Why do they hate us?

I think we should learn to think critically about our enemies. I think we should not only attack terrorists, but think about what sort of policies will eliminate their existence. I favor destroying terrorism at its root, and not picking off one leaf at a time. To do this, we must identify the terrorist cause, so I think we should know our enemies and recognize the reasons they hate us.

Why do so many foreigners hate America?

Is it because we are rich and free? Canada too, is rich and free, as are a number of other countries. Why-in the minds of so many foreign leaders-is the U.S. so much worse a democracy than Canada? What have we done differently? I think we should ask ourselves this.

Why is Canada left alone while the U.S. is vilified and attacked? To answer this, it seems logical to evaluate the foreign affairs of Canada and the U.S. side by side. Canada’s foreign policy is very humble, while America’s is quite arrogant and imposing.

Why does the U.S. have permanent military bases in Italy? Germany? Greenland? Guam? Japan? Kyrgyzstan? The Netherlands? Panama? The Philippines? Portugal? Spain? South Korea? Turkey? The U.K.? Uzbekistan? Cuba? Why do we have 50,000 troops in Japan, 60,000 in Germany, 10,000 in Italy, 25,000 in South Korea, 170,000 in Iraq, 30,000 in Afghanistan? Why does our national defense require that we control 702 bases in 130 different countries? Why does Canada require none of these things to be safe from terrorist attacks? The Canadian Forces have zero bases outside of Canada. Canada is democratic, arguably rich, arguably free, and not targeted by terrorists.

Do terrorists have a political motive? If that motive is to kill the infidels and end democracy, aren’t there easier places to start than the U.S.? Wouldn’t Canada be an easier democracy to defeat? Wouldn’t Canadian infidels be easier to murder? Why don’t terrorists first eradicate infidels within their own countries, or democratic leaders in the Middle-East–easy tickets to paradise, no?

How, in the post-Cold War era, can our expansive military presence be explained as anything other than a modern empire? Those who understood the reasons we were hated around the world before 9/11 predicted that something like 9/11 would happen. The CIA called it blowback, and said it was a reaction to our foreign policies. They even warned Congress about it in March of 2001. What did they know that most Americans still cannot see?

Perhaps we should adopt a humble foreign policy. It would be cheaper, and it may serve us better in the long run. It may be the only way to end the hatred against us, thus stopping terrorism at its source. Is it so absurd that a poor man in a war-torn third world country, who has lost family members to American air strikes, can rationalize a link between democracy and evil empire, and then want to do something to justify his loss? Violent, totalitarian humanism is still totalitarian and violent, and the victims don’t understand the intention very well.

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11 Responses

  1. A couple items:
    Canada does have bases outside of Canada, although nowhere near as many as the U.S. I think the largest one is in Bermuda. The running joke when I stopped there was that it was the only Canadian naval base that didn’t freeze in the winter.
    Much of the current (post-WW2) U.S. foreign policy of intervention is driven by U.S. corporate interests, with predictable backlash. You don’t make friends by forcing open markets and getting favored economic status at the point of a gun.
    In 1933 President Roosevelt recognized that sending the Marines into the banana republics of central America every time the locals tried to wrest control from U.S. corporations was detrimental in the long-term. He developed the “Good Neighbor” policy that emphasized cooperation and trade overall military intervention (see http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/time/id/17341.htm). The policy did not win him friends in industry.
    There is a current movement to return to a policy of “global good neighbor”, see http://ggn.irc-online.org/.
    It’s interesting to note that the U.S., in its self-proclaimed role of “world cop”, has engendered the disdain and distrust of everyone we can’t buy, while countries like Canada, Sweden, and Norway, who refrain from military intervention unless as part of a humanitarian effort, are given more respect. Makes the U.S. look less like the neighborhood cop and more like the local mafia boss.

  2. Well fortunately not every foreigners “hates” the US, although a large majority agrees that G.Bush really sucks ! In fact most of the occidentals rather like the americans but are usually concerned with the foreign policiy of the successive US governements in the middle east or south america. I must add that as a french, I’m not especially proud of the foreign policy of my own country either.
    So cheer up, people with half a brain know the difference between the governement and the citizens and in any case, we do remember that without the US we european would all speak german !

