Below is a response to the titled article. The response is written by me, but also check out the article. There are many good criticisms but also some false ideas that I believe must be addressed in daily interaction and opportunities.
Article 25: Why do they hate us
By Peter Ford
I’d have to say that this article was both surprising and predictable and at times contradictory. I have more thoughts than I know what to deal with when I view the opinions opposing the United States. It’s easy, knowing the injustices that occur abroad to see the lack of action taken by the US and be frustrated, but in reading this article, I actually began to understand more America’s hesitancy towards action. In an attempt to perhaps cream the US foreign policy, I actually began to understand it.
The article was, in summary, a list of reasons why Muslims tend to be anti-American. The interesting things was that the focus was indeed Muslims and not just anti-Americans. The attempts to justify Muslim actions, just hurt my opinion of the Islamic efforts. Some said spread culture not war, when others seemed to say spread war not culture. The overwhelming idea, however, seemed to be—screw that country over, but please don’t do the same to us. When they said "Give us the same that you give to Israel," I began to see scores being tallied—the game of siblings against their parents.
It seems like the Muslim community has taken America to be the parent who is supposed to fairly settle their scores. I can see the opinions forming now in the minds of individuals who cannot see or know the aspects of governments and the key here is that we are friends with those who would befriend us. Will hostile acts of violence bring America running to your aid? Will militant history stand behind your talks of peace? Wherever can be found the double standard of America, can also be found the double standard of another Islamic country.
Should America be supprting Israel’s destruction of innocent lives? Of course not. The war between governments being acted out through the loss of civilian lives is an atrocious concept that the entire world seems to have adopted. In the same right, should America not be supporting every starving family in the Global South, find a cure for aids, stop world poverty and opression and hey, while we’re at it, send men to live on the sun? Is it America’s job to play the parent, to be fair, to help everyone on both sides of conflict. Would not equal aid to both sides be an equal double standard?
And then come the complaints about the spread of democracy. First the quote, "In few of the world’s 50 or so Muslim countries have governments offered their citizens either prosperity or democracy." They are, first, hostile towards democracy, but later in the article complain that the US has done little to spread equality or democracy. However now, living in a time where democracy in being instilled, it is being heavily fought against. Is there any consistency?
In addition to all of this is the idea of a religious war. The Muslims seem to forget that there are Muslim Americans as well. While I will not doubt that Americans themselves may forget, our government, I don’t believe, has. The issue has come when the Islamic governments have raised the flag of religious interactions and when these governments join together, as has been historic in action, against the said cause. If their cause is religious, then their religion has in it somewhere a flaw—a contradiction that endangers their own people as they stand in the name of Islam to kill the Muslim Americans who fight as well.
Some issues, however, I can see a point. This article was not entirely full of things for me to attempt to defend nor is that mine or the author’s true goal. The history of US militancy depends on who your asking for what cause. If you ask the one who is a "believer in peace—" an anti-war protestor or neighboring country to Iraq, they will say that the US is an overbearing military force that comes and changes everything to fit Western culture. However, if you ask that same believer in peace who is also protesting the cruelty in Darfur, they will tell you that the US is an inactive force that does not do anything to help when it sees conflict.
I can see the criticisms, the frustrations, the issues of dealing with ideas of betrayal and inconsistency. But I would ask that those countries look at the US for what it is and who it stands for. Is the US the UN? Should it be? Tell me honestly, what would you expect from a foreign government to do? It would be interesting to have the Muslims interviewed stand in my experiences and deal with my issues. I would like to see those who are complaining attempt to make peace out of continuous contradiction. Tell us clearly what you want and perhaps it may be achieved. But the moods that I received from reading this article was that of hopelessness and humility. Not because of what they said, but what was behind it—the God-like abilities and interventions that they seem to beg of a single foreign state, while its own people are crying for their own attentions.
I suppose in this I would remain behind my research paper in saying that the abilities and jobs of the government are limited more and more. Hands are tied by responsibilities to a variety of people. However as individuals within this free society, and as the Church of Christ, we are able. We have the ability to go where the "Americans" cannot. Where our government’s hands are tied, our arms are free to embrace. Perhaps the change in perspective cannot be relying entirely on a government serving its own, but on people who truly desire to see the change.