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QUOTATION: People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing. - Walter H. Judd

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2004-10-12 - 12:22 p.m.

”They” Hate Us 'Cause We’re Free? Dubya, I Think You're Wrong Again

President Bush couldn't think of even one mistake he's made in his first term of office. Let me help him out.

Our President and Vice President would have us believe that Osama bin Laden and his Muslim fanatical followers have decided to go on a crusade against America because we’re so rational, so tolerant, so wonderful, and so free. It’s our freedom they hate, they say.

We have a family joke, "Please don't hate me 'cause I'm beautiful." Kind of an inside joke about a Christmas-card cousin who complained about not getting or keeping jobs, not having women friends, etc. because she's so beautiful. I didn't fall for that narcissistic and simplistic answer she gave for her social problems, just as I’m not falling for that narcissistic and simplistic answer for terrorism. I believe it is just plain wrong.

Osama bin laden didn’t just emerge from nowhere. Our country created him and his passion for destroying us. We funded him, supported him, and even armed him in order to “liberate” Afghanistan from the Red Army. And, of course, when he turned on us, we ultimately had to “liberate” Afghanistan again – this time from the Taliban. In Afghanistan, the Taliban came to power as reformers, driving out the warlords, who were corrupt and brutal. We have now brought the warlords back to power, and Afghanistan is now once again one of the world's greatest sources for opium. Now we’ve “democratized” Afghanistan. Who knows how many times we’ll have to “liberate” Afghanistan in the future?

From what I read, we face terrorism, an insurgency, directly because of our interventionist policies in the Middle East. They’re coming after us over here because we are over there. For one thing, they resent our support for Israel. We, in theory, went after Iraq because they ignored the United Nations resolutions. Israel is in defiance of more than 60 resolutions. How can we talk about the rule of law when Israel’s occupation and illegal settlements are a violation of international law? What of the human rights violations of Palestinians? How can we legitimately pressure Iran and North Korea, while we remain silent about the nuclear arsenal Israel has built and continue building our own? The Arab countries, including Iran, have repeatedly called for a nuclear-free Middle East. And speaking of WMD, the United States has never confronted Israel about its weapons of mass destruction. And we wonder why the terrorists are angry at us? Seems pretty clear to me.

After reading Chalmers Johnson’s Blowback:The Costs and Consequences of American Empire, it seemed abundantly clear that this is Blowback time! We’ve supported Russia, India and China against their Muslim militants, applied pressure on Arab energy producers to keep oil prices low for our energy-greedy needs, and often supported corrupt and often tyrannical Muslim governments. The United States is hated because of specific U.S. interventionist governmental foreign policies and actions – not because we defend freedom and all that is good and just in the world.

Furthermore, our country is not above its own terrorist plots. Such as a March 8, 1985 car bomb that went off in a Beirut suburb. Its intended target was a radical Muslim leader, but 80 mostly women and children were killed and some 200 others wounded. According to Bob Woodward of the Washington Post, this was the work of CIA director William Casey, who had enlisted the cooperation of our friends, the Saudis. And, of course, a few months later, “blowback,” a term coined by the CIA, a cost of their activities: Arab “terrorists” hijacked a TWA flight from Athens and executed a US Navy seaman on board. They declared it payback time for the Beirut car bombing, as well as a 2000-pound shelling from the battleship New Jersey that had rained down on Beirut the year before.

People of Allied Countries (and 52% of U.S. citizens) Believe Iraq War Has Increased Threat of Terrorism

More than two-thirds of the people of Australia, Britain and Italy, three countries allied with U. S. in Iraq war (they left out Poland!), believe the war has increased threat of terrorism. President Bush and three out of ten in the U.S. think it has decreased – a view promoted by the Bush administration.

The Jaffe Center for Strategic Studies at Israel’s Tel Aviv University substantiated the view that the Iraq war did not decrease the threat of terrorism, but, in fact, “has created momentum for many terrorist elements,” drawing Islamic extremists from other parts of the world to join the battle. Shlomo Brom, a retired Israeli army general, said “the U.S.-led effort is hurting the war on international terrorism.”

President Bush’s foreign policy style has been characterized as bullying, unreceptive, brazen. The result has been a disastrous loss of international support of our traditional allies, damage to U.S. credibility, the tarnishing America's image and a devastating war that has already taken more than 1,000 American and countless Iraqi lives. I agree with Senator John Kerry, who in the first presidential debate argued that only with a change of presidents could the damage be undone. (It’ll be a thankless job, I predict. If he wins, I suspect the Bush combatants will immediately be on the attack to discredit and/or impeach, just as they were with President Clinton!)

Please, don't hate me 'cause I'm free...or beautiful.

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