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Global News and Analysis

Chalmers Johnson: The Lessons of Blowback

Source: Common Dreams

Common Dreams originally published this Chalmers Johnson article on September 30, 2001, just 3 weeks after the 9/11 attacks. Chalmers died on November 20 at age 79. His voice will be missed.

One of the objectives of terrorism is to provoke the ruling elites of a target regime into disastrous overreaction. When it works, as it has in Israel over the past year, the results can be devastating for all sides. Who does this ultimately benefit? The terrorists.

Carlos Marighella, the Brazilian guerrilla leader whose writings influenced political terrorists in the 1960s and 1970s, explained why. If the government can be provoked into a military response to terrorism, he wrote, this will alienate the masses, causing them to “revolt against the army and the police and blame them for this state of things.” read more