Oh no, they hate us. They really, really hate us!

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The Guardian, Feb 6, 2002

Guardian link

Anti-Americanism has taken the world by storm

The US has an ideological enemy harder to defeat than militant Islam

by Salman Rushdie

They told us it would be a long, ugly struggle, and so it is. America's war against terror has entered its second phase, a phase characterised by the storm over the condition, status and human rights of the prisoners held at Camp X-Ray, and by the frustrating failure of the US to find Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar.

Additionally, if America now attacks other countries suspected of harbouring terrorists, it will almost certainly do so alone, without the backing of the coalition that supported the action in Afghanistan. The reason is that America finds itself facing an ideological enemy that may turn out to be harder to defeat than militant Islam: that is to say, anti-Americanism, which is presently taking the world by storm.

The good news is that these post-Taliban days are bad times for Islamist fanatics. Dead or alive, Bin Laden and Omar look like yesterday's men, unholy warriors who forced martyrdom on others while running for the hills themselves. Also, if the persistent rumours are to be believed, the fall of the terrorist axis in Afghanistan may well have prevented an Islamist coup against President Musharraf in Pakistan, led by the more Taliban-like elements in the armed forces and intelligence services - people like the terrifying General Hamid Gul.

And Musharraf, no angel himself, has been pushed into arresting the leaders of the Kashmiri terrorist groups he used to encourage. (It's just two and a quarter years since he unleashed the same groups against India and engineered the last Kashmir crisis.)

Around the world, the lessons of the American action in Afghanistan are being learned. Jihad is no longer quite as cool an idea as it was last autumn. States under suspicion of giving succour to terrorism have suddenly been trying to behave with propriety, even going so far as to round up a few bad guys. Iran has accepted the legitimacy of the new Afghan government. Even Britain, a state which has been more tolerant of Islamist fanaticism than most, is beginning to see the difference between resisting "Islamophobia" and providing a safe haven for some of the worst people in the world.

America did, in Afghanistan, what had to be done and did it well. The bad news, however, is that none of these successes has won friends for the United States outside Afghanistan. In fact, the effectiveness of the American campaign may paradoxically have made the world hate America more than it did before.

Western critics of America's Afghan campaign are enraged because they have been shown to be wrong at every step: no, US forces weren't humiliated the way the Russians had been; and yes, the air strikes did work; and no, the Northern Alliance didn't massacre people in Kabul; and yes, the Taliban did crumble away like the hated tyrants they were, even in their southern strongholds; and no, it wasn't that difficult to get the militants out of their cave fortresses; and yes, the various factions succeeded in putting together a new government that is surprising people by functioning pretty well.

Meanwhile, those elements in the Arab and Muslim world who blame America for their own feelings of political impotence are feeling more impotent than ever. As always, anti-US radicalism feeds off the widespread anger over the plight of the Palestinians, and it remains true that nothing would undermine the fanatics' propaganda more comprehensively than an acceptable settlement in the Middle East.

However, even if that settlement were arrived at tomorrow, anti-Americanism would probably not abate. It has become too useful a smokescreen for Muslim nations' many defects - their corruption, their incompetence, their oppression of their own citizens, their economic, scientific and cultural stagnation. America-hating has become a badge of identity, making possible a chest-beating, flag-burning rhetoric of word and deed that makes men feel good. It contains a strong streak of hypocrisy, hating most what it desires most, and elements of self-loathing ("we hate America because it has made of itself what we cannot make of ourselves").

What America is accused of - closed-mindedness, stereotyping, ignorance - is also what its accusers would see if they looked into a mirror.

These days there seem to be as many of these accusers outside the Muslim world as inside it. Anybody who has visited Britain and Europe, or followed the public conversation there during the past five months, will have been struck, even shocked, by the depth of anti-American feeling among large segments of the population, as well as the news media.

Western anti-Americanism is an altogether more petulant phenomenon than its Islamic counterpart, and, oddly, far more personalised. Muslim countries don't like America's power, its "arrogance", its success; in the non-American west, the main objection seems to be to American people. Night after night, I have found myself listening to Londoners' diatribes against the sheer weirdness of the American citizenry. The attacks on America are routinely discounted ("Americans only care about their own dead"). American patriotism, obesity, emotionality, self-centredness: these are the crucial issues.

It would be easy for America, in the present climate of hostility, to fail to respond to constructive criticism, or worse: to start acting like the overwhelming superpower it is, making decisions and throwing its weight around without regard for the concerns of what it perceives as an already hostile world. The treatment of the Camp X-Ray detainees is a case in point.

Colin Powell's reported desire to grant these persons PoW status and Geneva Convention rights was a statesmanlike response to global pressure; his apparent failure to persuade President Bush and Mr Rumsfeld to accept his recommendations is a worrying sign. The Bush administration has come a long way from its treaty-smashing beginnings. It should not retreat from consensus-building now. Great power and great wealth are perhaps never popular.

And yet, more than ever, we need the United States to exercise its power and economic might responsibly. This is not the time to ignore the rest of the world and decide to go it alone. To do so would be to risk losing after you've won.

-- (Roland@hatemail.com), February 06, 2002


Tough titty

-- (Rocco@buffed.enuff), February 06, 2002.

l ink

-- (Roland@hatemail.com), February 06, 2002.

What do you expect, with an ignoramus like Dubya going around calling other countries the "axis of evil"?

If evil is what he sees, then evil is what he gets.

-- (what you @ resist. persists), February 06, 2002.

Excellent article.

-- Peter Errington (petere7@starpower.net), February 07, 2002.

TO elaborate:

First off, Salman Rushdie has been the absolute opposite of a friendly observer of the United States in the past.

He states "Western critics of America's Afghan campaign are enraged because they have been shown to be wrong at every step." Exactly right.

A great many of these critics flat out wet the bed, IMHO. One hopes that they would totally lose their reputation, but that probably won't happen.

-- Peter Errington (petere7@starpower.net), February 07, 2002.

Salman's cool. Not the huevos of an Anwar but then them philosophy types rarely do.

-- Carlos (riffraff@cybertime.net), February 07, 2002.

I like smoked Salman, almost as good as beef jerky.

-- (not@veg.head), February 07, 2002.

Fuck Europe with a capitol F.

They would all be speaking German, or Russian, if it wasn't for us. What did Europe do about ethnic cleansing in the Balkans? Shit is what they did, they looked to us to clean up their mess. (again)

The Europeans make a battlefield of their continent on a regular basis, they ignore genocide, they know that Saddam and company are seeking weapons of mass destruction (weapons that could be used against Europe), but won't back us up if we decide to try and put a stop to it.

Let them all eat shit and rot in hell.

Plus they don't shower. Stinky fucks.

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeeD@yahoo.com), February 08, 2002.

And all this time I thought they were just miffed that Coke changed their recipe : |

-- capnfun (capnfun1@excite.com), February 08, 2002.

I don't support you on this thought, Unk. European countries have seen more war [on their land] than anything you could conjure in your dreams. Personally, I don't think it's appropriate to say [fifty or so years later], WE defended YOU. YOU would be MUSH if it weren't for us. It just doesn't wash, and Europeans know why.

I agree with them. They bought into the Afghanistan thing because they honored their US allies and what had been done at the WTC. This whole "terrorism" war, however, is something that even *I* can't get a grip on. Why would one expect European countries to get a grip on it? Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Pakistan, the Phillipines. Where does it end? Germany knows damn well that they have known terrorists within their borders. That's been in the news for quite a while. Will the US go to war with Germany? Spain, also, had some terrorists arrested in the last few months. Will the US go to war with Spain?

This "war" is without definition and the strategy for defining enemies seems based on current thoughts about who is where, doing what.

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), February 08, 2002.

You can't "get a grip" on the war on terrorism? Maybe you need a week at ground zero.

-- (Mike Flaherty@FD.NY), February 08, 2002.

Dispute the fact that they would be "MUSH" without us. You can't. They can't. Well, mebbe the Germans would agree with you, they came kinda close to ruling that continent back in the 40s. They wouldn't have been MUSH. Well, there was that Stalin guy, he might have made a difference. Mebbe the USSR wouldn't have been MUSH. But then the Germans would have been. Along with every one else.

Oh yeah, they've seen more wars [on their land] than anything I can congure in my dreams, that was one of my points. Who comes to the rescue? Who is it that takes sides and sends it's sons and daughters off to war to end those "wars [on their land]"? We do. We also have to go into Bosnia because the fuckin French are too busy eating frog legs and sniffing their girlfriend's un-showered stinky hairy armpits.

Thankless bastards.

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeeD@yahoo.com), February 08, 2002.

Merde! Monsieur Oncle, you do not appreciate au naturelle? Tres tristesse.

-- (Collette@la.funque), February 08, 2002.

Anita, what do you think about the Rushdie piece printed above?

-- Peter Errington (petere7@starpower.net), February 09, 2002.


I'm not quite sure that I understand where you are coming from on this issue. Could yu be a little more specific in what it is about the Europeans that you don't like?

BTW, quick question for all:

If your an American when you go into the bathroom and your an American when you come out of the bathroom, what are you while your in the bathroom?

-- Jack Booted Thug (governmentconspiracy@NWO.com), February 09, 2002.

Why, European, of course.


-- Jack Booted Thug (governmentconspiracy@NWO.com), February 09, 2002.

JBT: Not necessarily true.

-- Peter Errington (petere7@starpower.net), February 09, 2002.

