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Why people hate America?
One important affect of the recent ghastly terrorism in the US is the growing realisation among Americans to know as to what makes this seemingly fair, generous, magnanimous and humane nation as despicable as to provoke human beings to commit suicide only to inflict the possible deadliest injuries on it.
Some stunning ironies intervene at this juncture. The US is a dreamland, an obsessive destination for about 95 per cent people of the third world. People enter America even if they had to die in the attempt an attempt not less than a suicide.
But yet it is the most hated nation in the world. The US is a great nation with a benign record rarely matched by other preceding nations as great as the US. The 4,000 years of recorded human history show conquest, invasion and religious conversion by the great powers. "The gap between America and the world's second mightiest country is the widest in history.
Yet America gives more aid, provides more humanitarian relief, gives more "debt relief," and continuously demonstrates a restraint of power", says a conservative columnist. Had any other nation been in the position of the US, it may not have been as peace loving and responsive to justice as the US has been. So the arguments go. Yet it could not maintain such a benign façade.
It is the first nation which embarked on enlightening the world by seeking independence from the mightiest British Empire, inspiring and helping the French Revolution. It grew to power on the ashes of imperialist powers but never opted to be an imperialist power.
It fought the evil of godless communism, Fascism and Nazism on its own cost. Yet it failed to evoke enduring respect from the beneficiaries. It is the first ever nation on the surface of earth that sacrificed its wealth and millions of lives to fight slavery on its own soil. Yet it cons the weaker nations into following a slave-master pattern of relation. It is that rationalist nation that set a unique precedent of separating religion from politics at a time when doing so seemed to be an utter impossibility.
It exactly followed the principle of Thomas Jefferson that in matters of religion "the maxim of civil government" should be reversed and we should rather say, "Divided we stand, united, we fall" meaning the separation of Church and State. Yet it rarely hesitates to demonise other religion, letting the rivals to riposte with religious weapon.
It showered its wealth on poor nations, including its defeated enemies like Japan and Germany, yet it proved to be less than that much magnanimous. Above all, it is the richest nation, which implies its greatness, showing the validity of its values. But yet its greatness is out of synch with the values essential for that much greatness.
It has lumped together values like respect for private property, the rule of law, individual rights, minimum government, free markets and civil liberty, yet racism lingers as rancid stench in its social structure. How America is tarnished by a mishmash of such benumbing contradictions may be revealed from a speech of Former President Bill Clinton.
While delivering his speech at University of California in 1997, he pointed to this beguiling nature of American society. "We were born with a declaration of independence which asserted that we all were created equal and a constitution that enshrined slavery. We fought a bloody civil war to abolish slavery but we remained unequal by law for another century. We advanced across the continent in the name of freedom, yet in so doing we pushed Native Americans off their land.
We welcome immigrants, but each new wave has felt the sting of discrimination." Given the besetting contradictions of American society, one has little to disagree with Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, the man who serves a life imprisonment for the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, and who greatly shares the minds of those who recently inflicted injuries on America.
While confessing his crime he said, "Yes, I am a terrorist, and I am proud of it. And I support terrorism so long as it was against the US Government, because you are more than terrorists; you are the ones who invented terrorism and use it every day. You are butchers, liars and hypocrites." Such views are shared by a majority of Muslims who show no scruples in spewing venom against the US.
What makes such Muslims despise the US? Is it because of what a writer calls a product of jealousy by those who, being unable to catch it up, are bound to drag it down? Or because of the Islam's inherent belief system which leaves no room for the validity of other system? This comes as no less surprising when one sees that the United States, which, apart from a brief interlude in the Muslim-minority area of the Philippines, has never ruled any Muslim population, has surpassed in its hatred by Muslims all imperialist nations which brutally suppressed them.
Rather, Russia still enjoys more influence and prestige in Muslim Central Asia than any Islamic nation. So does the UK in former Muslim colonies. So, religion does not seem to have tinged the Muslims' antipathy towards the US. Had it been the case, the Islamic world must have despised the atheistic China more than the US, a Christian nation sanctioned by Islam.
The way the US is buttressing the illegitimate Israel on the land of Palestine may have exacerbated the wrath of the Muslim to the level of maniac animosity towards it, but the fact the radical Arabs could not be insinuated at times when the US showed scruples like not rushing to be the first nation recognising Israel and siding with Arabs during the Suez crisis in 1956, reveals the US good behavior towards the Muslims did little to inspire love for America.
Charles Krauthammer, a columnist of Washington Post, repines to see Muslims sotted with rage even despite the US sacrifices for their cause. "America conducted three wars in 90s. The Gulf War saved the Kuwaiti people from Saddam. American intervention in the Balkans saved Bosnia. And then we saved Kosovo from Serbia. What do these three military campaigns have in common? In every one we saved Muslim people.
