August 2004

Why are we so hated in the world?

By Galen Larson

Isn’t it interesting that the talking heads (or is it bobble heads?) in Washington who spent millions probing the “why” of 9/11 came up with the conclusion that everyone’s to blame and at the same time no one’s to blame?

But no one has pondered the why behind the widespread hatred toward the United States. Is there a bona fide reason, or is it just a bunch of loonies who are attacking us? I prefer to think there is a reason. If they are just loonies, why are our supposed allies supporting them? Why are we so hated in the world, even in countries that supposedly are suppressed? Why don’t they embrace our freedoms? Why do they accept the yoke of dictators and fundamentalist religious leaders?

No one on the commission asked why we are so hated. It can’t be because of our affluence because human nature likes competition. That’s the gist of the saying “keeping up with the Joneses.” When Third World countries look at us, shouldn’t they try to emulate us? Instead, they seem to want to be as different from us as possible.

Are we hated because of religious differences? If so, why aren’t all non-Muslim nations as despised as we are? And why don’t all Christian nations embrace us?

Maybe foreign nations hate us because we have sucked the lifeblood out of every country where we have installed or supported a dictatorial regime. Or maybe it’s because we rush into wars against the wrong people just to make ourselves feel good. After a heart-rending tragedy such as 9/11, we tend to allow our leaders to strike with a vengeance, not questioning what the consequences could be. We blindly follow those in charge – not true leaders, but vengeance-seekers. In the process we demean each other over differences of opinion, often without knowing the facts or even caring to. One side hides behind the flag and the other watches their back, afraid they might be swept up in the terrorism hysteria for the crime of having a different opinion. Neither side fully realizes that the freedoms we take for granted are being trashed in the name of Homeland Security and the Patriot Act. We are allowing the erosion of a system we are trying to export to other nations and cultures.

It’s hard to say what lies behind this hatred, because these answers are never provided. Not by our leaders, and not by the silly Monday-morning-quarterback reporters who couldn’t investigate a story and find the facts if their lives depended upon it. They skim the surface of important stories and bring us every detail of the marriages, affairs and antics of the Hollywood celebrities we worship. So the questions remains, why are we so hated around the globe, even by the countries we give aid to? Maybe it’s because the aid never gets to the multitudes. Or maybe it’s because we blatantly cozy up to loathsome leaders if it suits our own interests. We supported Saddam, we supported bin Laden, we support Saudi Arabia with its cruel regime. Colin Powell tells us he was surprised that the Saudis were not shocked at the beheading of American hostage Paul Johnson. It’s an everyday occurrence for them there. It might be good to find out what drives these terrorists who are willing to give up their lives and kill others to attain an uncertain reward. While we’re busy hating them, the corporate powers within the military-industrial complex continue to pillage our nation’s wealth. How sad that we allow this and, by allowing it, share in the guilt. As the bobble heads said, all to blame, none to blame.

We shouldn’t accept that.

Galen Larson lives in rural Montezuma County.