In an otherwise excellent review of the latest installment of the Bourne franchise, Peter Suderman, amidst discussions of character development and depth, and the mirroring of content in cinematic form, throws out this baffler concerning the politics of the flick:
Greengrass tries to supplant Bourne’s emotional blankness with some fairly obvious and simplistic liberal politics at the end. Most of these bits, though, seem thin, even desperate, groping for something the series hasn’t earned rather than letting its cool, detached brutality speak for itself. And really, is there any need to spell it all out? It’s always been plain to see that Bourne was what Nathan Lee smartly calls “action hero as blowback.”
The mystery in this concerns what, specifically, is supposed to be liberal - understood as antipodal from conservatism - in the "blowback" thesis. Professed liberals may discuss the thesis and instances thereof, and may even write books on it; conservatives may discuss various theories of interventionism, and may even pen tomes on it, but this does not make interventionism any more conservative than it has been liberal and progressive. In fact, the blowback thesis is really nothing more than a particular formulation of the law of unintended consequences: America, or any other power, does X in order to achieve Y, where doing X has consequence (whether foreseeable or not) Z (regardless of whether Y is attained), and Z returns upon America (or other power) in way B. Now, liberals, or those identified as liberals because they have dissented from recent American foreign policy decisions, may argue that American involvement in this or that nation of Western Asia has resulted in blowback, but this is properly a matter of historical fact. Unless the facts themselves are liberal (which might explain recent conservative aversions to them), it is difficult to perceive how an argument about an alleged case of blowback is liberal.