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Why Do They Hate Us?

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Jul 22, 2007.

  1. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    I don't think it's quite as simple as "X" did it or "Y" did it. Rather, I believe it's a combination of all the suggested causes, to varying degrees. The question is to what degree each factor is responsible, and at the present time that's open to interpretation and opinion IMO. Perhaps history will tell, but that's for the future to decide.

    I accept that "kill the infidels" is one of the factors, but in my opinion the "blowback" factor is greater, and the "envy" factor is lesser.
     
  2. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Then you'd better expand on this so called "blowback" theory. In your own words.... Because I'd sure love to hear it, and then shred the theory to pieces.
     
  3. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    Read the book and shred that to pieces. You can get it at your local library.
     
  4. cmhbob

    cmhbob Did...did I do that? Staff Member

    I call bullshit, Greg. You keep throwing this book and theory up as justification, but you won't expand on it. If you believe in Johnson so much, then surely you must have some useful thoughts or comments about the questions Rav posed, other than "read the book."
     
  5. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    You can see examples given here, guys, you don't need to read the entire book to understand the concept. Here are just a few examples. Remember, you may disagree how it's a Blowback--and I certainly take exception how "sensitive" and victimized the locals are when we are there, but it's DEFINITELY a reason for hating us:

    http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Blowback_CJohnson/Blowback_BCJ.html

    Here's a perfect example of what he is talking about. Forget Middle East. I remember when this happened and the discussion ensued by foreign members:

    Northern Italian communities had, for years, complained about low-flying American military aircraft. In February 1998, the inevitable happened. A Marine Corps EA-6B Prowler with a crew of four, one of scores of advanced American jet fighters and bombers stationed at places like Aviano, Cervia, Brindisi, and Sigonella, sliced through a ski-lift cable near the resort town of Cavalese and plunged twenty people riding in a single gondola to their deaths on the snowy slopes several hundred feet below. Although marine pilots are required to maintain altitude of at least one thousand feet (two thousand, according to the Italian government), the plane had cut the cable at a height of 360 feet. It was traveling at 621 miles per hour when 517 miles per hour was considered the upper limit. The pilot had been performing low-level acrobatics while his copilot took pictures on videotape (which he later destroyed).

    In response to outrage in Italy and calls for vigorous prosecution of those responsible, the marine pilots argued that their charts were inaccurate, that their altimeter had not worked, and that they had not consulted U.S. Air Force units permanently based in the area about local hazards. A court-martial held not in Italy but in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, exonerated everyone involved, calling it a "training accident." Soon after, President Bill Clinton apologized and promised financial compensation to the victims, but on May 14, 1999, Congress dropped the provision for aid to the families because of opposition in the House of Representatives and from the Pentagon.

    This was hardly the only such incident in which American service personnel victimized foreign civilians in the post-Cold War world. From Germany and Turkey to Okinawa and South Korea, similar incidents have been common-as has been their usual denouement. The United States government never holds politicians or higher-ranking military officers responsible and seldom finds that more should be done beyond offering pro forma apologies and perhaps financial compensation of some, often minimal sort.

    On rare occasions, as with the Italian cable cutting, when such a local tragedy rises to the level of global news, what often seems strangest to Americans is the level of national outrage elsewhere over what the U.S. media portray as, at worst, an apparently isolated incident, however tragic to those involved. Certainly, the one subject beyond discussion at such moments is the fact that, a decade after the end of the Cold War, hundreds of thousands of American troops, supplied with the world's most advanced weaponry, sometimes including nuclear arms, are stationed on over sixty-one base complexes in nineteen countries worldwide, using the Department of Defense's narrowest definition of a "major installation"; if one included every kind of installation that houses representatives of the American military, the number would rise to over eight hundred. There are, of course, no Italian air bases on American soil. Such a thought would be ridiculous. Nor, for that matter, are there German, Indonesian, Russian, Greek, or Japanese troops stationed on Italian soil. Italy is, moreover, a close ally of the United States, and no conceivable enemy nation endangers its shores.

    All this is almost too obvious to state-and so is almost never said. It is simply not a matter for discussion, much less of debate in the land of the last imperial power. Perhaps similar thinking is second nature to any imperium. Perhaps the Romans did not find it strange to have their troops in Gaul, nor the British in South Africa. But what is unspoken is no less real, nor does it lack consequences just because it is not part of any ongoing domestic discussion.