  3. This is exactly the kind of dangerous naivete that the terrorists love. You echo Neville Chamberlain in your conviction that if we just back off and get out of the bad guys’ way and let them have what they want, we can have peace. Hitler should have taught you otherwise. You idiolize the situation of Canada, while neatly skipping over the fact that Canada’s safety is protected by US military might (and our nuclear arsenal.)

    If you truly want to understand what the terrorists believe about the US and why, instead of making it up out of whole cloth, get a dose of reality and read what the terrorists themselves have to say:

    http://sanityinjection.wordpress.com/2008/07/01/how-the-terrorists-think/

    The main reason that Islamic terrorists hate the US is because we are the only country that has both the capability and the willpower to stand in the way of their dream of a fanatic Muslim world-state.

  4. Mr. “sanity”:

    I am not afraid of Osama Bin Laden. Honestly, I could meet him tomorrow and approach him without fear, because unlike you, I am not a fearful person; I have faith in God, while you, like Barack Obama, John McCain, and King George, have faith in government. Government has its place, as does war. Freedom will always require vigilance–and occasionally require defense–against those that wish to abolish it, but the wars against Islamic nations are not just. No one deserves oppression, and no nation should–as the U.S. has done–help another nation oppress its people.

    The decision to initiate war, in even the smallest way, should lie where the expense must fall–with the people. Let’s face the following reality, which took place in Iran in the early 1950s: the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Great Britain decide to quietly overthrow the leader of a weak Middle Eastern democracy because it claimed ownership of its own resources (hurting foreign industrial claims there), and then the President replaced a democratically elected leader with a “friendly” dictator, which built hatred toward America in that nation, even to the point that some of the oppressed people living there wanted to destroy America–but the President is not the person who must suffer the expenses of his poor foreign policy decision–it is we the people who must pay for the wars to come, as well as die in them. He made a few corporations wealthy, neglecting the safety and commerce of the American people as a whole, who now must suffer the consequences of his actions by fighting wars that never should have been. And we have suffered, haven’t we? I believe we’ve suffered enough, which is why I propose a different approach. Interventionism in the Middle East has for centuries failed, and those nations that tried to reform the region bankrupted themselves in the process (see the fall of the British Empire and the collapse of the Soviet Union, among others). Does it not seem loony to believe that one nation can coerce another into freedom?

    Most of the acts of war our Presidents (of both parties) have initiated since WWII were done without the people even knowing. In fact, nearly all the things other people around the world dislike about our government, are things that we did not even know our government was doing. This is the reason we are in the mess we are in: we ignored the Constitution. We allowed our government to have as many secrets as it wished. We decided Presidents may overthrow foreign governments without first consulting the American people. We allowed our industrial republic of peace and prosperity to become a nation fueled by mounting debt, unfunded liabilities and endless conflict.

    It’s 2008. Theocracy isn’t about to take over, and if it did in America, trust me: it wouldn’t be Islamic. Your fear of Islamic extremists is irrational and unhealthy. It’s like being afraid of a hornets’ nest. Just don’t mess with the nest, and you’ll be fine. We will beat them by being better than them, plain and simple–civil liberty and economic freedom are the most powerful forces any nation can possess. If we choose to live free, those that live oppressed will always live beneath us–but we have chosen instead to sacrifice our freedoms and become more like our horrific opposition, in hopes that it will help us defeat them. How soon Americans forget that we beat the most evil ideological empire ever without ever firing a shot. Al-Qaeda fighters are smurf turds compared to Stalin’s men.

    Your statement shows me that you have no idea what Neville Chamberlain did when he “backed off.” Invading Iraq aggressively is not quite the same as getting involved when Czechoslovakia was invaded by Germany, which is what Neville Chamberlain failed to do when he “backed off”. The situations are so incomparable that I won’t do the world the injustice of trying to compare them. You probably have no idea what I am referring to, but you may want to open a book about the history of German aggression–it could help you understand what’s going on in America today.

