Why They Hate Us
Why do they hate us? That's the question that has been often asked, but never truly answered, for the past seven years.
Anyone who has read "Dangerous Nation" by Robert Kagan, "Blowback" (et. seq.) by Chalmers Johnson, and "American Armageddon" by Craig Unger knows the answer, and it's not what some claim.
They don't hate us because of our freedom; they couldn't care less.
They don't hate us because of religion; that's merely a tool used -- make that "abused" -- by their leaders.
They don't hate us because of our wealth -- exactly.
They don't hate us because of our power -- exactly.
Ngo Dinh Diem
What do these people have in common? Every one of them was a murderous and incompetent dictator whom we put and/or kept in power because he temporarily served some short-term, short-sighted policy objective.
There are many others, going back centuries, put into power not necessarily by the United States but by other wealthy Western military powers who are now our allies. Although only two of the ten dictators listed are in the Middle East (although others were in charge of countries with large Islamic populations), there are plenty of other examples; for starters, look up the Balfour Declaration and the Sykes-Picot Agreement. In addition, throughout Africa, the British, French, Dutch and Belgian military, among others, claimed and exerted control over most of the continent for a long time.
In his 1961 farewell address, President Eisenhower warned us, saying, "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." Today we have over 4,400 military bases here in the United States, and over 800 more overseas, many (probably most) of which serve no legitimate purpose (I recently wrote about this here). According to GlobalSecurity.com, our military spending exceeds that of the rest of the world combined. Add in our confirmed allies, and the combined U.S.-allied military spending is about 80% of the world's total. We could cut our own spending in half and still spend more than the next seven countries combined.
Our military spending wouldn't bother people so much, were it not for our constant need to have our military actually do something. Whether invading Iraq in 2003 or Granada 20 years earlier -- both for no legitimate reason or purpose -- we seem to be causing change around the world at the point of a gun.
But it's even worse. The projection of American force is not limited to our official armed forces. Oh, no! We have the CIA and their secret budgets. (Billions of dollars? Tens of billions?) One example of our use of CIA power: After putting Reza Pahlavi back into power (for those who don't recognize that name, he was better knows as the Shah of Iran), the CIA trained his secret police in torture techniques used by, among others, the Gestapo.
It's no wonder they hate us.
We can "win" the "war on terror," not by mlitary force, but by the exact opposite. By moving away from fear, by reducing our use of military force, by ending our continual practice of trying to run everything everywhere, by allowing other societies to develop in their own way and at their own pace, we will nearly eliminate the ability of anti-American terrorist organizations to recruit, and reduce the "terrorist threat" to easily manageable levels.
On this seventh anniversary of the "9/11 attacks," let us dedicate ourselves to promoting peace, first here at home and then around the world -- it's for our own safety.