Its counterpart in geopolitics is "blowback," when military action in one sphere produces an unintended and undesirable consequence in another.
September 11, 2001, was blowback.
George H.W. Bush had sent an army of half a million to hurl Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait, a triumph. He proceeded to impose severe sanctions on the Iraqis and to build U.S. bases in Saudi Arabia.
"Infidel" soldiers on sacred Islamic soil and the suffering of the Iraqi people under American sanctions were two of the causes Osama bin...