Why Do ‘They’ Hate Us?

Why hate us?
Pakistanis hold up a burning mock drone aircraft during a 2011 rally against drone attacks in Peshawar.

Why do “they” hate us? The answer ought to be so obvious that there’s no need to actually explain it. Glenn Greenwald (the whole post is well worth reading):

Far from believing that another 9/11 can’t happen, I’m amazed that it hasn’t already, and am quite confident that at some point it will. How could any rational person expect their government to spend a full decade (and counting) invading, droning, cluster-bombing, occupying, detaining without charges, and indiscriminately shooting huge numbers of innocent children, women and men in multiple countries and not have its victims and their compatriots be increasingly eager to return the violence?

…I realize that screaming “9/11” has been the trite tactic of choice for those seeking to justify the U.S. Government’s militarism over the last decade, but invoking that event strongly militates against the policies it’s invoked to justify, precisely because those policies are the principal cause of such attacks, for obvious reasons.

…Anwar Awlaki was once such a moderate that he vehemently denounced the 9/11 attacks, got invited to the Pentagon to speak, and hosted a column in The Washington Post on Islam — but then became radicalized by the constant post-9/11 killing of Muslims by his country (the U.S.).

There are plenty of intelligent people in the White House, the State Department, and the Pentagon. Why is our foreign policy so boneheaded?

UPDATE: Members of Congress call on Obama to justify drone strikes

“We are concerned that the use of such ‘signature’ strikes could raise the risk of killing innocent civilians or individuals who may have no relationship to attacks on the United States,” the members of Congress, led by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), wrote Wednesday in a letter to Obama. “Our drone campaigns already have virtually no transparency, accountability or oversight. We are further concerned about the legal grounds for such strikes under the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force.”

“The implications of the use of drones for our national security are profound,” they added. “They are faceless ambassadors that cause civilian deaths, and are frequently the only direct contact with Americans that the targeted communities have. They can generate powerful and enduring anti-American sentiment.”

UPDATE: Ibrahim Mothana: How Drones Help Al Qaeda

Anti-Americanism is far less prevalent in Yemen than in Pakistan. But rather than winning the hearts and minds of Yemeni civilians, America is alienating them by killing their relatives and friends. Indeed, the drone program is leading to the Talibanization of vast tribal areas and the radicalization of people who could otherwise be America’s allies in the fight against terrorism in Yemen.

Clive Stafford Smith: I Met a 16-Year-Old Kid. 3 Days Later Obama Killed Him

UN Investigator Says Drone Strikes May Constitute War Crimes

Killings may be lawful in an armed conflict but many targeted killings take place far from areas where it’s recognized as being an armed conflict. [If] there have been secondary drone strikes on rescuers who are helping [the injured] after an initial drone attack, those further attacks are a war crime.

Related One Utah posts:
Why Do ‘They’ Hate Us? (October 6, 2010)
Why Do ‘They’ Hate Us? (October 20, 2009)

  1. #1 by knight4444 on June 13, 2012 - 10:27 am

    Nice post Richard but like I’ve said over and over and over the guys in the whitehouse aren’t ”boneheads” they’re simply the other side of the coin from the republicans! Why are Obama’s foreign policies basically the same as bush’s?? open you’re eyes! Don’t worry fellas I won’t make a habit coming here posting the truth good post Rich

  2. #2 by brewski on June 13, 2012 - 11:06 am

    The hole in your theory is that “they” have hated us long before all the reasons you list. So your theory makes no sense given the timeline. You might as well blame 9/11 on events than happened on 9/12.

    Why do the KKK hate black people? Is it black people’s fault for not being nice enough to the KKK? Or is is that the KKK has adopted a hateful philosophy and that the hate is the fault of the KKK themselves? According to your theory it is the fault of black people.

  3. #3 by Richard Warnick on June 13, 2012 - 11:13 am


    I didn’t quote the part where Greenwald addresses the standard right-wing myth that the USA did nothing bad prior to the 9/11 attacks.

