Or, How many times do I have to say this?
Traveling as much as we do, the Mrs. and I have friends in many different countries. Almost unanimously, they say that what bugs them most about America and Americans is the attitude that everything we do is the right thing or, at the least, be accepted without question because we know better. They consider it an extreme arrogance, especially those from cultures far older than ours.
Greenwald looks at "why they hate us
" and puts lie to the response that it's our freedoms which bother them:
Note, too, the vast gap between how Americans perceive of their actions (mere "aberrations") and how so much of the rest of the world perceives of it, especially those in the targeted regions. So much of this disparity is explained by a basic lack of empathy: imagine if every American spent just a day contemplating how they'd react if some foreign army from a Muslim nation invaded and bombed the U.S., occupied the country for the next several years with 60,000 soldiers, killed tens of thousands of citizens here, set up secret prisons where they disappeared Americans for years without charges or even contact with the outside world, imposed sanctions that blockaded food and medicine and killed countless children, invaded and ransacked our homes at will, abducted Americans and shipped them halfway around the world to island-prisons, instituted a worldwide torture regime, armed their allies for attacks on other Western nations, and threatened still other invasions.
And to top it off, we give the foreign tourists who do
want to visit our beautiful country a hard time in the name of "keeping us safer".
We've become an international bully, especially with regard to Muslim nations. A good segment of our population looks at them as subhuman or animals, their lives worth nothing and that was perpetuated by the Bush administration. If President Obama doesn't change attitudes soon (he's made a good start) we're going to lose a lot more tourist dollars and make more enemies in the Muslim world.
We've lost too much already, respect, credibility, and money in the name of "homeland security" and fear mongering. Locking innocents up without charge, torturing them, and murdering them, along with occupying their countries is not the way to "win hearts and minds". All it does is dig us into a deeper hole. If we really
want to keep our country safe, we have to stop threatening people with violence and occupation and we have to stop turning friends into adversaries. It's time to start "walking the walk" instead of lecturing others with a heavy air of hypocrisy as we do what we please.