Monday, March 14, 2005

Hating Our Policies, Not Our "Freedom"

World Hatred Is Tool For Terrorism Posted by Hello

I am not of the persuasion that the terrorists (or the world for that matter) hate us because of our freedom. This line of reasoning, which prevails in our current political discussions over 9/11 and the War on Terror, is as dangerous as it is wrong--and that's saying more than a mouthful. People residing in Arab countries dislike the United States for many reasons but chief among their reasons are a) our "no-questions asked" relationship with Sharon and Israel b) their perception of the United States as an aggressor, bent on neoliberal hegemony and c) their no-so-unrealistic impression that Americans are rife with Islamaphobia. They see little difference between modern-day American and the imperial Western powers of years past... and all of these for good reason.

According to MIT Center for International Studies, the below figures are taken from "a poll conducted by University of Maryland asked respondents in five arab states- Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, and Lebanon- to identify their 'single most important issue,' including domestic issues."

Statistics concerning Arab Countries:

1. Egypt- 79% Palestinian-Israeli conflict
2. Jordan, Kuwait, UAE, and Lebanon- 60% Palestinian-Israeli conflict
*20 percent of the last 4 countries mentioned had it in their top 3 issues*

Zogby survey found little support for U.S. policy toward Palestinians.
1. 2%-6% of those in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Lebanon
2. 10% in UAE
3. 89%-94% in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Lebanon dissaproved of US mideast policy
4. 10% of Pakistan approved of US policy (79% dissaproved)
5. 5% of Indonesia (75% dissaproved)
6. 3% in Iran (95% dissaproved)

US approval and dissaproval rate in four Muslim countries:
1. 61% of Pakistan dissaproves of USA with only 21% approval
2. 63% dissaproval by Turkey to 30% approval
3. 88% dissaproval by Morocco to 11% approval
4. 93% dissaproval by Jordan to 5% approval
5. 69% dissaproval by Lebanon to 20% approval
6. 73% dissaproval by UAE to 14% approval
7. 94% dissaproval by Saudi Arabia (note where hijackers came from) to 4%
8. 98% dissaproval by Egypt to 2% approval

Asked whether they hate our freedoms or policies:
1. 76% in Jordan said policies
2. 78% in UAE said policies
3. 79% of Lebanon said policies
4. 81% in Saudi Arabia said policies
5. 84% of Morocco said policies
6. 95% in Egypt said policies

Asked if what America does is more important than who she is?:
1. Jordan- 76-16 say "yes"
2. Egypt- 90-1 say "yes"

How about our European Allies?
1. 60% if British despise American foreign policy
2. 70% in Germany, France, and Spain also despise our foreign policy

Sadly, many Americans would be startled--even offended--by these findings.
To many, though, these numbers are as predictable as the morning sun. Either way, Americans ought to take these findings seriously. They could do so by asking themselves and their political and religious leaders a few questions, including but not limited to:

1. With the hatred that "hostile" and "non-hostile" states alike have for the USA, do you believe that we are in fact more/less safe than before 9-11 and/or the capture of Saddam?

2. Is it fair to question whether our invasion of Iraq has fueled an already deeply-rooted resentment among Arab countries and is being used as a tool for the recruiting of potential terrorists?

3. Does the world hate us on account of our freedoms or because of our wars of aggression and dealings with the Palestine/Israel conflict?

Whichever way we answer, one thing ought to be certain: so far as the Arab world is concerned, the USA is anything but a "city on a hill."

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