    Prior to 9/11, of course, the U.S. spent decades propping up dictators in that part of that world, overthrowing their democratically elected leaders, imposing devastating sanctions that killed hundreds of thousands of Muslim children — literally — and then blithely justifying it like it was the most insignificant problem in the world, arming, funding and diplomatically protecting continuous Israeli aggression, and otherwise interfering in and dominating their countries.

    Again, these facts ought to be so obvious that it’s no longer necessary to re-state them. Anyway, the point Greenwald is making is that the next 9/11 attack will be the result of our boneheaded foreign policy that we have now.

  4. #4 by brewski on June 13, 2012 - 11:21 am

    “What are we calling you to, and what do we want from you?
    (1) The first thing that we are calling you to is Islam.

    (a) The religion of the Unification of God; of freedom from associating partners with Him, and rejection of this; of complete love of Him, the Exalted; of complete submission to His Laws; and of the discarding of all the opinions, orders, theories and religions which contradict with the religion He sent down to His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Islam is the religion of all the prophets, and makes no distinction between them – peace be upon them all.

    It is to this religion that we call you; the seal of all the previous religions. It is the religion of Unification of God, sincerity, the best of manners, righteousness, mercy, honour, purity, and piety…
    It is the religion of Jihad in the way of Allah so that Allah’s Word and religion reign Supreme. And it is the religion of unity and agreement on the obedience to Allah….”

    – Osama bin Laden

    So “They” want us to become Muslims and obey the Quran and be Jihadists.

    So Richard, I guess what you are saying is that “They” are right, we need to all become Muslims, obey Mohammed, obey the Quran and have our wives wear burkas.

    Somehow I don’t think Glen Greenwald will agree with you on that.

  5. #5 by cav on June 13, 2012 - 11:47 am

    The radicalism of Osama Bin Laden has been very publicly rejected by the vast majority of Muslims throughout the world.

    And while I’m not so naive as to think there will never be ‘blow-back’ from our misguided and bloody empiric underhandedness, I will not be reading those articles that are meant only to keep us ramped-up adrenally and in support of giving the MIC such destructive orders as they themselves throw onto the table.

  6. #6 by brewski on June 13, 2012 - 11:58 am

    “The promised reset of relations with the Islamic world has amounted to a surge in Afghanistan, an expansion of drone attacks in Pakistan and elsewhere, the assassination of top al-Qaeda leaders, the non-closure of Guantanamo, continued support of autocratic leaders in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and other countries, a virtual love embrace of Netanyahu, and an escalation in hostility toward Iran just short of military intervention.

    As Martin Indyk, Kenneth Lieberthal, and Michael O’Hanlon write in the Washington Post, “despite his Cairo speech, despite his time growing up in Indonesia, despite his effort to pressure Israel to freeze settlements and despite his withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, Obama enters his reelection campaign with his own popularity (and that of the United States) in the broader Islamic world mired at levels similar to those of the late George W. Bush presidency.” Obama, in other words, has demonstrated his re-electability by running against Islam, not for it.”


    Richard, you must be racist though to criticize Obama. Glenden said so.

  7. #7 by Richard Warnick on June 13, 2012 - 12:46 pm

    (1) Osama bin Laden’s letter followed a traditional formula. The pro forma invitation to convert is necessary before waging war on non-Muslims.

    (2) Obama embracing Netanyahu is a loser’s game, same as trying to get bipartisan deals with Republicans in Washington.

  8. #8 by brewski on June 13, 2012 - 2:17 pm

    (1) And?

  9. #9 by Richard Warnick on June 13, 2012 - 2:58 pm

    And… whatever appeal bin Laden was making to other Arabs and Muslims was based on the doctrine of defensive jihad.

  10. #10 by Nathan Erkkila on June 13, 2012 - 7:51 pm

    In all honesty, if we have to take out people in Pakistan, I’d rather have the US use drones instead of invading the entire country and fucking that place up as well.

