Nobody Likes To Talk About It, But They Still Hate Us
by James Glaser
We can blow it off as just jealousy or envy for all the freedom we have, and the "good life" we live here in the United States, but lots of people hate America for lots of reasons. We once had a good name, but let's face it. . . . we no longer do.
Yes, there are those people who hate us because we are a different religion than they are, and I suppose there are many people who blame us for the poor working conditions they have working for American stores and corporations. But I don't think that is the main reason.
Now don't get me wrong, there are millions of people all over the globe who love us too, but I think the hate numbers are growing, and the love numbers are falling.
The people who love us can remember back to a time that we were out to help the world. We still claim that is what we are doing today, but more people today have access to media that isn't controlled by Washington, so they are getting a different picture of what we are doing in the world, different from what we get here at home.
Debra Miller, writing for the Madison Capital Times, gives this description of our secret prisons in Europe from a book written by Dick Marty of the Council of the European Parliamentary Assembly. "There is loud music round the clock, a total absence of light, rotten food, no possibility to wash or use a toilet, uncomfortable handcuffing and leg shackling, cold cell, inadequate clothing, prisoners frequently beaten and trampled on."
The book is about people the United States has tortured, some for years, "and then in some cases released because there was no evidence of guilt in the first place."
People the world over are constantly exposed to stories about American troops committing war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. True or not, they are getting the stories, along with video footage. Sprinkled in with these reports are out of context quotes by American politicians who make the stories even more "truthful."
Many understand what the people in Iraq are going through, because so many countries in this world have had to suffer through the ravages of war. These people know that American forces destroyed Iraq's civilian infrastructure, and now three years later that infrastructure still is in disrepair. Most people know what we did to the civilians in Iraq is a War Crime, pure and simple.
The world knows that our Congress passed a law to stop torture, and that was a good thing. But they also know that George Bush signed a rule that he didn't have to follow that law, and that George feels he can legally torture any one he wants.
People the world over read the reports of our kicking to death prisoners in Afghanistan, and see the photos of what we do to prisoners in Iraq. Then they watch as George Bush gives a holier than thou speech about how we are bringing peace to the world, and they hate him and now us, because of his lies. Remember everything George Bush says, he says representing us.
The people who still love us are getting older because it has been a long time since we were the good guys. In many countries people die in their thirties and forties. In those countries few remember us for saving the world from the Nazis or winning the cold war. "What have you done for me lately?" is what most people ask.
George Bush took us to war in 2001, and we have been in one war or another ever since. Night after night the American war is in the news. To many in this world the insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan are making a valiant effort to throw off the "Evil Empire." Evil Empire would be us. For decades billions of people all over the world have thought of us as the Great Satan. That is what they hear when they go to their church, and that is what they see when they watch the news.
America has a terrible reputation. If you have ever lost it, you know how important your reputation is, and until we stop torturing people, stop killing people, stop bombing people, and stop attacking pitiful third world countries, we can't even start to get our good name back.
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