    ... it is past time for such a discussion to begin, for Americans to consider why we have created an empire-a word from which we shy away-and what the consequences of our imperial stance may be for the rest of the world and for ourselves. Not so long ago, the way we garrisoned the world could be discussed far more openly and comfortably because the explanation seemed to lie at hand-in the very existence of the Soviet Union and of communism. Had the Italian disaster occurred two decades earlier, it would have seemed no less a tragedy, but many Americans would have argued that, given the Cold War, such incidents were an unavoidable cost of protecting democracies like Italy against the menace of Soviet totalitarianism. With the disappearance of any military threat faintly comparable to that posed by the former Soviet Union, such "costs" have become easily avoidable. American military forces could have been withdrawn from Italy, as well as from other foreign bases, long ago. That they were not and that Washington instead is doing everything in its considerable powers to perpetuate Cold War structures, even without the Cold War's justification, places such overseas deployments in a new light. They have become striking evidence, for those who care to look, of an imperial project that the Cold War obscured. The byproducts of this project are likely to build up reservoirs of resentment against all Americans-tourists, students, and businessmen, as well as members of the armed forces-that can have lethal results.

    For any empire, including an unacknowledged one, there is a kind of balance sheet that builds up over time. Military crimes, accidents, and atrocities make up only one category on the debit side of the balance sheet that the United States has been accumulating, especially since the Cold War ended.
     
  6. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    I've been asked to tone it down a bit, and I completely agree with those made that suggestion.

    And thank you Leon for your post above. :)
     
  7. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    I don't buy it... I've traveled extensively throughout Europe in the early 80's and again in the early to mid-90's. Everywhere I went, I rarely came across anyone who resented the US. Those that do speak out against the US tend to be in the minority, although they're a very vocal minority.

    When I was living in Germany, there were protests by some groups about the GLCMs. One afternoon, I was sitting down with my landlord and we were talking about this. He said something that's always stuck with me, and I suspect it's true to this day. "The young are idealistic and don't know the ways of the world. Don't worry about them. The adults truly appreciate the US and what it does for Germany, and I don't think that will ever change." And you know what? He's right.
     
  8. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    I've lived in Italy, Tom, in Ostia. They hated Americans more than Soviets at the time, this was 1976-79.

    But forget personal opinions, the foundation, whether people here like it or not, is envy. Once you are a top dog in the world, the magnifying glass rarely moves away from you and when you do something as described above, it will be MAGNIFIED and fed like you wouldn't believe. Those of you who are from the old GC forum will remember just how many people who were foreigners were REALLY pissed. I remember Franco almost blew his blood vessels.
     
  9. Copzilla

    Copzilla dangerous animal Staff Member

    You know, anyone who can come up with the tortured logic of us abandoning people after a war needs a freaking reality check.

    So they were engaged with the Soviets, it was in our interest to help them, and we did so. Would they rather we had not? Better that the Soviets had crushed them, eh?

    So the situation ended, the Soviet Union fell, and the US no longer needed to supply the Afghanis with military hardware. Okay, so what else did they want? For us to prop them up as a welfare state? Go back to farming and working, assholes!

    This asshole mullah is like so many who look for an excuse besides to his own kind. He's acting like he was standing there with his hand out after the war expecting some kind of continuing donation for *us* supplying *them* with military hardware and support. He wanted that fucking gravy train to continue. And so they hated us when it didn't happen?

    Some pals.

    The reality is that they saw the US as being powerful, and they developed envy, and the OP premise remains correct. The excuse falls apart on any sort of logical examination. Screw them.
     
  10. Violet1966

    Violet1966 Stand and Deliver Staff Member

    I think they are more po'd at us for helping to create the Taliban and then walking away leaving the Taliban in tact. I don't see it any different then when we sold Saddam arms. We created or fed a beast, and left it free to feed on anything it wanted to. That's what he's saying. The Soviet occupation could have forced the area into total starvation but that didn't get to happen, so all they see is what we did, and the effect it has even after we're gone.
     
  11. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    For the record, I agree. But we, sir, are thinking and applying Western logic. You have no idea how warped their senses are, how totally illogical and downright delusional many people are when the envy is the foundation for a country. Keep in mind, and I can't stress this enough, many of these people have a terribly fantastical view of the US and America. It's not just that we have freedom and Democracy, it's how rich we all are, how we all have three cars, homes, and not a care in the world.

    I don't need to remind people how off this is but when I even tried to explain how it's NOT so easy here in the US, even to educated and knowledgeable people of the FSU, I still got laughed at.

