Tuesday, October 10, 2006
From a sidewalk on Sunset Boulevard. Do you like? They hate my main man, GWB everywhere in the world. But, there is still that 40 or so percent of knuckleheads that worships the guy, most of them will be found in trailers and Walmarts in the Bible belt.
Speaking of hating people I have decided to tackle the big question that GWB and Co. have answered rather simplistically. Do they hate us because we are freedom lovers and they are freedom haters? Or is the root of their hatred more significant. Lets turn our attention to the godfather of fundamentalist hatred of the West,
Sayyid Qutb. This fella came all the way from Egypt to hate our guts. He comes here and lives in a Christian Conservative thought camp in Colorado, and from his experience decides that green lawns and exposed female wrists are the work of the "Great Satan."
Voila, the Muslim Brotherhood is born. He's a creepy guy, but he is the inspiration to an entire generation of followers of the one true prophet, who have been marginalized and seen their country's resources used to make rich white dudes richer.
Which leads me to Mo Mossadegh. http://www.mohammadmossadegh.com/ This man was the first democratically elected leader of Iran. He is worshipped, revered and loved throughout the Middle East, by all sects I should point out, because he stood up to the juggernauts of English and American power. He was deposed in coup led by the nephew of FDR (Kermit Roosevelt) and the grandfather of our very own Gen. Schwarzkopf. I know, I know, it sounds like a conspiracy thing but its documented and verifiable, and you can read the actual government declassified documents for yourself if you like: http://www.amazon.com/All-Shahs-Men-American-Middle/dp/0471265179
There are of course numerous instances of the US mingling in the affairs of sovereign states and conducting ourselves like a sleep deprived pirate on coke. But, we can't possibly be the only reason they hate us. They share in some of the blame, right? The Western neo-liberal economies give rise to social behavior which is unacceptable to our fundamentalists; why not theirs??
We are as Gore Vidal once said, the "United States of Amnesia" but, I would argue that this is not always the case. We remember storming the beaches at Normandy. We remember the towers falling. We remember things that make us angry or boost our sense of national pride. We do not, however, pay much attention to the historical events that others refuse to forget. For example, this website, http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/project.jsp?project=911_project
is ripe with information about the 9/11 tragedy. But, if you notice there isn’t much info before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Writer Steve Coll does a great job in his "Ghost Wars" of connecting the dots between that invasion and the fall of the towers. In a nutshell, the argument is that Islam regards losing as not having God on your side. In the case of the Soviets, they lost because the Mujahideen held out. This collapse of a Western (yes, they are considered a Western power to anyone who is from the Middle East and doesn’t have access to a political map of the cold war) power was a victory. The Mujahideen, soon to become the Taliban lost thousands upon thousands of lives and yet they were celebrating when the last T-62 rolled out of Kabul. Their struggle IS a long one, which spans generations and WILL continue for as long as it needs to. These fundamentalists are no strangers to victories or defeat http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_war_in_Afghanistan (it’s from Wiki but, it's fairly accurate in my humble analysis) and they are not any more likely to lay down their AKs as gun show, bible thumpers are. So, how can the West defeat an enemy like this? More importantly why must we? Is it the "white man's burden" that brings us time and again to meddle in the affairs of nations and indigenous people? Or are we just protecting our vital interests and yes that includes oil. Oil is important, whether you drive a hummer or ride a bicycle, or walk. The machines used to make that pair of Bruno Maglias you own or your Schwinn need oil to run. Now, the best possible argument to make against this is that we need to invest in alternative energy and though it is a great idea and one that I whole-heartedly support and incidentally whose time has arrived http://www.apolloalliance.org/ The unfortunate reality is that until we get to a point where the green friendly energy that we produce, can produce more green friendly energy, we will not be able to shake the sheiks.
One final point about history and the Middle East. We like to compare Iraq to Vietnam. There are crucial differences in the 2 that I think might be the subject of another blog so I'll save my comments. The fact is that, both campaigns have similar traits especially in terms of how inept leadership and political shenanigans are weakening the resolve of the American people, but I came across this article http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/10/01/opinion/edharris.php
I'm not an expert at the history of the Romans, but it isn't the first time I have heard us compared to them.
Is it that we ignore historical warnings because we are too involved in our daily distractions? Or do we just choose to ignore those warnings because it's much easier to believe whatever we want to? You decide which is easier to digest, this four part series of articles:
or these guys: