Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The unasked question: Why do they hate us?

What's truly amazing about the response to the death of Osama bin Laden in the USA is the total absence of even a wisp of American self-appraisal in the face of the reality that people abroad hate the United States and everything they think we stand for. There's a total lack of intellectual curiosity and a total lack of honesty from those who should know better.

Nowhere have I heard or seen a reporter ask -- and I say so as a journalist who knows what real reporters should ask -- "Why did Osama hate us?" or "Why do his followers, sympathizers and distant fellow travelers hate us?"

In Latin America, the entire Osama episode is a funny joke.

Seen from their perspective, ten years ago the invulnerable, all-powerful Pentagon let two people armed with box cutters cut a hole in the headquarters of the U.S. armed forces. Now our public is angry at Pakistan for not realizing that Osama was among them? As if our government hadn't sent approved student visas to the 9/11 suicide attackers weeks after the attacks!

Ever heard of incompetence, fellow Americans? And I mean our own.

But back to the central issue here: Why are we as a nation so stupidly, stubbornly, embarrassingly incapable of demonstrating the slightest capacity to look at things from any point of view other than our own? How can such a narcissistic nation possibly aspire to lead the world?

Honestly, I wonder if there is anyone out there -- it's not on the radio, TV, in the newspapers, or in the blogosphere -- wonders why they, people other than Americans, hate us so much. I do.
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