Acts of Hypocrisy: Why They Hate Us
During this unprecedented period of national trauma I have been asked time and time again why do so many other nations, especially many in the Arab world, hate Americans so much. Many of my inquisitors have been young people who are seriously historically and politically clueless. Unfortunately, it is usually only during times of grave international turmoil that we Americans take the opportunity to step back and take an honest introspective view of ourselves and what others really think of us.
Of course from our perspective, we are the greatest nation on the face of the earth. We believe that we are the greatest society that has ever existed. We have been the most generous, sensitive, and caring country of any nation-state on the planet. Of the 39 different forms of democracy within the global community we consider ours to be the best and the most unique. We find it very easy to extol our virtues of patriotism and freedom, disseminating our values around the globe in an arrogance matched only by the legendary Pax Romana.
We extol the values of Democratic Capitalism, but those values are actually an oxymoron of both language and morality. Because for every group that thrives under the American system of capitalism there is a larger group that suffers injustice at the hands of that same system. Therefore, in reality, what America actually exposes is a double standard. This is the beginning reason why we are hated so much by other nations. It's the economic and social exploitation that we perpetuate, while preaching democracy and human rights for all, that makes us so politically vulnerable. The world wonders openingly, how can America talk about global human rights when we won't even discuss Reparations for African-Americans? Of course, bar none, not only is that our greatest shame and sin, but it is also our greatest hypocrisy.
How can America call the Taliban terrorist, they wonder, when we have always permitted terrorism in the Middle East by our major allies against displaced Palestinian people? How can we sit silently by and watch the Indian government commit acts of terrorism in disputed Kashmir against Pakistan and then blame Pakistan for defending herself? Why did we not do anything when the Soviets rushed in to terrorize the Afghan people in the first place? It was America who then helped to foster the growth of the Taliban to terrorize the Soviets. It was America who funded the Taliban terrorist operations. Something we continued to do right up to the September 11th attack.
It is America's inherent hypocritical policies that make us such a hated people. America talks human rights, but we then allow Saudi Arabia, one of our major Arab allies, to practice some of the same human rights violations against their people that we demonize the Taliban for. We bomb the Iraqi people for supporting Saddam Hussein, but there was a time when we closed our eyes as Hussein repressed his own country. Our concerns seem to have been, as long as he did not threaten our oil interests, he could do whatsoever he wanted. It was only when Saddam invaded Kuwait and threatened American oil claims that we went after him and then labeled him an evil man. And why won't we go after the Russians for the acts of terrorism that they are committing in Chechnya? We are hated because of our glaring and infamous foreign policy double-standards of economic and political imperialist arrogance.
We are hated because we are viewed by much of the Arab world, who are used to terrorism, as using September 11th as an excuse to further our imperialist hegemony worldwide in the name of combating terrorism. After all, we have always known that Osama bin Laden was diabolical, but for years we have sat back and watched him amass power and influence and did virtually nothing to stop him until recently. Now we are bombing the Afghanistan people to smithereens in an attempt to flush him out of hiding.
We are hated because some Arabs see these bombings as an excuse to get the kind of control over the rich oil routes of Afghanistan, which the Soviets wanted so desperately, as well as the Iranians and the Pakistan government. Unknown to most Americans is the fact that, "Afghanistan's significance from an energy standpoint stems from its geographic position as a transit route for oil and gas exports from Central Asia to the Arabian Sea. This potential includes proposed multi-billion dollar oil and gas export pipelines through Afghanistan." Many Arabs feel that the only time the Arabic world is of any importance to America is when oil is the concern.
It's time that the United States take another look at her foreign policies, in the Middle East, but especially throughout the Arab world. Because until we fairly deal with the issues that cause this hate against us, it will be America that is actually helping to keep the global community a place of instability.
This piece originally appeared on The Black World Today.
Copyright (c) 2001 The Black World Today.