  11. #11 by cav on June 13, 2012 - 8:20 pm

    Either / Or.

  12. #12 by cav on June 14, 2012 - 8:35 am

    The cause of this anger is clear and rational; as even a Rumsfeld-commissioned 2004 study explained: “Muslims do not ‘hate our freedoms’, but rather they hate our policies.”

  13. #13 by Shane on June 14, 2012 - 10:34 am

    …and here comes brewski, living proof of the acusation we are the united staes of amnesia. Things we did in other countries before 9/11? Hell we can’t remember breakfast!

  14. #14 by brewski on June 14, 2012 - 1:10 pm

    Shane, I take it you are converting to Islam and becoming a Jihadist.

  15. #15 by cav on June 14, 2012 - 3:14 pm

    There’s nothing wrong with ‘warring’ on plutarchs. It’s not as if they were elected or anything. Ridicule, boycotts, denying them attention in every way possible, pointing out their crimes and other shortcomings are certainly fair approaches to their arrogance. They should be made ‘poor’ – to grasp how the other 99% live.

  16. #16 by Shane on June 14, 2012 - 8:04 pm

    Careful cav, people like coulter and mitt can threaten the common folk, but threatening the royal hIgh mucky mucks gets you in trouble…

  17. #17 by cav on June 14, 2012 - 8:39 pm

    If I pray they get hit by lightnening, that’s just petitioning the Lord to get off His butt and git some justice a crackin’.

  18. #18 by cav on June 14, 2012 - 8:41 pm

    Ps, we’re already in trouble.

  19. #19 by cav on June 14, 2012 - 9:26 pm

    The principled left, or what’s left of the left, can not continue to try to confront the radical, proto-fascist, emotionally deranged and outright LYING, and unprincipled immoral ’empire-thinking’ hard-right by fighting with both its ‘word-smithing’ hands and mouth behind its back!!!

  20. #20 by Larry Bergan on June 14, 2012 - 9:52 pm

    Since the foreclosures started, they don’t hate us as much now. In about a thousand years, things will calm down.

  21. #21 by Richard Warnick on June 21, 2012 - 10:15 am

    UPDATE: UN Investigator Says Drone Strikes May Constitute War Crimes

    Killings may be lawful in an armed conflict but many targeted killings take place far from areas where it’s recognized as being an armed conflict. [If] there have been secondary drone strikes on rescuers who are helping [the injured] after an initial drone attack, those further attacks are a war crime.

  22. #22 by brewski on June 21, 2012 - 10:34 am

    Now you understand why Obama doesn’t want to charge W with crimes?

  23. #23 by cav on June 21, 2012 - 10:50 am

    Hawks of a feather…

  24. #24 by Richard Warnick on June 21, 2012 - 11:43 am

    I don’t believe President Obama or Attorney General Holder ever gave a moment’s thought to enforcing any of the laws against torture and war crimes.

    Like Nancy (“I could have arrested Karl Rove”) Pelosi, they probably thought it was a good idea to take all that off the table in the name of bipartisanship. Now AG Holder is being cited for contempt of Congress, and if they get the chance Republicans will impeach President Obama on a similar invented charge. Maybe Dems need to learn a lesson.

  25. #25 by brewski on June 21, 2012 - 12:56 pm

    ” they probably thought it was a good idea to take all that off the table in the name of bipartisanship.”
    No they didn’t. Bipartisanship was the last thing Pelosi and Obama ever thought of. What they were thinking was that they would be next. So better not open that can of worms.

    “Now AG Holder is being cited for contempt of Congress,”
    As he should be.

    “and if they get the chance Republicans will impeach President Obama on a similar invented charge.”
    Obama will be out on the speaking circuit by January.

    “Maybe Dems need to learn a lesson.”
    Yes, stop being incompetent.

