In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, America naively asked in its stunned stupor, "Why do they hate us?" In consoling us, our fearless leaders appealed to our collective sense of superiority and self-righteousness by explaining that the Muslim world (a.k.a. "they") hate us because of what we stand for: freedom, democracy, Mom, baseball, and apple pie. Comforted, we patted ourselves on our collective back for being so gosh-darn wonderful and condemned the savage heathens who wanted nothing less than to destroy all that is right and good in the world -- us.
Thanks to a recent confluence of events involving our interaction with the Muslim world, it is clear that "they" do hate us for what we stand for. Unfortunately, what we stand for is not freedom, democracy, nor any other high-minded ideal. Rather, we stand for arrogance, barbarism, and violence.
Sure. We talk a lot about freedom and democracy and bringing such enlightenment to the Muslim world. The thing is, we stop far-short of actually putting those ideals into practice. Instead, we look at the people of the Muslim world as being somehow inferior and not really deserving of the noble gifts so generously bestowed upon them by America the Almighty. But, as pitying nobility, bestow we must.
Take, for instance, our penchant for torturing, degrading, and dehumanizing Muslims whom we routinely round up as part of our never-to-end war on terror. We note how those silly, unenlightened Muslim men are ashamed by nudity, so we stack them naked in human pyramids. We force them to masturbate in front of a crowd of gawking U.S. soldiers, men and women. We smear them with shit, or, better yet, with what they believe to be menstrual blood, fresh from a female soldier's crotch. We attach wires to their extremities and tell them, oh so teasingly, that if they move... zap!
We force them to dig their own graves, fire shots over their heads, and then laugh hysterically when the stupid sand-niggers realize in a mix of horror and relief that they really haven't been executed. Then, after the sub-human Muslims finish wetting themselves like untrained dogs, we chuckle a bit more and let them go.
We desecrate their holy text and mock their religion in order to break their spirits during interrogation. We kick the Koran, piss on it, shit on it, cut it up with scissors. With Rumsfeld's blessing, we confiscate their religious trinkets and forcibly shave their facial hair. But what's the big deal? After all, ours, the Christian god, is the only true god. Theirs is but a false idol, undeserving of respect, much less of worship and adulation. Indeed, according to legend, our god is the benevolent protector and savior of America, our blessed nation. Theirs is but a blood-thirsty savage, worshiped by other dirty, smelly, blood-thirsty savages.
We march into towns like al-Qaim and Fallujah, ostensibly to rout out "foreign fighters" who for some reason use our occupation of Iraq as an excuse for waging Jihad. In the name of efficiency, however, we bomb entire neighborhoods to kill a handful of insurgents. Non-insurgent townspeople are forced to evacuate and live in ad-hoc refugee camps in the desert, leaving what little they have behind. They struggle to stave off thirst and starvation as they watch plumes of black smoke replace their homes. After we declare victory and withdraw, those whom we claim to be liberating return to towns reduced to rubble, without power, water, or sewer. Even the hospitals are gone. We blew them up to kill the insurgents rumored to be hiding inside.
Who cares that the "liberated" have nothing to return to, no water to drink, no food to eat, no hospital for when they become sick with dysentery or cholera? Not us. We only care that our military was successful and that insurgents died. If the "liberated" dare complain about such collateral matters as dead or wounded loved ones or homes reduced to rubble, we write them off as just a bunch of Muslim ingrates who fail to appreciate how lucky they are to receive American benevolence.
The results of our inherent distaste for the Muslim world are evident.
Thousands of ungrateful Shiites took to the streets of Iraq denouncing the
U.S. occupation of their country. In an act of contemptuous disrespect for
their liberating benefactors, the godless Shiites painted the American
flag on the steps of their houses of unholy worship, desecrating it with
each passing step. How dare they step on our flag, blessed by our god?
Maybe next time terrorists attack the United States (and there will be a next time), we won't be so stupid to ask, "Why do they hate us?"
Ken Sanders is a writer based in Tucson, Arizona. Visit his weblog at: www.politicsofdissent.blogspot.com/.
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