It baffles me why so many Americans readily accept that, in any conflict with foreign interests, America must be at fault. To these people, all of our enemies are actually our victims, and are justified in hating us because America’s a big bully. They seem to believe the rest of the world is full of peaceful, good-natured people and, if the terrorists want to destroy us, it must be because we’ve done them wrong. If those who have declared us their enemies commit inconceivably vicious acts of barbaric violence, it’s only out of desperation because we have somehow driven them to it.
Those who want to believe in our culpability insist that the attacks on (and prior to) 9/11 were only retribution for our “meddling” in the Middle East. The flaw in that reasoning is that, if you look at the history of the Islamic extremists, they do not only attack those who “interfere” with them. They have an impressive track record, throughout the world, of ruthlessly attacking and oppressing those who don’t buy into their ideology. But it’s convenient to ignore that historical perspective if it runs counter to one’s agenda. On the other hand, perhaps all the nations and peoples against whom they’ve committed brutal acts of violence and terrorism are somehow also responsible, and only the terrorists are victims.
The people whose agenda it suits to blame America refuse to consider the possibility that the terrorists might actually hate us for the reasons they claim to hate us. — Because we are the great Satan, and they see our culture as an abomination to Allah. Their law requires victims of rape to be stoned and beaten. They torture and execute homosexuals. They arrest and imprison women for showing their faces, arms, or ankles in public, or for talking to any man to whom they are not related. They execute people for speaking out against their government. In a culture where these affronts to human liberty are strictly enforced by law, why is it so hard to conceive that they find our culture, with all the freedoms we cherish, to be an abomination? Until and unless we’re willing to give up the inalienable rights that we hold to be self-evident, and submit to Shari’a, we will continue to offend.
Sometimes I wonder if the people who hold on so tightly to these romantic notions of our enemies have ever been outside of this country. They seem to assume the rest of the world enjoys the same fundamental rights and freedoms we take for granted here. They seem to assume that everything bad they hear about our enemies is just political rhetoric, and that those governments are really no worse than ours. (In fact, they seem to assume ours is the worst.) This is not just naivete, but willfull naivete.
I’d like to ask those people who really think we’re the bad guys the following questions.
- Do you believe they don’t really treat women as property, and punish them for crimes committed against them, or do you believe that’s ok?
- Do you believe they don’t really torture and kill homosexuals for offending Allah, or do you believe that’s ok?
- Do you believe they don’t really execute people for being critical of their government, or do you believe that’s ok?
- Do you believe they don’t really fund and train terrorists to blow up international civilian targets, or do you believe that’s ok?
I’m just curious, do you not believe these things really happen, or do you not believe they’re evil? Or do you believe that they happen, and that they’re evil, but that we are somehow worse than they are?
There really are bad guys out there in the world. And the Jihadists really are bad guys. They are not innocent victims of America’s rapacious hegemony. Nevertheless, people will believe what they want to believe. But why they want to believe that America is always the villain is truly an enigma to me.