  26. #26 by Richard Warnick on June 21, 2012 - 1:23 pm


    I can remember when the Republican and Democratic congressional leadership occasionally put the nation’s best interests ahead of party. Those days are gone. Of course, Dems err on the side of cowardice to protect themselves (ignoring actual violations of federal criminal law), and the GOP errs by making unsupportable charges.

    AG Holder put a stop to an ill-conceived ATF program that began under the Bush administration. Congress ought to thank him.

    But no, House Republicans are pandering to paranoid right-wing conspiracy theorists who watch Faux News Channel.

  27. #27 by brewski on June 21, 2012 - 1:34 pm

    “AG Holder put a stop to an ill-conceived ATF program that began under the Bush administration.”
    Then he has nothing to fear by complying with a subpoena.
    Then what is there to cover up?
    Sounds Nixonian to me.

    “I can remember when the Republican and Democratic congressional leadership occasionally put the nation’s best interests ahead of party.”
    Yes, that ended on October 23, 1987

  28. #28 by Richard Warnick on June 21, 2012 - 2:19 pm

    Chairman Issa hasn’t been able to find anything he can use to make accusations against the Obama administration, so he wants to abuse his subpoena power to conduct a fishing expedition. That’s why the President asserted executive privilege.

  29. #29 by brewski on June 21, 2012 - 2:52 pm

    OK Mr. Liddy.

  30. #30 by cav on June 21, 2012 - 4:21 pm

    Issa also has other issues he’ like to never see the light of day, and this is a perfect mask for that.


  31. #31 by Larry Bergan on June 21, 2012 - 6:52 pm

    When I read about Pelosi saying they could have arrested Rove, I was very angry. I hate to say it, but brewski is probably right about them not wanting to open a can of worms, especially since life in Washington is pretty cushy. This is not a good situation for the country.

    If justice prevailed though, there would be a lot more Republicans in trouble then Democrats.

    As for the theory that Holder – whom I’m not a great fan of – created this scandal for the purpose of gun control is absolutely laughable, but not funny.

    This is going to end with no harm to Holder and everybody knows it. It’s a media distraction, just like the Edwards trial.

  32. #32 by cav on June 21, 2012 - 8:04 pm

    Larry, Bev Harris cracks open a box of real FUN.


  33. #33 by Larry Bergan on June 21, 2012 - 8:36 pm


    What could go wrong?

    Pay attention to the sound of my voice…
    You are feeling very sleepy…

    The machines are working…

    the machines are working…

    When I click my fingers, you will wake up feeling better then you’ve ever felt in your life.


  34. #34 by Larry Bergan on June 21, 2012 - 8:42 pm

    Did you know that there were questions about the election of Kennedy over 50 years ago?

  35. #35 by cav on June 21, 2012 - 8:58 pm

    Bev is one of my favorites.

    And yes, while there have always been questions about outcomes and no doubt there always will be, there are certainly better ways of conducting and verifying the vote than the way we’ve come to think is so classy. But you know all of this.

  36. #36 by Larry Bergan on June 21, 2012 - 9:32 pm

    If we ever get out of this mess, Beverly Harris will be remembered as the one who got us out.

    Unfortunately, we will be dependent on these abominable machines to elect our president in 2012. Amazing, isn’t it?

    Funny – not really – how some of the media is allowed to talk about every other questionable election practice: redistricting, voter caging, voter fraud, money in elections, negative television ads, notices that tell people to vote on the wrong day, absentee ballot problems, intimidation, ect, ect, ect…

    But there could NEVER be problems with the machine code. Every time somebody says to vote the bums out, a little part of me dies.

    It has driven me crazy and it’s Bev’s fault, but I love her anyway.

  37. #37 by Richard Warnick on June 22, 2012 - 9:30 am


    You mentioned the Edwards trial. I’ve been trying to ignore it, but one question bothers me. If the case against Edwards was so weak, why did they bring it?

    Think of all the prosecutions the DOJ could be pursuing, for clear violations of the laws against torture, for example.