And then there was Somalia, a military operation of unadulterated altruism. Its sole purpose was to save the starving people of Somalia. For such alliances and actions, we get over 5,000 Americans murdered." Professor Bernard Lewis in his book, "The Roots of Muslim Rage" tries to solve this dilemma, saying that the Muslims are disgusted with the unprecedented success of the Western powers, which resulted in a terrible loss of their authority and prestige at home, at national and at international level. " The Muslim has suffered successive stages.
It was too much to endure, and the outbreak of rage against these alien, infidel, and incomprehensible forces that had subverted his dominance, disrupted his society, and finally violated the sanctuary of his home was inevitable." If it were the case this might have affected the mainstream Muslim polity, which is, obviously not the case.
The western powers, especially the US enjoys pretty good relations with the majority of Muslim nations. Professor Lewis admits it saying the US policies never suffered disaster in the Muslim world. " There is no Vietnam or Cuba in the Islamic world," he says.
What revulsion the Muslim radical has against the US, as a matter of fact, doesn't arise because of any religious sensitivities, but shares the feeling and mood of all the people of the world, including Americans who, in one way or the other, are affected by the policies of the US.
One may not be able to enlist all the grievances of all affectees but mere reminding of US policies towards Cuba, Vietnam and Chile may suffice to help know why people hate America. In 1970, it was decided at a meeting in Washington held by Mr. Kissinger that General René Schneider, the head of the Chilean armed forces, should be murdered so that to block the peaceful, democratic, orderly transition of the elected president, Salvador Allende and to pave the way for a military fag who would unleash a reign of terror in Chile.
This was General Pinochet, who, like his sponsor, Henry Kissinger, is now facing in court the charges of committing inhuman atrocities. Kissinger's other business and political partners, Mr. Suharto, General Papadopoulos in Greece, the chorus of Generals in Bangladesh who committed the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, ruled with ruthless hands with full support of the US. Not to speak of how the US supported Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to crush Iran no matter with what weapon, even chemical.
Spoken this way, one faces almost no difficulty in concluding that the successive US regimes remained maniacally obsessed with creating an environment that guaranteed maximum mundane benefits no matter on what cost of human values.
Whether it is the life-long support of Israel or sporadic embracing of Afghan Mujahideen in 1980s, the motive remains the same. According to Chomsky, what America really wants is to steal from the poor and give to the rich. America's crusade against Communism was actually a crusade "to protect our doctrine that the rich should plunder the poor." (What Uncle Sam really wants). Thus, being flustered with such snobbish self-interest for long time, the US sometimes crosses all limits of humanity.
In a September 2001 issue of "the Progressive Magazine", the author, Thomas J. Negy, exposes an eye-splitting account of a secret document," Iraq Water Treatment Vulnerabilities" prepared by the US Defence Intelligence Agency in January 1991. It stipulates how sanctions will prevent Iraq from supplying clean water to its citizens. The document states," Failing to secure supplies (because of sanctions) will result in a shortage of pure drinking water for much of the population. This could lead to increased incidences of disease….
Iraqi rivers are contain biological materials, pollutants, and are laden with bacteria. Unless the water is purified with chlorine, (the import of which is embargoed by sanctions) epidemics of such disease as cholera, hepatitis, and typhoid could occur." What a strategy to topple its former minion, Saddam Hussein, by killing innocent people with epidemics? Even Mongols in the 13th century would have shivered with a twinge of remorse if they had seen such a brutal strategy.
But even a paltry twinge of compunction this humane and civilised government never showed. Still we wonder as to why people hate America. It is a strange irony of fact that the government of a people who are the most generous people of the world, giving annually more than $100 billions in charity, happens to be the most egregious violator of basic human values.
This intriguing dichotomy isn't foolproof enough to prevent people from hating America.
-- Swissrose (email@example.com), October 06, 2001
And remember the 600,000 Vietnamese that died at our hands for the cause of freedom. Because of Henry Kissinger’s policy, 1,000,000 Cambodians dropped dead. Because of low wages, the thugs now are stealing from the American worker the corner stone of this nation. It’s almost to the point where a person on Social Security receives more than someone earning a living. The wealth that was transferred from the working class to the leisure class by Ronald Reagan is nothing more than theft. This man would have long since been hung in other nations. The list could go on and on and on. But the little children inside the beltway are in their own little protected land causing more confusion and grief. 51% of a democracy can enslave the rest.
-- David Williams (DAVIDWILL@prodigy.net), October 07, 2001.