    Let me also remind people that when you have the decency to ask a non-American this question of "Why do they hate us..." they will never, ever state the truth. It's a very rare thing (like the OP) that they even try to.
     
  12. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Whoa there, Vio.

    Some facts here. After Soviet left, the Muhajadeen broke back in to their tribes. Civil War ensued and -- as is always that happens in these situations -- people suffered. There was no rule, there was rape, looting, killing. The best way I can describe this country during that void was the most extreme Bedouin justice.

    Taliban was a creation of Pakistan (think of all the refugees streaming in to every bordering country) and not direct one but indirect. They thought to themselves, what's the best way of curtailing this seepage in to our country (remember, Pakistan was looking out for themselves, they didn't give two shits about Afghans). What has worked here aside from slapping military rule? Why, Islam Teachings! Taliban means "Student" and student in this case is student of Islam.

    When Taliban came in they were financed with ammunition, guns, food, clothing, everything, they quickly not only stopped the violence but seriously put a hamper on any uprising. At first the Afghans welcomed this. This was, after all, a more peaceful time to be had! No more war! No more violence! No more getting your husband dragged away by someone's tribe who thought he had something to do with killing of their leader.

    How wrong they were.

    After time, the Taliban started doing things quietly, but just as bad as the tribes before them, if not worse. They made their own laws, they used all types of interpretations of the Koran that suited them. For example (and true story told to me by Omar), a young girl caught a fancy of one Taliban who was driving by in his pick up. He didn't want to marry her, he wanted to fuck the living shit out of her. He came back with a piece of paper that claimed he was married to her. She refused it, but her parents took a look at the AK-47, told her to do it for herself. She was basically beaten, raped, and the Taliban ripped his certificate right on top of her bleeding body after he was done, "consider us divorced", he said, and smilingly walked back to his pickup.

    I can't begin to describe how life was under the Talib, but do yourself a favor and rent "Osama". It has NOTHING to do with bin Laden. I warn you, the movie will be one of the toughest you will ever see in your life. But also the most memorable.

    Back to the topic, the problem above is that the Arab CULTURE (nothing to do with Religion here) is that they tend to blame outsiders first and foremost. It matters not what these pigs were doing, they were Arab. But what happened? How did this all happen? AH! It must be the US and when they left! And when you approach them with hand wringing and pleading and asking "why do you hate us..." that hate will be magnified because it implies there's something to hate us for!

    Liberals need to understand that when Republicans and Conservatives speak about usurping the US with their hand wringing, their retarded and culturally inefficient questions, this is precisely what they mean. There are OTHER, more meaningful ways of approaching this problem. Ask the Soviets why they get to be the top dog (perception wise) shit on every other country and yet retain their innocents.
     
  13. Violet1966

    Violet1966 Stand and Deliver Staff Member

    I don't think it's that far fetched to think any place we've had to go into, has had high expectations that we will be the ones to absorb them and give them our way of life. And that when we don't go that route, they resent it.

    It is funny when you know someone who is planning a visit to a foreign country and the people I know best were people who would go to Turkey or come from Turkey to visit and go back. I remember laughing hysterically at the things my friend had to bring with her when she went last time. Levis and all these things, some of them seem really stupid to us and not much of anything, but to have them there is like a dream. Something to brag of and a status symbol to wear American clothes or have an American perfume, etc.
     
  14. Violet1966

    Violet1966 Stand and Deliver Staff Member

    Noted and was just trying to say it how that person meant (it was said in the piece in the OP and in another link in this thread)what they believed we did and use it 'for why they hate us'. Not any of it was based on what I believe or know in any way. But it is very disturbing to read something like that. Extremely disturbing. I don't know why we did it. We encouraged guerilla tactics which are terroristic in nature no? Noted about the book will add it to the list of books I need to read one day. :)
     
  15. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Osama is a movie, not sure if it was also a book though. The movie was fantastic though.
     
  16. cmhbob

    cmhbob Did...did I do that? Staff Member

  17. ravital

    ravital Banned

    Apologies in advance for multiple responses in a single post.

    And respecfully, I call BS on that. I have not asked you anything that requires you to "ratchet it up" in any way. I have asked you a rational question: How come, what is the explanation, for the fact that attacks by the same terrorists, from the same source, have been carried out against non "Imperial powers" like Spain, Holland, Bali, and so on? Please don't tell me to read the book again, I already promised you I will, eventually - I am asking YOU, not Chalmers Johnson, to explain the reasons for THAT blowback, to explain the contradiction between these facts and the blowback theory, as YOU have presented it here. Nothing here requires you to "dial it up." You're an intelligent person, and by your own account a voracious reader, I am convinced that if Chalmers Johnson had an explanation at all, you would have understood it, remembered it, and presented it here.

