The Militant Libertarian

I'm pissed off and I'm a libertarian. What else you wanna know?

Monday, January 23, 2006

U.S. should blame itself for terrorism

I guess I'm not the only one who thinks this way. Of course, those whose minds need to be changed about this will just write it off as more "liberal media talk" or "America-hating." None of them seem to notice that this kind of talk was rampant during the Revolutionary War...

U.S. should blame itself for terrorism
• We are hated, feared by most of the world for what we have done
By Joseph M. Sherfey
Originally published:

Following the events of 9/11, it was frequently claimed that the Muslim terrorists involved hated Americans because of what we have and what we are.

Last year's July 4 editorial in The News-Press stated, "The liberties we have inherited must be defended from foreigners who hate what we have, as we were reminded so bitterly on Sept. 11, 2001."

It's time for Americans to face a very uncomfortable fact. We are hated and feared by most of the world, not because of our material possessions, the liberties we enjoy or what we stand for. We are hated and feared because of what we have done. Let's look at the record.

First let's cast a guilty eye on our propensity to prop up unpopular regimes to secure a favorable commercial position or to bolster our military or political dominance. In Central and South America this hoary practice is referred to as "Gunboat Diplomacy." Worldwide it creates or protects dictatorial governments that typically are antithetical to freedom, democracy and prosperity. Too often the consequences are frustration, unrest and a climate in which terrorism flourishes.


In 1953, the C.I.A. engineered a "revolution" in Iran which replaced a moderate constitutional government under president Mohammed Mossadegh with an autocratic and militaristic shah. An understandably furious group of "students" responded by invading our embassy and imprisoning its employees — an enormous embarrassment for our country. We are now faced with a hard-line Islamic regime, which very reasonably refers to Uncle Sam as "The Great Satan." It is supporting the insurgency in neighboring Iraq and it is ominously rattling a nuclear sword.

So much for our ability to control the internal affairs of sovereign nations and for our wisdom in trying to do so.

Undaunted by our experience in Iran, our sagacious president has embarked on another nation-molding fiasco in Iraq. Hopefully, he will replace a cruel secular dictator with reactionary Islamic Mullahs who, like their counterparts in Iran, would delight in seeing us dead. More ominous scenarios abound.

We are also supporting unpopular and authoritative governments in Egypt, Bahrain, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Algeria. In all these countries is a lack of opportunity and open political expression that is causing widespread resentment and unrest, especially among the intelligentsia and the poor. Most are powder kegs.


An incident in the Balkans exemplifies a second reason for Muslim hatred; our callous disregard for Muslims' lives. In June of 1995, a United Nations "safe area" was turned over to the Serbs who promptly slaughtered 8,000 unarmed Muslim Bosnians. Many of the women were raped before being killed. There was no U.N. intervention.

When we joined the British in enforcing U.N. economic sanctions against Iraq, the consequences were even worse. We persisted, even though we knew it was causing widespread suffering. The U.N. estimated that about 500,000 Iraqi children died because of shortages in food and medicines. When asked about these deaths on national TV our U.N. ambassador, Madeleine Albright, didn't dispute the facts but stated that "we" had decided it was "worth the cost." What was gained to warrant the deaths of a half-million children?

The Muslim death toll in the current Iraqi debacle is unknown. Guestimates range from 40,000 to 100,000. It's obviously not important enough to count. But let us ever remember 9/11; 3,000 Americans died.

At the time of the Marshall Plan, our country was rebuilding Europe and was admired and respected by the world. That country no longer exists. America is now an empire: militaristic, militant, arrogant and cruel. We have more than 700 military bases outside the United States. Our generals and admirals have more than 100 passenger jets — Lears, Gulfstreams, etc. — to get to the 234 military golf courses scattered around the world. One Gulfstream III costs $50 million and requires a crew of five.

In his book "The Sorrows of Empire," Chalmers Johnson states, "As militarism, the arrogance of power, and the euphemisms used to justify imperialism inevitably conflict with America's democratic structure of government and distort its culture and basic values, I fear that we will lose our country." I share that fear.

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