In the wake of 9/11 I could not understand how and why people with whom we had not ill feelings toward could carry out the most massive act of mass-murder in American history and claim by doing so they were doing Almighty God a favor. I get the fact that crazy people exist and it is true that the people carrying out the evil of 9/11 were just a couple of dozen extremists. This however does not explain people in certain corners were dancing in the streets in celebration as Americans mourned the senseless loss of 3000 innocent people.
My curiosity and quest for understanding led me to online discussion board very similar to this one but with a few key differences. The Internet has no borders and that discussion board was based overseas. Additionally although the membership spoke English, its participants were made up of people who identified with and supported a world view more common in the Middle-East than what is common in America. So I had my golden opportunity, to finally learn what the heck was these people's problem.
I honestly was expecting to see posts like infidels must be put to death and western values like letting women drive cars, wear bikinis and normalizing homosexuality were corrupting the world but I was wrong. Instead I got one of the biggest eye-openers of my life, so much so that I doubted the things they were saying. What I learned and independently confirmed was various covert acts of US aggression that were relatively unknown in America were common knowledge in other parts of the world. I thought I was the informed one and they were ignorant to what was going on the world but it turned out the opposite was true. Examples:
- Going back to 1953 while CLAIMING to make the world safe for democracy we overthrew the first democratically elected President of Iran and installed a brutal puppet dictator. Why? Because the democratically elected president wanted to charge western corporations for their country's only natural resource, oil and they wanted it for free. After 30 years of living under a homicidal tyrant, it was this act that motivated the Iranian hostage crisis and fostered the strong theocratic, anti-western reign of the Ayatollahs when they would have had a pro-western democracy.
- Saddam Hussein came to power in Iraq because America supported a coup that brought the Bath Party to power. Eventually Hussein rose to become its leader.
- In the 1950s the first democratically elected government of Congo was overthrown by Belgium but orders were also given to US operatives to do the same; Belgium just got to it first. Its first ever democratically elected Prime Minister was tortured to death and since then there has been continual war in the region.
- Ironically, on 9/11 but in the year 1973 the US overthrew the government of Chile and installed another brutal dictator. Various reports and investigations claim that between 1,200 and 3,200 people were killed, up to 80,000 people were interned and as many as 30,000 were tortured during the rule of our US backed dictator. Why did we overthrow their government and install a murderous dictator? Their government threated to curb the sales of Cola-Cola in Chile and they had to go.
- Most disturbing was our overthrow of the government of East Timor as killers armed with American supplied weapons massacre of between 100,000 and 200,000 civilians.
Then add Iran-Contra, Desert Storm that could have been prevented had not our ambassador essentially told Saddam to go ahead and invade Kuwait, helping Saddam brutalize his people by punishing them with no food or medicine that international observers said caused 500,000 innocent children their lives and then our Secretary of State said "was worth it."
Likely more aware of this history than the average political pundit, in 2009 President Obama spoke a various venues around the world signaling a new era of mutual respect. His clueless American critics cynically labeled it the "Obama Apology Tour."
In more recent times President Obama has been accused of being "weak" costing America international respect for not backing a dictator in Egypt, not taking sides in in terms of military action in Syria where there are no "good guys" to back on either side and now I guess they want him to nuke Russia over Ukraine. Should we return to the 20th Century model of US foreign relations that ends up leading to America being seen as a hypocritical bully or should we keep out and let people work out their own issues?