    If Iraq had invaded another nation in 2003 (it did not), your argument makes a little more sense, but it would still be lame, because Iraq had one of the world’s weaker military forces, while Germany’s was arguably the greatest military power in the world during WWII. You are fooling yourself if you think Hitler and Osama Bin Laden are similar. On 9/11, Bin Laden had a following of at most four hundred men with laughable weaponry and limited support. This is part of the reason his threats (originally targeting U.S. military installations) were unwisely ignored for about ten years before 9/11. After the U.S. GOVERNMENT (unbeknown to the majority of Americans who would have opposed such action) began bombing and starving Iraqis in 1998, Bin Laden changed his tune and decided the American people needed to be attacked as well.

    Bin Laden is today a lanky half-cripple, hiding in the mountains. He has no national support. He is almost the complete opposite of Hitler, who commanded a huge army and incredible national support. Who is really being sane? The ones who operate on loosely founded fear, or the ones who look to reason and reality? Anyone who has taken psychology 101 knows the answer.

  5. I hardly know where to begin when you feel the need to answer a short and simple comment with a novel. In the real world, as opposed to the Internet, if you can’t get your point across in five minutes or less, nobody is going to listen to you. Just a friendly tip from me to you 🙂

    I understand your points, and there is some validity to them. But some of the statements you make along the way indicate a shocking ignorance and casual disregard for the welfare of your country. It’s all very well if you have no personal fear of terrorism, but that is no rationale for sitting back and doing nothing while our enemies arm themselves with nuclear weapons. Your philosophy culminates in attempting to negotiate or fight from a position of weakness, which never succeeds. Far better to do either from a position of strength, as we are doing now.

    You cite past failures in the Middle East, yet fail to recognize that the world is smaller and interconnected now. The luxury of America’s past to bask in splendid isolation, as you would have us do, is gone forever. You boast that we defeated Stalinism without firing a shot. Incorrect. It was our vigorous defense of freedom around the world, with American blood in places like Korea, that contained and pressured the USSR into collapse. Not a bunch of hand-wringing pussies like you sitting around saying, “Let’d do nothing and wait for God to fix everything.”

    Finally, you posit a sneaky US government secretly bombing innocent Iraqis and drawing the wrath of a justifiably vengeful Bin Laden. Seriously? Your worldview, my friend, is so warped by hatred of your own country that you’ve lost connection with reality. There was nothing secretive about the bombing of Iraq in the 90s, and it was done because Saddam Hussein was violating the terms of the agreement he’d signed to end the previous war. Further, OBL couldn’t care less about the fate of Iraqi peasants. Rather, he realized that America’s leadership actually had the backbone to stop his mad dream of global empire, so he decided to strike at our morale and hope we’d crumble. Which is exactly what you are advocating that we do. Let the Islamic fanatics run wild in the Middle East, foolishly confident that we are safe across the ocean. If 9/11 taught you nothing else, let it at least have cured you of that particular idiocy.

  6. First off, let me say that I hate Osama Bin Laden as much as the next guy, but I think we’ve gone about this “war on terror” all wrong.

    Thank you for another unlettered version of typical medieval mindlessness. I’ll add it to the pile of crap labeled “how thoughtless people ‘think’.”

    If it took you more than five minutes to read my response, you have a government education.

    I do not “hate” America; I simply love its constitution. It is impossible to love the United States Constitution and like what American government is doing today. Nearly all of the things we fought against in 1776 are things our government today embraces. Read the Declaration if you don’t believe me.

    The Soviet collapse was financial, as ours will be. Military ventures merely hasten such demises. Every empire fails, and none thinks it ever will. Arrogance is their downfall.

    You have absolutely no humility, and in your infinite arrogance, you support killing innocent people in nations that never posed a threat to your own. Think about that. Think about the children you’ve helped kill. Is war with Iraq the best we can do to stop terrorism in Afghanistan?

    9/11 did not happen because we had no presence in the Middle East; in fact, the exact opposite is true. We did have troops in the Middle East for many decades, we did maintain a level of ownership over some of their economies, and we did know that many Arabs were offended by that, but our arrogance allowed us to ignore their threats. It’s sort of like how Saddam Hussein ignored our threats–only he wasn’t attempting to control our government and economy.

