From Port Phillip Insider (Australia)-
The term ‘blowback’ is used by intelligence agencies to explain the negative consequences of a particular course of action.
In other words, when country A does something to country B, which country A believes to be for the good, the ‘blowback’ is when country B or someone or something sympathetic to country B retaliates.
We refer to this term after noting a headline in today’s Wall Street Journal: ‘Europeans Ask if Violence Is Becoming Fact of Life’.
The article continues:
‘In less than two weeks, Western Europe has witnessed the calm of everyday life repeatedly shattered by high-profile, indiscriminate acts of savagery, raising the sense that violence is becoming a new normal.’
This is ‘blowback’.
Anyone who lived in the UK until the late 1990s to early 2000s will know about ‘blowback’. Hundreds of years of British meddling in Ireland resulted in a constant fear of terrorist attacks.
Terrorist attacks by those with Middle Eastern origin in the US and Europe are a result of Western meddling in the Middle East.
For a good part of the 20th century, the West thought it could carve up the spoils in the Middle East, impose and depose various tribal and religious leaders, and draw arbitrary boundaries, all without any negative consequences.
In more recent years, the West has tried to play the ‘democracy’ game…claiming that the meddling is simply to sow the seeds of democratic values in the Middle East.
Very noble. And maybe they genuinely believed it was the right thing to do, and that it would work.
However, before meddling, they may have considered the fact that the Middle East has been the way it is for 4,000 years. You only have to read Greek history and the Bible to understand that conflict in the region isn’t a new phenomenon.
To think that a brief war, and the imposition of another Western puppet government with a new democratic system of government could erase 4,000-plus years of history is…well…naïve.
Any point to this? Not really. Except to say that as much as we would like to provide a rosier picture, we can’t. Europeans (if they do think this way) probably are right to conclude that violence, at least for the foreseeable future, is ‘a new normal.’
Back to the markets…