Sunday, August 21, 2005

Do Americans know how they are perceived by many in the world? Commenters rant: "Why Americans are, and should be, hated

The time has come for Americans to realise a very simple truth: You can no longer hide behind the excuse that the war in Iraq, and all the other crimes of which America stands accused in the eyes of the rest of the world, “is the fault of the current Administration”.

Get this: You, as a nation, started a war of aggression, based on a lie, against a country that had done you no harm. You called it a pre-emptive war. It wasn’t. It was naked aggression, launched with overwhelming firepower, targeting a nation crushed by over a decade of inhuman sanctions that had left hundreds of thousands dead, many of them children. For that alone, you, as a nation, deserve to be hated and despised, and never to be forgiven.

I am tired of talking to Americans who bemoan the idiocy of the current US administration and its leaders. You, as a nation, voted for him. Twice. And don’t give me that song and dance about how the elections were stolen. Once, yes. But not twice. Besides, knowing what you knew even then about Bush, the man, how was it possible that more than two people in the entire United States – Bush and his mother – could vote for him? The very fact that more than two people put a cross against his name damns you as a nation, for ever.

There used to be a time when I admired America and Americans. Now, I cannot reach low enough to begin to describe the contempt I feel towards America.

I used to be a moderate in all things political. Now I’d freely describe myself as “rabidly anti-American” – and I’m not even Palestinian, or Arab, for that matter. I’m not even the victim of the daily outrages perpetrated by the Israeli apartheid state, that American aircraft carrier in the Middle East, that state which, with the moral support and financial assistance of the US, has created more than two hundred nuclear bombs, while around us wails a media choir, hysterical at the thought that Iran might, in ten years’ time, come close to producing a smidgeon of nuclear fuel that might, just might, one day be diverted for making an atomic weapon.

It’s all so amusing, isn’t it? If only it weren’t all so deadly. As some wit put it: “When Clinton lied, no-one died.”

What makes this crime even worse than the many other illegal invasions that America has perpetrated (read Noam Chomsky if you’d like to know more) is that, at the time when the lie was being fed to the world, everyone – EVERYONE – knew that it was a lie. Colin Powel knew. Bush knew. Blair knew. The boy in the street outside, shining shoes, knew.

America, collectively, has insulted the intelligence of every person on this planet.

America ignores international treaties, laws, and agreements at will. Kyoto is meant for other nations. The International Court, likewise, is for other nations because, as we all know, Americans would never commit war crimes – certainly nothing like Abu Ghraib. And then, just to make sure that we get the message, America appoints a man who hates children to be their nanny: it appoints as ambassador to the UN a man who cannot stand the UN.

That really was overkill. You see, we got the point long, long ago. You just don’t care. Well, we do. We care enough to hate you.

Even if tomorrow, by some miracle, you came to your senses and impeached Bush and sent him off to the International Court to answer for his war crimes, we would still not forgive you. That would take, at the very least, another ten or twenty years. Because that’s how long it would take to begin to undo some of the damage that America has done to the world, to global relations, and to trust and our sense of brotherhood in this world.

When the planes flew into the twin towers, I was at work, in an office full of Saudi employees in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. One after the other, they all trooped across to our boss, an American, and expressed their horror and heartfelt sympathy at what had happened. So did I.

That sympathy has been squandered by a reckless moron and those who voted for him. Hate has taken the place of sympathy, even amongst those who used to be moderate, like myself.

Your “War on Terror” is a monster of your own creation. And it is breeding more and more terror, day by bloody day.

I am not a stranger to war. I write as someone who served as a conscript in the military for two and a half years, of which thirteen months as an officer in the South African special forces in Angola, in 1982-83. That (CIA-funded and supported!) war was wrong, too. We had no business being there.

Being a soldier didn’t take courage – real courage would have been refusing to serve. I was a coward — I didn't have the courage to refuse to kill those I had no business killing. Your troops in Iraq will one day say the same, I don't doubt that for a second.

In the meanwhile, they will continue to kill or be killed. If they had real courage, they would refuse to serve. The war is wrong. They know it by now – even without me or anyone else telling them so. They're not “just doing their job” – they are doing someone else’s job, and it’s time they started asking, whose job, and why?

Americans: You are hated and despised, throughout the world. You deserve it. - Johan"

"Well spoken Johan. Your sad commentary is one I hear repeated by all of my foreign friends. The world is turning its' back on America, and with good reason.

The American people will pay dearly for allowing this unholy clan of rightwingideologue supremist warmongers, warpimps, and profiteers to redefine America in the perverted cloth of a predatory imperialist state ruled with an iron fist by tyrants, pirates, and fundamentalist religious zealots.

"Deliver us from evil." - Tony Foresta

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