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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  J. J. Jackson
Bio: J. J. Jackson
Date:  November 17, 2007
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Blowback Happens Regardless

When in doubt, get a catch phrase. For some opposed to certain policies, such as helping people in the Middle East throw off dictators, they have one that is a simple term; blowback. It’s become a term of derision hurled against those that they disagree with in order to justify why the United States should adopt a blanket policy of isolationist non-interventionism in world affairs and avoid any debate.

When in doubt, get a catch phrase. For some opposed to certain policies, such as helping people in the Middle East throw off dictators, they have one that is a simple term; blowback. It’s become a term of derision hurled against those that they disagree with in order to justify why the United States should adopt a blanket policy of isolationist non-interventionism in world affairs and avoid any debate.

But what really is the concept of blowback? It’s actually a one word statement of a longer common principle we are all familiar with; every action has an equal and opposite reaction. “Blowback” is simply the consequences of one’s actions. And despite the way it is often used by simple minds to try and justify their simple opinions, creating blowback is not carte blanche bad. It is simply the product of action.

You do A and B results. That is “blowback”. And it varies in degrees.

Let’s say I decide in the spring to plant tomatoes instead of potatoes. But come harvest I want some nice crisp french fries. Well, then I’ll have to go to the store and spend money on potatoes someone else grew. Blowback.

Maybe you decide to rob a bank to try and make a quick couple bucks and get shot by the cops in the process. Blowback.

My neighbor decides he wants to park his truck illegally on the no parking side of the street outside of his house and the cops show up to give him a ticket. Blowback.

He then gets upset and decides to complain about people actually parking legally on the side of the street where parking is allowed and makes a butthole of himself and ticks off his neighbors. Blowback yet again.

A man shoots a woman in broad daylight in front of twenty people and no one comes forward to finger the perpetrator. When the neighborhood becomes riddled with crime because no one has any courage, that’s blowback too.

What if some brave man actually comes forward and agrees to testify against the criminal only to have his life threatened by the members of a local gang to which the criminal belongs? Yep, you guessed it – blowback.

The gang members succeed in shooting him dead? Very unfortunate blowback.

Try to eliminate unconstitutional spending on social programs like Welfare and don’t get enough votes from those wedded to such socialist policies to be re-elected? Blowback raises its ugly head yet again.

When the founding fathers decided to declare independence from Great Britian and the result was thousand of dead Americans during two wars that followed what was that? Uh, huh. Blowback.

Decide that paying tribute to Muslim pirates who were enslaving American citizens and get even more piracy and more Americans forced into slavery as a result of the appeasement? Yep, blowback strikes again.

Declare war on NAZI Germany who is waging a war of aggression, slaughtering millions of Jews in ovens and gas chambers, have American men and women die in the ensuing war and draw the ire of several nations for fighting against them and such an atrocity? There’s that blowback thingy again.

Promise to help a group out if only they would rise up and start to overthrow their dictatorial leader only to not show up and make good on your promise and have them hate you now too? Ouch. Blowback!

Now, what do we see through all these real world examples? Well, we see clearly that sometimes this phenomena called blowback is a bad thing that actually can come from doing the right thing just as it can come from doing the wrong thing. That is not something people looking for a nice, short, one size fits all catch phrase like to have to be exposed to however. To them decrying “blowback” is a simple way to defend their position regardless of whether or not it is sound.

“Blowback” is bad. And according to their theory, being bad it must be avoided. But the problem is that it ultimately cannot be avoided. It’s a catch 22. Sort of damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

I generally tend to find that those who decry “blowback” as a reason against action in everything from local to foreign affairs are people that just don’t want to deal with consequences and making moral judgments. Even though by taking such a tactic they are still having to deal with consequences and are making moral judgments. To quote a famous lyrical line, “if you chose not to decide you still have made a choice.” And you are probably no better prepared to deal with the inevitable blowback that decision results in I’m sad to say.

As we see in the example above where the locals refuse to finger a criminal, confront evil and chose inaction for fear of “blowback”, they still get blowback just the same.

On an international scale, fear of blowback is often perpetrated by those that have an “I’ve got mine now go fend for damn yourself” mentality who forget our own history of asking for and receiving help from the likes of France during our own revolution.

But history is not important. Remember, they’ve got theirs. No go away! Don’t ask them for help. Shoo!

Blowback happens. Much like excrement I’m sad to say. It’s a fact. Whether you chose to act or opt instead for inaction you get blowback of one form or another. Whether you chose to act or opt instead for inaction, I have bad news for you, someone is not going to like you. Maybe that dislike is justified or maybe it is irrational. But that doesn’t matter.

Decrying “blowback” as a reason not to act is silly. Especially knowing this. Choosing not to act and intervene on behalf of someone in a given situation against evil is still a choice. A very, very bad choice. And all you have done by making such a bad choice is possibly created two enemies instead of one; the evil which probably already hates you and the people that would have been willing to be your friend, even if tentatively, had you helped them. At best you’ve created only one new enemy. Which is one more than you had previously.

All actions we take result in another action which result in another action which in turn result in another action whether we chose to remain neutral, stand by side A or ally with side B. Decrying “blowback” and quaking before the possibility of the ifs and buts that might come as the result of ones actions is really nothing more than justifying cowardice. And it can be paralyzing for some.

Choosing not to decide or choosing to not do what is right on purpose can have just as dire of consequences as making poor choices and decisions. Making reasoned choices is important and good. Being paralyzed by fear is bad.

Make no mistake, I am not suggesting the United States run around the world lending our military to every cause. I’ve talked about making reasoned choices in how we act and not every situation requires that we do. But each situation does require independent thought. And if in the end action is a sound choice it should be taken.

In the end, the best thing is to simply do the right thing. The best thing to do is stand by people who want to at least try for liberty and some semblance of freedom. Just remember that they, like you, are probably not perfect. They will make mistakes in that pursuit and you probably will not agree with everything they themselves want to do in their quest.

But it’s best to give them a chance if you think they are honest and sincere in their desire. Because the blowback is coming whether you like it or not; whether you act or not. That’s called reality.

J. J. Jackson

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Biography - J. J. Jackson

J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author from Pittsburgh, PA who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the Pittsburgh Conservative Examiner for He is also the owner of The Right Things - Conservative T-shirts & Gifts His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at

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Copyright © 2007 by J. J. Jackson
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