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"Why Some Hate Us"

     Some Americans, especially young ones who have no memory of
long-range policies and their effects, and who aren't taught any
history or what we used to call "current events," are puzzled
that a growing number of world citizens express open hostility
toward the United States and its official policies.  A growing
number of the world's people regard the U.S. government as their
enemy, and the farthest-out radical zealots among them are ready
and willing to kill U.S. citizens, even if they die in the
process.  "Why do they hate us?" our own youngsters ask
     Some adults have tried to answer that question by saying
that the people who hate us are jealous of our wealth.  There may
be something to that.  One-twentieth of the world's people own
more than one-sixth of what there is, and many are left with not
     Others have tried to explain the world's hostility by saying
that others are jealous of our liberties, our freedom.  That may
be so, also, to some extent.  It does appear that those who want
to come here so desperately believe that we have some kind of
freedom of opportunity which they want in on.  But those who have
tried this explanation on our perplexed young are really very
cynical -- while they talk of liberty and freedom, they pass laws
which take away our individual rights and liberties, in ways
which are unprecedented.
     Some of the hostility can be explained by looking again at
what this government stands for.  The "only surviving super-power"
is suffering from a serious fit of what the Greeks called
"hubris" -- pride; arrogant, mindless, blind, deaf pride.  Our
leaders do not believe in world solidarity at all.  They believe
we can force everyone and anyone to do what we say.  They are not
listening at all, to anyone.
     A clue can be seen in the list of recent treaties which have
not been ratified by the United States:
  [1] The Ottawa Treaty -- this contains the ban on land mines,
  [2] The Convention on the Rights of the Child,
  [3] The Protocol to Enforce the 1972 Biological Weapons
  [4] The Treaty Establishing the International Criminal Court --
this requires international prosecution of war crimes,
  [5] The Kyoto Accords -- this calls for greenhouse gas
reduction, among other things, and
  [6] The Protocol to Enforce the Convention against Torture.
     Pundits toss around the word "unilateralism" to refer to the
fact that the U.S. now scorns the peoples of the world and their
concerns and their opinions.  "Unilateralism" doesn't underscore
the source of that hostility which concerns our youngsters.  When
all of this is stated in stark plain language, it becomes clearer.
     The United States of America is in favor of land mines and
their use.  The USA is in favor of child abuse.  The USA does not
intend to give up its biological weapons.  The USA stands ready
to harbor and protect war criminals, especially Henry Kissinger. 
The USA is proud of its annual production of greenhouse gasses
and the government's current policies are designed to maximize
the production of more of them.  The USA is not opposed to the
use of torture.
     So -- if you lost your foot to a land mine, or if your child
did, or your grandmother, you may end up hating the US government
and even all US citizens.
     If you are a victim of child abuse, or love someone who is,
or who has been, you may decide that you hate the government
which favors it.
     If you fear biological weapons or are personally acquainted
with any persons who have been hurt by them, you may end up
hating all those governments which refuse to get rid of them,
including the USA.
     If you think the world community needs to deal with war
criminals collectively, in hopes of getting the practice lessened
or stopped, you may hate the only surviving superpower, which
abuses its power and refuses to be party to any attempt to curb
abuses of power.
     If your country or city is in danger of being permanently
inundated by rising sea level, or if you see global warming as a
threat to your life and your way of life, you may end up hating
that country which produces the greatest volume of greenhouse gasses
and which refuses to take part in international efforts to curb their
     And if you have been a victim of torture, and thousands have
been, or if you know anyone who has been, you may hate not only
the torturers, but also the U.S. government which teaches Latin
American soldiers how to torture and refuses to be part of any
international attempt to outlaw and punish the use of torture.
     When it's all spelled out, the wonder is that there haven't
been more attacks like that of September ll, 2001, before and
since.  There is a lot of hostility out there, and a lot of
reason for it.  We won't be able to bomb them into loving us. 
The hostility won't be removed by pre-emptive military strikes,
or by forming new U.S. agencies of propaganda and disinformation. 
Policies and practices will have to change, radically.

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Copyright © 2003 Harry Willson

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