Anita, what do you think about the Rushdie piece printed above?

Like most articles, Peter, there are points on which I agree and points on which I disagree.

The European Community [at least those who participated in Afghanistan] did so because they were offered proof that they thought indisputable that bin Laden and his associates were responsible for the WTC center. As allies, we would expect them to do this, just as the US offerred THEM help when evidence was considered indisputable that THEIR land was "invaded" by specific enemies. They have always clearly stated that they would not blindly follow the US all around the world in an extensive, undefined "war on terrorism". I wouldn't consider this an "ungrateful" response, but a reasonable one.

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), February 09, 2002.

Anita, what about Rushdie's point about all those proven wrong about Afghanistan just not being able to stand it?

-- Peter Errington (petere7@starpower.net), February 09, 2002.


The French ARE ungrateful. Paris would still house a Vichy/Nazi regime to this day if it wasn't for us. They've taken just about every opportunity since WWII to rub their ungratefulness in our faces, too. They were embarassed that they needed help to throw out the Germans and have turned churlish as a result.

The British, on the other hand, have been great friends since WWII. They, unlike the French, have gratefully acknowledged our assistance.

Even though they were still quite capable of putting up a fight after the fall of France (the British Navy was the class of the world at that time), their sources of supply were being strangled by the German and Japanese. They were finding it increasingly difficult to replenish both their industrial raw materials and groceries.

In a slow war of attrition, the British were likely to lose eventually, notwithstanding the heroic stand that they made in the Battle of Britain, et. al. Oh, they'd have given the Germans a fight -- probably a lot better than they thought[g] -- but the inevitable end result would have been the Royal family evacuating to Canada and Great Britain becoming another Nazi possession.

(By the way ... every word that I just said comes directly from analyses done during the war by the British themselves.)

(Since your ancestors came from Norway -- which was also under the Nazi heel during WWII -- you should ask Lucky about that, too.)

I've been reading some of their objections (such as Mr. Patten's comments at MSNBC), and they're basically whining because we didn't consult with them before declaring Iraq an "evil" regime.

Well, that's a no-brainer. It IS an evil regime. Saddaam Hussein is as close to a Hitler as you could get in the modern era. Further, they are developing weapons of mass destruction. The time to act is NOW.

This is the inevitable clash of worldviews: accomodation and discussion vs. the threat of direct action. People like me say that we've tried the former for 50 years and it HASN'T WORKED. New York City ALONE is proof of that.

The Europeans think that they're the enlightened, rational ones; we Americans strike them as a bunch of cowboys. We're the New Kids On The Block, and it irritates them terribly that we HAVE become the world's remaining superpower.

Tough. We CAN go this war alone if we have to. I hope we don't; I hope our government makes every reasonable accomodation to retain their support. But if that means giving in to French demands that we leave Saddaam in place (as was the case in the Gulf War), then, well, so be it.

Goodbye, EU. Nice knowin' you. They need US more than we need THEM.

(For example, if they were stupid enough to try some sort of trade sanctions, it would destroy THEIR economies, not ours. We're their largest market for many cash-profitable items!)

-- Stephen M. Poole (smpoole7@bellsouth.net), February 09, 2002.

I consider it one man's opinion, Peter.

Stephen: Both Lucky and my dad came here before WWII. I've already sat through HOURS of stories on WWII with my dad's cousin in Bergen. Oh boy. I forgot your question now. Certainly, allies come to aid in periods of war WHEN the definition is clear on what the war entails.

Regarding Saddam, what has he done in the last 10 years? There's ABSOLUTELY no evidence to indicate Iraq involvement in 911, while there's TONS of evidence to indicate Saudi involvement. What's the deal with mentioning North Korea? What have THEY done to us lately? Oh...they're working on weapons. Didn't Bush tell India that it was okay to work on weapons? Why aren't we worried that India will "turn on us"?

Europeans [and even myself] can understand the desire to "get even" once a country has clearly demonstrated intent. What is less understandable is the desire to extrapolate on potential.

Here's a more "rational" article on the subject, again using information from a British journalist, and even in a Conservative rag. Heh.

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), February 09, 2002.


"If your an American when you go into the bathroom and your an American when you come out of the bathroom, what are you while your in the bathroom? "

Answer: Either pissy and/or shitty, it's an American thang ; )

-- capnfun (capnfun1@excite.com), February 09, 2002.

Regarding Saddam, what has he done in the last 10 years?

Denied entry to the UN inspectors that he agreed to when he signed the peace treaty, just for starters.

There's ABSOLUTELY no evidence to indicate Iraq involvement in 911, while there's TONS of evidence to indicate Saudi involvement.

Saudi *citizens,* but their government. You have that exactly backwards. Mohammed Atta met with a representative of the Iraqi government just prior to the attacks, for example. That's just one example of many. (These things have been widely reported, too, so it's a little surprising that you'd say something like that.)

