Sunday, July 31, 2005

Why do they hate US?

Here are the opening paragraphs of a post by Michael Smerconish on The Huffington Post:
Why do they hate us? It’s a question that I have avoided for close to four years. To entertain the issue seems to acknowledge that there could have been some rational justification for what occurred on 9/11, moreover, even addressing the issue sounds unmanly. Instead, this has been my mindset:

‘F ‘em. Who cares why they hate us. Regardless of what motivated an unprovoked attack, they need to die. All of them who played any role. As soon as possible. End of story. And, stop being such a wimp.’

I think my American hardheadedness is typical of many who seek justice and revenge, but mainly revenge.

Now I find myself re-assessing the situation. In large part, this is due to my having just spent a few hours with Michael Scheuer. You’ll remember him. He’s the guy who spent 22 years at the CIA, four of them as the head of the Bin Laden desk, and then resigned shortly after publishing Imperial Hubris under the byline of “Anonymous.”

He’s critical of the way the Administration is waging the war on terror, and the neocons in particular. (“Only the village idiot or a neoconservative could fail to see that we abjectly failed to estimate the impact on the Muslim world of a U.S. occupation of Iraq.”) He’s equally critical of our prior president, less you should think he plays partisan favorites. (“After al Qaeda destroyed two U.S. embassies in Africa on 7 August 1998, we rejoiced that the government now would annihilate al Qaeda. No effective action ensured.”) Further, he maintains that his agents gave the U.S. government 10 opportunities to capture Bin Laden pre-9/11.

Scheuer thinks we Americans continue to be sold a bill of goods, which fosters a misunderstanding of our enemy, and forestalls success in the war on terror. Specifically, we’re told that radical Islam hates us, and attacks us, for who we are and what we think, when that is not the case. It’s not McDonalds, Starbucks, lap dances and Brittany Spears – offensive though Muslims may find those hallmarks of American life. And it’s not about converting us to Islam. To the contrary, says Scheuer, what motivates radical Islam is American foreign policy. It’s our support for Israel, our troops on the Arabian Peninsula, our occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, our support for Russia, India and China against their Muslim militants, our pressure on Arab energy producers to keep prices low, and our support for tyrannical Muslim governments.
Spotty just read this post, and it contains the thoughts of a genuine expert on bin Laden and radical Islam, Michael Scheuer. Spotty say go read the whole post. It explains better than Spotty did in Who Remembers DudleyDoright? why the idea that our enemy is free floating evil is hogwash.

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