  38. #38 by brewski on June 22, 2012 - 12:12 pm

    The one thing that bothers me is that guy could have been VP.

  39. #39 by cav on June 22, 2012 - 1:16 pm

    OOr that other fellah, or that gal.

  40. #40 by Larry Bergan on June 22, 2012 - 6:18 pm


    I heard somewhere that Pat Buchanan admitted the courts have been packed over decades. It may not be true he said that, but Pat does have a habit of tossing a REAL hot potato out there from time to time. Even if Pat didn’t say that, it’s obvious that there’s a problem with judgements ALWAYS going against the people; and I’m not limiting this phenomenon to the supremes.

    As Nancy Pelosi highlighted recently, Karl Rove should have been thrown in jail for ignoring a subpoena involving serious matters affecting the public. There were absolutely NO reports about that anywhere in the media – including NPR. But Edwards was everywhere, all the time and now it’s Holder. The Democrats will do absolutely nothing to stop this nonsense and Karl Rove will the luxuriating in Romney’s Park City mansion this weekend laughing at the American people for letting them steal our elections with voting machines.

  41. #41 by Richard Warnick on June 23, 2012 - 11:17 am

    The problem with the Edwards prosecution was that he did nothing illegal. Federal campaign finance laws are so loose that it would be difficult to find a way to violate them if you tried. It was obviously a waste of time for the DOJ to go after Edwards, so that leaves me wondering why.

    I wish I knew why Nancy Pelosi didn’t put Karl Rove behind bars for contempt of Congress. About 80 percent of the people would have cheered. If she thought that being nice to Republicans would make the GOP return the favor, then she didn’t know who she was dealing with.

  42. #42 by Larry Bergan on June 23, 2012 - 11:32 am

    I can guarantee you that at least one American would have cheered Karl Rove being forced to spend the rest of his life at Disneyland.

  43. #43 by brewski on June 23, 2012 - 2:14 pm

    Rove was never held in contempt, so he could never have been arrested. Richard and Pelosi need to brush up on their law. Advertising one’s ignorance is unwise.

  44. #44 by cav on June 23, 2012 - 3:19 pm

    “The only way I could have been arrested is if the House adopted the resolution, which it did not. So, it’s nice to know that Speaker Pelosi wanted to have me arrested. It’s nice to know that she thinks she had the power to but we’re still a nation of laws and she has no authority to do so and had she attempted to arrest on any of the number times that I was in and out of the Capitol, without a resolution passed by the entire House of Representatives she would have been up the proverbial creek without the proverbial paddle,” Rove said.


  45. #45 by Larry Bergan on June 23, 2012 - 4:20 pm

    So, when a republican criminal doesn’t show up for a subpoena, it’s now a proverb?

    Fuck me!

  46. #46 by cav on June 23, 2012 - 4:27 pm

    Proverbially IOKIYAR

  47. #47 by cav on June 23, 2012 - 4:28 pm

    Proverbally IOKIYAR

  48. #48 by Richard Warnick on June 23, 2012 - 5:11 pm


    Former Speaker Pelosi’s point was that could have had Rove arrested if he ever set foot in the Capitol. This is true. From the CRS (PDF):

    On July 30, 2008, the Committee met in open session and ordered [H.Rept. 110-847, resolution recommending that the House of Representatives find Karl Rove in contempt of Congress for refusal to comply with a subpoena duly issued by the Committee on the Judiciary] favorably reported, without amendment, by a vote of 20 to 14.

    It would have taken a vote of the full House (a “civil enforcement resolution”) to issue a general arrest warrant for Rove.

  49. #49 by Larry Bergan on June 23, 2012 - 5:52 pm

    Arrest the full house!

  50. #50 by brewski on June 24, 2012 - 9:35 am

    This is true? How is it true if Rove was never held in contempt? You mean it was true except that it was false?