There is NO evidence that the Saudi *government*, as a matter of policy, was involved in 9-11. They have been reluctant to help at certain points and to admit that Saudi *citizens* had been involved, but that's a different matter.

Bush's warnings are against STATES which knowingly and willingly support terrorism. Your comments about Germany above, for example, indicate to me that you miss this KEY point. The German *government*, as a matter of policy, does not support terrorists. As long as they make even the attempt to eliminate terrorists, I doubt seriously if Bush would target them.

M. Quaddafi has had no trouble figuring out what Bush meant; neither have the leaders of the Sudan. Both are assisting the US to ferret out terrorists in their territories because THEY don't want to suffer the same fate as Afghanistan!

Afghanistan's RULERS, the Taliban, were clearly giving aid and comfort to the enemy. We waited for weeks for them to turn over Bin Ladin and his associates. The Taliban flatly refused (in my book, making them candidates for the Darwin Awards, but that's as may be[g]), so they no longer have a state to govern.

What's the deal with mentioning North Korea?

The fact that they, too, are developing weapons of mass destruction and have clear ties to terrorist groups. (And again, you'd know this if you'd expand your reading a bit. This has been in the news.)

Didn't Bush tell India that it was okay to work on weapons?

If you're speaking of nukes, no, he most assuredly did not. If you say otherwise, gimme the proof.

-- Stephen M. Poole (smpoole7@bellsouth.net), February 09, 2002.

Sigh. Another unclosed tag.

-- Stephen M. Poole (smpoole7@bellsouth.net), February 09, 2002.

Two points:

(1) I agree with everything Stephen says, in his post above.

(2) As he points out, much of what he says should be common knowledge.

-- Peter Errington (petere7@starpower.net), February 09, 2002.

hopefully, back to normal.

-- Peter Errington (petere7@starpower.net), February 09, 2002.


I guess to be fair I should have mentioned that some members of the Saudi royal family game money to the Taliban prior to 9-11. But there's no reason to believe that they did so knowing that the Taliban was going to get tied up in the attacks on NYC.

Shoot, the US itself gave help to Al-Quaeda many years ago. (Which, of course, some of the knee-jerk anti-war types took as "proof" that it was "immoral" for us to then attack Al-Quaeda after 9-11, but thankfully, no one with any sense bought their "logic.")

The issue is what they're doing NOW. Many of the states and people who supported Al-Quaeda in the past have now written them off. A confession and change of heart will do.

Again, contrast this to the Taliban, which openly refused to turn over Bin Ladin after 9-11 (and after repeated warnings to do so).

Horse of a different color entirely.

-- Stephen (smpoole7@bellsouth.net), February 10, 2002.

The rest of the world is not as dumb as Bush. They know that the United States created the Taliban when the CIA funnelled millions to the Mujahadeen to give Russia a pain in the ass.

Now, the hypocrite tries to tell the rest of the world that they are responsible for the monster that he and his comrades created, and even has the gall to make threats against other nations.

Do you honestly think the rest of the world gives 2 shits what this lying crooked bastard says??

Bwaaaahahahahahaaaa!! Dream on, he'll get what is coming to him.

-- (dumbya@fascist.dictator), February 10, 2002.

How can you misunderstand so badly and why are you so willing to misconstrue? This has to be more than a Bush thing. There's a ferver in you that goes beyond American politics or America itself. Where are you really coming from? (yes, yes. sentence ended with a prepostition) A manifesto please. Some hint that gives a clue to this apparent mindlessness that I'm sure the rest of us are just too stupid to pick up on. You know what I'm talking about. Help us please.

-- Carlos (riffraff@cybertime.net), February 12, 2002.


You shouldn't assume that everyone else is as "stupid" as you, it's very disrespectful. If you are having a hard time acknowledging the utter hypocrisy and arrogance of Dubya's rhetoric, it's most likely because you are just all too much in love with him. The bias of your perception allows you to remain dumb and happy, and you seem to like it that way. Don't worry too much about knowing the truth if you don't want to, with time, it usually reveals itself anyway.

-- (don't worry @ be. happy), February 12, 2002.

Carlos, I'm surprised you'd even respond to this moron.

-- Maria (anon@ymous.com), February 12, 2002.

Maria is right. We are witnessing someone whose sense of identity is so tied up with a fucked up political viewpoint that he is beyond any rationality.

-- Peter Errington (petere7@starpower.net), February 12, 2002.

I am totally rational. Boooga, booooga, boooga

-- (dumbya fascist@repug.scum), February 12, 2002.


Dumb Maria and Smartass Errorton always attack the messenger because there's no way they can argue with the truth! Thanks for the chuckle!

-- (pass@the.popcorn!), February 12, 2002.

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