If someone asks “Why do they hate us?” I first conclude they must have been deaf, dumb, blind, and living in an underground bunker somewhere in the depths of the Amazon Jungle, or perhaps in Antarctica, with no contact with the outside world for the past few generations.
Realistically, the question implies they have no knowledge of American history, no knowledge of American Foreign Policy, no knowledge of any of the political and humanitarian disasters we have brought about, especially in the last century, and even more specifically in the 21st century, the “Nightmare Years” of the Bush/Cheney administration. They must have been absent when it was revealed our sanctions had killed an estimated 500,000 Iraqi children and our then Secretary of State, Madeleine “Not-so-bright,” when asked about it, assured us “it was worth it.” I was and still am mystified of what the “It” in that statement might have meant. One can only assume that not only Iraqis, but most other Middle Easterners, would not be happy about that sad chapter in American history. Of course that was not enough, we then went on to start a completely illegal “war” against Iraq, a sovereign nation that was no threat to us or to its neighbors, a unnecessary war that killed altogether probably a million or more people and displaced perhaps twice that many. While we were busy destroying their country we also employed torture, created an illegal “prison” at Guantanamo that still holds large numbers of perfectly innocent people, with no charges against them. They have been there for years for no reason other than perhaps because we are too inept to know what to do with them.
Of course we could go back a few years when our CIA was instrumental in removing a democratically elected Iranian leader and replaced him with a cruel and despotic Shah. Of course we have replaced many national leaders around the world seeking to find toadies who would fulfill our greedy desires. Somehow we have felt it was our duty to manage the affairs of most other countries, a program I am certain has not endeared us to many.
In response to a criminal attack on the Twin Towers by a few representatives of Muslim extremists, rather than treating them as criminals as we should have, we started another “war” against still another country that was by no stretch of the imagination a threat to us. Ironically enough we have learned that our much vaunted “Superpower” status cannot even win a war against a bunch of illiterate Afghans armed with only small arms and explosives. What we thought would be a cakewalk has turned out to be the longest war we have ever fought, and it continues although for no apparent reason other than it continues.
In both Iraq and Afghanistan we sent in our troops, mostly youngsters with no knowledge of other cultures, no language skills, and ethnocentric contempt for the citizens of those countries. We battered down doors and forced our way into their homes, shooting and killing at will, acts that we somehow thought would “change their hearts and minds.” It certainly did that, but not in the way we stupidly intended. And now we idiotically claim they hate us for our freedoms and way of life rather than for what we have done to them.
Perhaps the worst thing we have done for years is defend Israel, a criminal country that has systematically stolen Palestinian land and water, herded more than a million into a small area where they can be assassinated, starved, humiliated, and brutalized at will while Israeli settlers destroy their orchards, bulldoze their homes, steal their property, kill their children, and thumb their noses at international law, common decency, and morality. Why do they hate us? I wonder. Oh, yeah, they hate our freedoms. From their point of view our freedoms consist of allowing our women to parade around virtually naked in public, glorifying sex and violence, and abusing alcohol and our children. While we may believe they are old-fashioned and prudish when it comes to such things, there is a genuine clash of values involved here.
If all this is not enough we have now developed a “Drone program” in which we send our unmanned aircraft most anywhere we wish in the Middle East, killing untold numbers of perfectly innocent people while occasionally killing a “terrorist.” The targets of these attacks do not respond with love and respect but, of course, with outright hatred. In short our policy of “Might makes Right” has alienated most of the world, and for good reason. Anyone who can now seriously wonder “why they hate us” must be too stupid to read and even watch television (other than Fox news perhaps). There are encouraging signs that our cowardly drone program may be too much even for the American public. As it certainly violates international law and is otherwise immoral and misguided, perhaps it can be stopped, but don’t bet on it. Of course they hate us, how could they NOT hate us?