Why do they hate us? We still don’t care.

September 15, 2006 | By | 1 Reply More

Shortly after 9/11, we asked why “they hate us.”  We still haven’t considered who “they” are, much less “why” “they” allegedly hate us.  At Alternet, Matt Taibbi has posted a sharp criticism of America’s refusal to take this question seriously.

Taibbi correctly notes that America versus the World (similarly consider American versus the Middle East) is a simplistic starting point that yields only confusion.  Bush and his pals have framed the problem this way because they have simple minds that only see “good” people and “bad” people.  They grew up in an Us versus Them era that featured Capitalists versus Communists.  Such a binary paradigm is not fruitful in the modern era, where national boundaries are often blurred and abused by both powerful local organizations and by multi-national corporations.

So what homework has America done to consider why 9/11 happened?  Almost none. We’ve blown off the assignment and we’re in horrific denial:

For the most part, America looks pretty much like it looked before 9/11. We spend most of our time pounding Ding-Dongs and Sonic burgers, watching ESPN, and surfing porn sites, while transnational corporations — the silent allies of drug cartels and warlords in the dismantling of the traditional nation-state — install turnstiles in congress and steadily move our entire manufacturing economy overseas. Our culture is a parade of idiot reality shows where ordinary citizens eat caterpillars for money and southern jocks drive moving billboards in a circle at 200 mph in front of euphoric crowds of a hundred thousand. In the intellectual north, our braver political dissidents dress in t-shirts with the face of George Bush morphed onto a pig’s body and watch documentaries in which other intellectuals brag about being tricked by the Republicans into voting to invade the wrong country.

In the meantime, we still refuse to take the real world seriously.  According to Taibbi, our failure to deal with the real world demonstrates our lack of intellectual courage.  In other words, the Neocon denial of reality  is a cut-and-run from reality.  This Neocon world view is the one still smoked, inhaled and exhaled in the form of happy news by the mainstream media, which insists that patriotism and optimism are far more important than self-criticism.  Pictures of cruise missiles blasting off are much more compelling to the many citizens worried about “them” than stories fully documenting our systemic failure to educate the next generation.  It’s a vicious loop, of course.  Because we don’t truly educate our young, they are not prepared to appreciate the complexity of the modern world.  They are not prepared to even consider whether “they” hate us because of our conduct and policies, which we have so often enforced with our military.

Maybe we’ll find the determination to really consider what went wrong after America descends further toward third-world status.


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Category: American Culture, Current Events, Education, Good and Evil, Politics, The Middle East, War

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    Here's a relevant link from Pixwit.

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