our support for Isreal. If it wasn’t for that- it’d be something else.

See- it has to be OUR fault. Because they are living in poverty and ignorance- and that can’t be their fault, now can it? :rolleyes:

We’d have to kill all the Jews, disband the armed services, convert 100% to their faith- and give up our standard of living. They won’t be satisfied until everyone is living in ignorance and poverty like they are. :mad:

No, it’a Al Qaeda’s responsibility solely.

That said, we could have put a stop to this by now IMO. Imagine if we went back in time to the fall of the Taliban in 2002. Instead of proceeding to Iraq, imagine we had instead increased our military presence in Afghanistan, deposed the warlords and caught Bin Laden. Then we had proceeded to pump funds into Afghanistan, rebuilding the country on the same model we used in Japan after World War 2. By today, Afghanistan would be thriving, freedom and capitalism would be succeeding, and Afghanistan would be turning into the envy of the Arab world.

Sure, easier said than done, but we didn’t even try that route, did we? If this had come to pass, would Al Qaeda still be such a successful organization? Would the radical fringe of the Islamic world still be dedicated to our destruction? I submit that this would have gone a long way towards winning the hearts and minds of those who are currently our enemies. Instead we went down a route that has made us less safe, not more.

I lay the blame for this incident entirely at the feet of Al Qaeda. At the same time, I also hold our leaders responsible for doing a lousy job of fighting the war on terror. I hold us all responsible for allowing our leaders to continue down this path. We all need to be smarter than we have been, and hold ourselves to a higher standard. What we are doing is not working.