Sunday, July 22, 2007

Bush world in microcosm

The "Why do they hate us?" line is often used rhetorically, as when it is tossed out, it is rarely answered.

Mohsin Hamid was born in the United States and then moved back to Pakistan, he comes at the question with a depth of both world experiences. He answers:

Part of the reason people abroad resent the United States is something Americans can do very little about: envy. The richest, most powerful country in the world attracts the jealousy of others in much the same way that the richest, most powerful man in a small town attracts the jealousy of others. It will come his way no matter how kind, generous or humble he may be.

But there is another major reason for anti-Americanism: the accreted residue of many years of U.S. foreign policies. These policies are unknown to most Americans. They form only minor footnotes in U.S. history. But they are the chapter titles of the histories of other countries, where they have had enormous consequences. America's strength has made it a sort of Gulliver in world affairs: By wiggling its toes it can, often inadvertently, break the arm of a Lilliputian...

...The challenge that the United States faces today boils down to a choice. It can insist on its primacy as a superpower, or it can accept the universality of its values. If it chooses the former, it will heighten the resentment of foreigners and increase the likelihood of visiting disaster upon distant populations -- and vice versa. If it chooses the latter, it will discover something it appears to have forgotten: that the world is full of potential allies.

That last paragraph seems simple and logical enough, not particularly disagreeable.

But then look at the comments:

jailkkhosla wrote:
While travelling the expressway the other day I stopped at a rest area. I noticed an ugly sight.

A bunch of Muslims had taken over the side walk leading to the restrooms to offer prayers to their arabic god Allah. The area was busy and others politely walked around the Muslims on th parking lot on their way to the rest room.

I found the episode very ugly.

The first reason of course is that these Muslims were insulting God publicly by associating their founder Muhammad and the family god he he promoted to chief diety, Allah, with the True God.

Secondly, they were taunting the rest of us by usurping the sidewalk when they could easily have used a portion of the lawn to offer their prayers. It was a gorgeous sunny day and a mild one at that.

infantry11b4faus wrote:
if you are islamic then you are THEY! and you hate us because you have been told that the god of islam demands it. not just hate but the most vile and evil anyone can imagine outside of the nazi movement, which islam supported in ww2.

DebChatterjee wrote:
Quite frankly, khosla is right on the money. Americans suffer from selective sightings and suffer from preferred visions - they can't see the writing on the wall. As Khosla points out, wait till the Muslim population crosses the 20 million mark in USA. Islam, claimed to be the fastest growing religion in USA, shall replace the US Constitution by the Shariah laws very soon. Another 30 years maybe ... ???

The pinhead contingent is still strong in this country.

Thanks Fred Hiatt.

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