I remember one of the prevailing questions after 9/11 was: "Why do they hate us?"
And I remember the prevailing answer being: "They hate us for our freedom"
This is a ridiculous notion, regardless of the fact that they did actually give "reasons" (US troops in Saudi Arabia the home of the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina, and US support for Israel), the notion that anyone would hate anyone simply for being free is so absurd that only a country as gullible as us would buy it. (70% of Americans in 2004 thought Saddam was directly behind 9/11. 60% of Americans in 2010 thought Obama was a muslim. And I'm not even gonna quote figures on how many people thought Obama was not born in the US)
Perhaps what they hate is that since 9/11 our troops have invaded or occupied a total of FOUR arab countries, and our support of Israel has grown only stronger in the face of their crackdowns on the Palestinians increasing.
Perhaps we still don't understand what our role in the world is and what the repercussions of our actions are globally.
Perhaps the fact that the initial reasons they gave us for 9/11 have only gotten worse means that we should be afraid?
I for one was in Brooklyn when it was announced that we had killed Osama, and I was truly a bit frightened to be in NYC in the immediate aftermath.
In the immediate clusterfuck aftermath of 9/11, the cable news channels played a clip that was supposedly of palestinians celebrating in the streets.
This video was proven to be from an entirely different celebration of an entirely different event in the past. But until it was shown to be so, I would not hear the end of references to it as an example of whats so wrong with the Muslim world and why they hate us.
So I would ask that we look at our reaction to what ended up being a fabricated video: we were filled with hatred towards these people that would celebrate death.
What must the arab world be thinking about our very REAL reaction to Osama's death?
We're all celebrating like we're all Bostonians and the Red Sox just broke the curse.
Of course I hate this man and what he did to us, but our reaction is starting to become scary.
We're taking so much joy in a man's death that it's really starting to frighten me, and I don't even hate America already.
America hasn't been occupying my country or bombing my innocent family.
But we have been doing it to so many others. We have at minimum killed upwards of 100,000 innocent civilians during the course of the war on terror (George W Bush's figure, not mine). 100,000 people who's families consider the war in Iraq or Afghanistan or our operations in Lybia and Pakistan to be THEIR 9/11. What we call collateral damage they call dad or mom or son or daughter. And for the last week, if they tuned in to any US media they would have seen us ravenously celebrating our successfully enacted revenge. Of course they probably don't like Osama either, but I bet they hate Bush as much as they hate him, and probably do consider his motivation fairly just despite disagreeing with his actions.
What do they see when they see us?
Violent hatred, vengeful joy, celebrating death, continuing to escalate war(we're on the brink with Syria, Iran and Pakistan).
They don't hate us for our freedom.
They hate us for the horrible things we've been doing with it.
They hate us because we have rights they don't have, and we're CHOOSING to be the great assholes of the world.