    Regarding your reply that Iranians hate us because we installed the Shah: Is that your view, or Chalmers Johnson's? Because it is seriously contradicted by the facts. Nothing will excuse the brutality of the Shah, but the brutality of the Shah was his idea, nobody else's. In addition, and this is a fact, the average Iranian knows very well that it is because of the Shah that there even is an airport anywhere in Iran, because of the Shah that the middle class can afford cars, because of the Shah that there are paved roads on which to drive them, and because of the Shah that Iranians even know about Satellite dishes. The average Iranian also knows that it is because of the Iranian Revolution and the rule of Mullahs that he is not allowed to have a dish on his roof, that women have to wear a veil, and that anyone who has a beef with him can make up a story about him and snitch to some Mullah who will destroy his life for good. The average Iranian may curse the memory of the Shah, but he doesn't hate America, His government, and the Iranian media, controlled as it is by the same government, are reflecting a ton of fictions about the average Iranian, that he is completely powerless to change.

    I won't dispute any of this, because I think you're pretty much on the mark. Just to add a couple of things:

    1. It's not just Arab culture as such, though sadly, it has by now become part of the Arab heritage - it's really the Arab states. The repression. The governments selling the masses the idea that whatever their problems are, they come from somewhere else, not from their governments. Go kill the Jew, go burn an American flag, to kill Americans, THEY, not us, are the problem. Diversion and deception, pure and simple, and nowhere is it easier than in states where the government is not accountable to its people.

    2. It's not limited to Arabs. Look at all the wealthy countries in the world with a disproportionate number of poor, sick, illiterate, desperate, and sometimes even starving people. They're in the Middle East, they're in Africa, they're in South America. Countries that can afford and should be able to create excellent environments for business to thrive, for people to develop healthy societies Yet their people are the way they are, with no hope for improvement, in fact no hope of any kind. Why does anyone think that is so?

    You, on the other hand, live in the middle of concrete, steel, glass, and asphalt, where no one has a shadow of a hope to grow enough corn or wheat to feed even a fraction of your population, and you are taxed up the wazoo, yet the majority of you New Yorkers are warm and dry in winter, well fed, well educated, and so are your children, you are generally content, your kids are blessed with joy, ambition, and hope. Why does anyone think that is so?


    I checked this link, and I understand this is Chalmers Johnson you are quoting. This particular quote is another strike against him: I don't dispute the facts he is citing, even if he does paint with a broad brush and indulges in hyperbole here and there. It's the analysis above that's the problem: See how artfully, how cleverly he turns the phrase "not a matter for discussion, much less debate, in the last imperial power?" What does anyone, honestly, think this is designed to do? Other that leave you clearly with the impression that debate is repressed in America? As if the government could shut down any outlet of criticism and debate? He's about half a notch above those who resort to the "gulag" comparisons, but not much above that. Clearly, with that, and the immediate juxtaposition of the Roman empire in the same breath, he wants to leave the impression that we are a repressive society that discourages debate or criticism of the government. Or am I magnifying something insignificant again? (I know you don't necessarily agree with him, I'm just pointing out his dishonesty) Is Bill Moyers in Jail for all his criticism - if you can even call it that - of the Bush administration? Or Bill Maher for that matter? Are their heads rolling on some floor? Are they rotting in some cell chained to a wall?

    Not to anyone in particular, to the thread in general, I don't know the difference between saying that we brought terrorism on ourselves - since that is what the "blowback" idea seems to represent, and if I misunderstand then please correct me - and saying that the 2,700 New Yorkers killed on 9/11 deserved it. After all, if "blowback" is true, then hey, so many of those victims were stock brokers perpetuating the American imperial cultural and economic hegemony globally, weren't they?
     
  18. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member


    Blowback is not about who deserved what, it's about attitudes and understanding where they come from. You are reading way too much in to a simple notion.
     
  19. ravital

    ravital Banned

    Thank you, I appreciate that. I'll take it at face value then.

    Even at that, if the conclusion is that America brings the hatred on itself, I'd like to find out what Johnson's recommended remedies are.
     
  20. Copzilla

    Copzilla dangerous animal Staff Member

    I'm fairly certain it will be isolationism and acquiesence.

    Give them anything and everything.
     

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