For most of the last decade, our preference in and out of government has been to deny that U.S. and allied policies had anything to do with jihadist attacks and their ability to recruit and win sympathizers. This acknowledgement would be to â€œblame the victim,â€ so that even if it were the correct analysis it was politically incorrect to say it out loud. Instead we have been treated to a whole host of explanations for why jihadist violence exists and why it tends to be directed at the U.S. and our allies. The lamest of these has been rather popular, namely the claim that â€œthey hate us for our freedom,â€ or modernity or secularism or whatever it is that the person making the argument finds worthwhile about the West and sees lacking in Muslim countries. Then, of course, there is the trusty appeal to the enemyâ€™s insanity. Unlike us, they are not really rational, and so their actions cannot be explained by referring to anything so mundane and normal as political grievances.
One day, Larison will say something I disagree with.