  51. #51 by cav on June 24, 2012 - 11:22 am

    He was in contempt for having shined on the subpoena. That Pelosi and the rest failed, once again, to hold him (or anyone besides the ever resourceful taxpayer) accountable, could be viewed as a failure to uphold the law. But in the grand view of things, Rove is just ‘one of them’, so they’ll continue their dancing as though none of the rest of us really mattered – which we don’t.

  52. #52 by cav on June 24, 2012 - 11:51 am

    If those charged with enforcing the laws don’t, well, then lawlessness it is.

  53. #53 by cav on June 24, 2012 - 1:44 pm

    One-hundred-thirty members of Congress or their families have traded stocks collectively worth hundreds of millions of dollars in companies lobbying on bills that came before their committees, a practice permitted under current ethics rules, a Washington Post analysis has found.

  54. #54 by brewski on June 24, 2012 - 6:36 pm

    Throw them all out. Seriously.

  55. #55 by cav on June 25, 2012 - 8:34 am

    Michael J. Burry, in the video below, delivers the keynote address at the 2012 UCLA Department of Economics Commencement. In it, he describes the process he undertook in determining that the credit bubble would pop, the housing sector would crash, and that the financial world’s blindness to the obvious would, if property harnessed, vault him into the 1%. All of it t was 100% foreseeable. There was no “black swan”. Yet, our most esteemed economic leaders were completely blind to it.

    In 2010, Burry wrote an op/ed in the New York Times (text following video) entitled, I Saw the Crisis Coming. Why Didn’t the Fed? No member of government ever reached out to Burry to discuss the issue – to see if there was any way to bring his focused wisdom and uncompromised analysis to a government that was tragically deficient. Instead, within 2 weeks of the publication of the op/ed, all 6 of his defunct funds were audited. Soon thereafter, the FBI initiated an investigation into his activities.

    Greenspan’s prodigies are beyond compromised. That the IRS and the FBI were sent to create havoc for Burry is a form of abuse of process. Our democracy is failing us. Checks and balances have been subverted by money, people in leadership positions protecting their failed legacies, and absolute impunity for the power elite who are successfully marginalizing the truth-tellers. As Burry notes, they are rewriting history.

    There is a war against truth being waged by our leadership. They have the upper hand. The truth is going to have to make an end-run around the mouthpieces that seek to silence the Michael J. Burrys of this world. Fortunately, we are at a watershed in terms of tools at our disposal that can spread truth faster than mainstream sources can corrupt it. Let’s share, tweet, retweet, and social network our way to overwhelming the misinformation-industrial complex.


  56. #56 by cav on June 25, 2012 - 8:59 am

    “The hyper-rich are facing something worse than death: becoming poor. Do you think they will go quietly? I think they will do whatever it takes and sell it to us in the name of ‘saving the system.'”

    “From the very start of this crisis what concerned me, above all else, was the almost total lack of any real and meaningful debate. Decisions have been made that will affect us for generations to come, but did we ever truly hear competing ideas, explanations and alternative solutions? I certainly didn’t.

    All I heard was a worrying unanimity.

    Bankers, financial experts, journalists and politicians all repeating each other with the same absolute, shrill, conviction. Only a seemingly endless series of vast bank bailouts, they told us, could avert otherwise certain and catastrophic disaster. It was all far too complicated for the likes of you and me to question what we were not qualified to understand.

    David Malone, Debt Generation

  57. #57 by cav on June 25, 2012 - 9:18 am

    Redundancy Alert!

    At least 34 members of Congress, including current House Speaker John Boehner, recast their financial portfolios after meetings with former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, his successor Timothy Geithner or Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, the Washington Post reports. The meetings and portfolio rearrangements took place in January 2008, when then-President George W. Bush was negotiating with Capitol Hill over a $150 billion stimulus package to stave off an emerging financial crisis.

  58. #58 by cav on June 25, 2012 - 9:19 am

    Why Do They Hate Us?

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: