Boldly Going Nowhere

Thursday, June 3, 2004

Why They Hate Us

In April of 1961 the U.S.A. launched a military offensive against Cuba in an attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro and impose a democracy on a communist nation. Approximately 1,300 CIA-trained Cuban exiles stormed the beaches at a location called the Bay of Pigs but were soundly defeated by Cuban forces because of a lack of understanding of human nature by the Kennedy Administration. JFK and his advisors believed the Cuban population would rise up and help overthrow the prevailing government. They were wrong.

This same lack of understanding of human nature has us bogged down in Iraq. The Bush administration expected the USA to be treated as liberators, instead we are seen as occupiers by Iraqi citizens.

On several occasions, President Bush has claimed "They hate us because of our freedom" as an explanation of why terrorists seek to do us harm. No one I know, above the age of 3, believes such nonsense.

Nineteen Muslim men hijacked four airplanes and flew them into buildings in this country on 9/11/01, sacrificing their own lives in the process. They didn't commit suicide simply because they were envious or annoyed that we live in a relatively free society. From their perspective, we are evil. And their perception is their reality.

Although Bush won't admit it or doesn't comprehend it, the terrorists hate us for a variety of reasons.

They hate us because we are the global fat cats. We are the richest nation in the world. Even though we are only 6 percent of the world's population, we consume 25 percent of the world's resources. From their point of view, we are all spoiled rich brats. And nobody likes a spoiled rich brat.

They hate us because we are the primary global super power. We have military bases all around the world, our Navy patrols the waters all around the globe and our satellite technology keeps tabs on everyone else on the planet. From their point of view, we use our military might to push others around and get our way. To them, we are global bullies. And nobody likes a bully.

They hate us because we support the nation of Israel. In 1948, Jewish people around the globe flocked back to their perceived homeland and began gobbling up Palestinian land. Today, the Palestinians are virtually prisoners in Israeli-occupied areas, unable to be free to even form their own state. From the terrorists' point of view, we are hypocrites, preaching freedom while helping to enforce the opposite. And nobody likes a hypocrite.

They hate us because they are zealous bigots. They are taught from birth, through their religion and government schooling, to hate all infidels (a person who does not share their religious views). Their news media reinforces this attitude with biased reporting on a daily basis. Thus, they grow up hating us simply because we are different. And nobody likes someone who is different.

They don't hate us because of our freedoms -- they hate us because we are global fat cats who have assumed the role of a global police force, sticking our big fat noses in everyone else's business. We have one set of rules for ourselves and certain allies, and another set of rules for the rest of the world. When you're brought up to hate, the U.S.A. makes a splendid target.

If the president of the United States truly doesn't understand why they hate us, perhaps someone should clue him in. If he does understand, perhaps someone should advise him to be honest with the American public. To blame our struggle against terrorists on the premise that "they hate us because of our freedom" is not only foolish but borders on arrogance. And nobody likes an arrogant fool.

We're in a global struggle of survival against those who hate us, and there's no turning back now. Our only viable option is to defeat our enemies. But in the end, we need to take a long look at our own behavior.