Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Why Do They Hate Us So?

The Bush administration has a way of turning losers into losers with power.  Not long ago Jonathan Turley, on Countdown with Keith Olbermann, likened the Bush administration to the Sopranos because of their penchant for hiring criminals and for advancing the careers of those that show a willingness to step right up to the legal line and cross it when necessary.  George Bush seems enamored of the “honor among thieves” philosophy of governing, but with so many thieves running the country, we are quickly going broke and are increasingly (mysteriously) viewed by the rest of the world as a threat to world stability.  Bush can say that that sentiment is “absurd” all he wants, but our actions (and the results of our actions) speak for themselves.

There is a lot of talk in political circles about our failure to secure Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein, but rarely do we hear about the affects of not securing Afghanistan before we hightailed it out of there (abandoning our promises to the Afghan people) and turned our attentions (and military power) toward Iraq.  Getting rid of the Taliban was worth the effort, even if Afghanistan wasn’t a terrorist training ground, but we failed to do that, opting instead to run them out of the cities and into the countryside where they could regroup and organize an effort to fight another day, a day that may be right around the corner.  

Current President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai was hand picked by the Bush administration to lead the country after the war, but Karzai’s inability to exert influence beyond the city limits has earned him the nickname “Mayor of Kabul”.  Whether Karzai is respected by the people of his country or not is of little consequence to the Bush administration.  It has long been speculated that our only real interest in Afghanistan is in getting a natural gas pipeline built anyway.  Hamid Karzai worked on behalf of Unocal to get that project up and running before the war and despite his waning power, he will be supported by the Bush administration until that pipeline is built.  Secretary of State Rice just yesterday restated US commitment to Karzai.  He may be a loser, but he’s their loser and they still think he can deliver the goods.

Zalmay Khalilzad, current US ambassador to Iraq (former ambassador to Afghanistan), was also on the Unocal payroll as well as a member of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC).  Candidates in the Afghan elections say that Khalilzad worked behind the scenes in Afghanistan to ensure a Karzai victory, and once that mission was accomplished, he moved over to Iraq to oversee elections there (where again there were charges of backroom manipulations).  With all of the talk about “spreading democracy” in the Middle East and “re-building” Iraq and Afghanistan, you’d almost think we cared about the people there.  It’s clear that American interests are being protected in the region, what’s not as clear though, is who’s looking after the interests of the Afghan and Iraqi people.

It’s hard not to think that this is what “stay the course” really means.  Stay the course until we have secured access to the oil fields of Iraq.  Stay the course until we have built permanent military bases along the future route of the oil pipeline that Unocal wants to build.  Stay the course until the objectives of PNAC have been met.  The military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq are not about terrorism, WMD, or spreading democracy.  They are about securing control of energy reserves in the region.  Having our hand on the spigot secures our energy needs, paves the way for obscene profits for American companies and ensures that the US remains the dominant force on the planet.  The rest of the world understands this and we would do well to come to terms with it too.  If we do, we won’t have to wonder why the rest of the world hates us, the reasons for that become perfectly clear.

5 Comments:

Anonymous david said...

Former CEO of General Electric Jack Welch said, "In the end, winning companies are the only thing that sustains societies like ours. Governments create nothing."

One can call this attitude corporatism or old fashioned fascism, but the fact is the top 5% of America's income earners think that the world exists for them. They are the egoists with a sense of entitlement, not the welfare moms.

The latest in delusional Business Ethics is to ask What would Aristotle do? We should not forget that Aristotle was an apologist for slavery, the subjugation of women, and rule by a small wealthy elite. He was private tutor to King Philip's son, Alexander. Yes, the one who became Alexanader the Great and conquered the known world. I'm sure Jack Welch can see the ethics in that.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael Barone asks the exact same question....

"Why do they hate us? No, I'm not talking about Islamofascist terrorists. We know why they hate us: because we have freedom of speech and freedom of religion, because we refuse to treat women as second-class citizens, because we do not kill homosexuals, because we are a free society.

No, the "they" I'm referring to are the editors of The New York Times. And do they hate us? Well, that may be stretching it. But at the least they have gotten into the habit of acting in reckless disregard of our safety."

So why DO you lefties hate the historical U.S.?

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Betty Cracker said...

Multiple choice test -- who hates America?

A) Is it the people who are trying to change new policies that have deprived us of long-held liberties and blackened our reputation the world over?

OR

B) Is it the people who are tirelessly working to dismantle the principles upon which our democracy was founded?

If you guessed B, you win the prize. So why DOES the Bush administration and its apologists hate America? Hmmmm.

3:26 AM  
Anonymous Jonathan said...

Anonymous,

Liberals don’t hate this country. Neither do conservatives. Anyone who genuinely hates this country has, or should, leave. I’m sure they can find a nice place if they really desire to go. And we should all be happy to see them depart.

In general the liberals and the conservatives have the same goals. Physical safety, a chance to better one self and one’s lot in life (and off spring), and the right to pray to the God of their choosing, are but a few. The real difference is in the policy positions for attaining those goals. The problem I have with the right is that they don’t seem interested in reviewing the empirical historical data when deciding on what policy should be.

Avoiding unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases is a good example. Conservatives want to push abstinence as the only way to avoid either of these. But in doing so they carelessly and intentionally avoid the only conclusion that can be made by a rational person who has reviewed the real world data. The data tells us that abstinence only policy will result in more unwanted pregnancies and cases of sexually transmitted disease. Evolution has molded humans to desire to have sex. Simply telling young people not to have sex until they marry is outright foolish. Sex is going to happen. Liberals, on the other hand recognize that abstinence will work for some people and that it is important that our young folks know about this option. But liberals also recognize that other initiatives are needed if we truly desire to reduce unintended pregnancies. Our young people deserve to be given the best age appropriate information available regarding pregnancy, disease transmittal and so on. They need to know about condoms, the pill, and plan “B” in addition to abstinence.

We could go on and on about how our policies differ. But the bottom line is that the scientific method needs to be an integral part of policy setting if we genuinely want to get to our goals. It is clear that conservative ideology prohibits an honest, in depth, analysis for policy setting reasons. And that is why I will never vote republican again – because I want to actually attain our goals.

5:23 PM  
Anonymous americafirst said...

Some things never change. Liberals always Blame America First.

12:11 AM  

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