On Sunday afternoon, TheBlaze's Buck Sexton appeared on MSNBC to face off with Guardian columnist and blogger Glenn Greenwald on the subject of the causes of the Boston bombings. Ahead of the appearance, Greenwald alerted his Twitter followers, and also seemed to mock Sexton's credentials as a terrorism expert.
Mr. Greenwald probably neglected to read Sexton's resume. It includes two tours in war zones overseas, several years as a CIA analyst and a couple of years with the NYPD Terrorism team, where he worked on the Times Square bomber case -- one that also featured pressure cooker bombs like those used in Boston.
The MSNBC host opened the exchange by allowing Mr. Greenwald to back up a claim he made in a recent column that blamed jihadist attacks like the bombings at the Boston Marathon on America policies overseas. Greenwald -- on the phone from Brazil -- told host Craig Melvin;
“It was to make very clear that there is a consistent trend on the part of people who attack the United States, which is that they all cite essentially the same thing: That the United States has continued to drone, bomb, invade, occupy, imprison and torture countless people in the Muslim world, and that people in that part of the world and Muslims who identify with it have concluded that the only way to make that stop, the only way to fulfill their notions of justice is to bring violence to the United States so that Americans can see the effects of that which they’re causing in other parts of the world.”
In response, Sexton sent a clear message that he was not in sync with Greenwald;
"It's deeply disingenuous to suggest that fighting against terrorism is in fact, the cause of terrorism."
Talking about bin Laden and Zawahiri, Sexton proceeded to point out:
"If you look at the writings of Zawahiri, if you look at the public pronouncements of Osama bin Laden -- before 9/11 -- they had a whole slew of issues that they were claiming, unmitigated, unrestricted warfare against any American, and by the way, any Israeli, any Jew, anywhere in the world. So the notion this is justified -- of course they want to justify it in their minds -- but there is no justification for these acts and they will always find another grievance for this kind of terror."
Greenwald responded to Sexton by blaming decades old U.S. policies in the Middle East, claiming: "The centerpiece of American foreign policy has been to dominate that region...to dictate how it runs...in order to secure our access to oil...in order to protect Israeli interests."
Greenwald then charged that in the 1990s our sanctions and policies "killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children...we've propped up their dictators, we've overturned their democratic elections." He closed his response to Sexton's argument by saying:
"All you have to do is look at the reality of American conduct in the world and the only thing that's surprising is that there haven't been more of these attacks over the last decade."
Sexton parried Greenwald's arguments by citing the myriad examples of jihad/violence in parts of the world without any American involvement -- Kasmir, Chechnya, France etc... Buck closed his statements by pointing out, “The people that do things like we saw in Boston will never stop their violence, because they believe that it comes from above.”
The segment was wrapped up after 5:30, but apparently Greenwald was not pleased he was not given the last word and shortly after he hung up the telephone in Brazil, he posted this tweet.
Watch the entire segment via Mediaite, below: