Oh wad some power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
An' foolish notion.
Robert Burns, To a Louse (1786)
When you hear that Muslims attack us because they hate our freedoms you should know, of course, that is nothing more than typical meaningless Bush/Cheney/Republican goodbleygook. First, if Bush means it when he claim everyone desires freedom and democracy, and we are the one country that (presumably) personifies those values, then it follows they should admire us rather than hate us. So why might they hate us? I think it is telling that no one ever tries to look at the problem from the Iraqi point of view (after all, along with the Iranians and others, they are just a bunch of towel heads).
Consider, for example, the fact that for thousands of years they have lived in a culture that prescribes for women a style of dress that literally covers them from head to foot, with even their faces mostly covered (you don't have to approve of this to acknowledge that it is so). They are aware that we do not share that practice and, indeed, allow our women to routinely appear in public virtually nude. We also provide sexually explicit motion pictures and so on. From their point of view this is clearly immoral. Perhaps they hate us because of our immorality?
For most of our history we have meddled in the affairs of the Middle East, supporting dictators when needed, overthrowing governments when we felt like it, exploiting their resources, and even sending missionaries to tell them how to live. When was the last time a Muslim missionary came to your door to tell your wife how to dress? Perhaps they hate us because of our arrogance and disrespect?
They also know that we indulge, and even overindulge in alcoholic drink, which their religion does not allow (perhaps some of them do on the sly). In general they do not drink or approve of drinking alcoholic beverages. Perhaps they hate us because of our drunkenness and drunken behavior?
Back in the 1960's and 70's we helped found the Israeli state on land that had been occupied for a very long time by Palestinians. Thousands of Palestinians were forced to leave their own country to make way for the Israelis. We were complicit in this. Perhaps they hate us because we helped steal their land and continue to look the other way while the Israelis take over more of it?
The Palestinians, and since our occupation, the Iraqis, have been brutalized and murdered, in many cases even though they were completely innocent of any crimes or misdeeds. We have bombed their villages and cities, killing civilians at random. We kick in the doors to their houses, arbitrarily arrest their menfolk, sometimes rape their women, and humiliate them in virtually every way possible. Perhaps they hate us because we occupy their country, brutalize them at will and lack compassion?
We premptively attacked their country even though it was no threat to us, a blatant war crime. We have tortured, jailed, and hidden their citizens with no recourse even to habeas corpus. Perhaps they hate us because of our war crimes?
We took it upon ourselves to rid them of a brutal dictator and have created a situation that is so terrible they wish he was back. We did this with virtually no knowledge of their culture or religions and no regard for the consequences. Perhaps they hate us because of our stupidity?
Even now we continue to occupy their country while trying to force them into signing away their oil to our huge oil corporations under terms that are exceedingly unfavorable to themselves. Perhaps they hate us because of our greed?
We promised to rebuild what we destroyed but have criminally failed to do so. We brought in American companies to do what Iraqis could have done themselves if given the chance. They now have problems with electricity and water and transportation, and much of their superstructure and no signs that this will improve in the near future. Perhaps they hate us because of our incompetence?
Even before our illegal and immoral attack on their country we forced them to live under sanctions that resulted (it is estimated) in the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children. Since our occupation thousands more children have died or become crippled both in body and mind. It is estimated that as many as two million Iraqis have fled their country because of the civil war we created through our ignorance. We have accomplished nothing by all this violence and destruction other than enriching those corporations who thrive on never ending war. Perhaps they hate us because of our war profiteering?
No, it couldn't be any of the above. What right to these unfortunate people have for a point of view? They just hate us because of our freedoms, those very freedoms we are slowly losing as a result of this horrible disaster we have wrought. Will no one be held accountable?