    I do not see how attacking Iraq hurt Bin Laden’s “mad dream of global empire.” If anything, that expedition has helped recruitment for the extremists. Still, he has almost no power whatsoever, and you take his “mad dream of global empire” seriously, even though you admit it’s “mad.” You would do well to focus your worries about global empire on those leaders that have the dream as well as the capability, and have recently aggressively invaded other nations…but wait.

    I read your blog. Thanks for making it your mission to “educate” people about dangers that are propagated in the mainstream news daily. Amazing stuff. Very enlightening. They’ve got you brainwashed. Read and Repent. Have a nice day.

  7. Thanks for reading my blog. For someone who accuses others of being arrogant and having no humility, you probably shouldn’t keep any mirrors in your house. I hope you’ll keep reading, maybe you’ll even learn something, if you’re even still capable of opening your mind to what anyone else has to say.

    I guess it’s been all downhill for you ever since Pat Buchanan proved to be a total political bust, huh? It must drive you nuts that we have actually succeeded in Iraq while you’ve been hoping we would fail.

    Let me ask you this question: What is your suggestion for keeping Iran from gaining nuclear weapons? Or do you think it’s fine if they do so, and proceed to arm groups like Hezbollah with them? Maybe you think the Iranian regime will become friendly with us if we let them blow up Israel?

    It’s absolutely true that Al Qaeda is not the only danger. But whether it be Al Qaeda, Iran, or anyone, the way to handle danger is not to stick your head in the sand and pray it quietly passes you by, but to confront it as early as possible. Sometimes that requires military force, and any time military force is used there can be collateral damage. You might as well argue that we should have stayed out of WWII because it wasn’t worth killing innocent children in Dresden and Hiroshima to defeat Hitler and Tojo. I would argue that our military does an amazing job of minimizing civilian casualties. Al Qaeda’s bombs and death squads have killed far more Iraqis than US soldiers have.

  8. Just one clarification: Japan did attack the United States; Iraq did not, and Iran has not.

    Another clarification: I am not a political bust. This lull is just part of my 48 year plan to win the presidency.

    Also, economically, it is probably true that America cannot now afford to fight another war, especially if it is unpopular (WWII’s success was largely owed to the sense of purpose, or the volunteer spirit it brought out in Americans; these Middle East wars are not so well-liked, and conscription may even be necessary because of mounting military personnel costs)

  9. I have had this argument too many times, but usually with people who argue your side more reasonably–less extremist, less radical, less obsessive, less like the terrorists.

    Pakistan has nuclear weapons, an unstable government, and numerous connections to terrorism. There are more than a few nuclear weapons missing from the old Soviet regime, which could very well already be in the hands of anti-American forces. Why the obsession with Iran? You don’t know, but I do: the media told you to be obsessed with Iran. Way to be their little monkey.

    I’m giving up for now on persuading you. Only you can persuade yourself. I used to have the exact view you did. I read many books about radical Islam. In fact, I visited a private Arab school to try to prove they were teaching their children to be extremists against liberty (of course I did not announce that intention). I wrote extensively about the evils of fundamentalist Islam, against women and non-Muslims. I understood that violent radicalization and religious fundamentalism are separate forces. I learned that, in the Middle East, violent radicalization grew as a response to strife, which was the fault of bad leaders–leaders the U.S. is seen as supporting. I learned that most of the Muslim world is not interested in attacking America, and none of its national governments are interested in attacking America. I learned that the religious fundamentalists are important allies against violent radicals–that we must take care not to alienate the former when we attack the latter.

    Here’s something you may find interesting:

    Think about that when you watch the news, which demonizes people who actually want peace and democracy by taking small parts of sensible statements and publicizing them. It’s war propaganda.

  10. Other countries hate America because they hate freedom. They are afraid of America’s willpower to spread democracy and free markets. They are afraid their social welfare systems will be exposed for the frauds they are.

  11. Ixion,
    We don’t have to spread free markets. They occur naturally in the absence of government economic control. Moreover, I have a hard time believing America is even capable of “spreading democracy and free markets”, because America is not a democracy and does not have a free market. America also has social welfare systems, which (and you are right about this) should be exposed for the frauds they are.
    Sincerely

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