Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"They Hate Us for Our Freedom"

A few minutes ago, Rudy Giuliani concluded his first conference call with bloggers (his previous two were with staffers). Unfortunately, Jim Geraghty of NRO beat me in the queue, and Rudy's answer obviated my question.

Here was my question:

Mr. Mayor, last night you said you never heard of the concept known as blowback, which holds that U.S. foreign policy is sometimes counterproductive, provoking the very things it seeks to contain. To be sure, blowback does not mean that America brought on or even invited 9/11. Do you agree that U.S. foreign policy plays even a small role in encouraging people to hate us, or is it simply that people want to kill us because our women wear miniskirts?

Rudy's response: "They hate us for our freedom." If I have time later today, I'll elaborate on why this is only half-true. In the meantime, check out Soren Dayton's rapid recap.

Update (5/18): Here's the elaboration. And here's the short answer, from Andrew Sullivan:

As to who's right, the answer is both. Bin Laden . . . justified the 9/11 attack on th[e] grounds [that Paul cited] but has a theology that doesn't require such a casus belli.