by Jacob G. Hornberger
While there has been much discussion over why Muslims hate Americans, much less attention has been given to why neocons hate Muslims. While it might be true that some neocons hate Muslims for their religious and cultural values, I think there is a better explanation for their hatred. I think the real reason that neocons want to kill Muslims so badly is that people in the Middle East, who are predominately Muslim, have refused to accept the domination of the U.S. Empire, especially in the aftermath of the Cold War, when the U.S. became the world’s sole remaining empire. That refusal has earned them the everlasting enmity of American neocons.
Think about the U.S. invasions and regime-change operations in Grenada and Panama. Once they were completed, the citizens of both of those countries meekly accepted the new order of things. They quickly embraced the newly installed pro-U.S. regimes. No terrorist attacks. No violent insurgencies in either country. Instead, full and complete acceptance of the new world order.
Not so, however, in Iraq and Afghanistan. In both countries, large numbers of people have refused to do what the people of Grenada and Panama did. Instead, Iraqis and Afghanis have refused to kowtow to the Empire. In both countries, both men and women have refused to accept its invasions, occupations, and regime-change operations. Countless Iraqis and Afghanis have even been willing to sacrifice their lives in resistance to the foreign interference with their countries, much as they did when the British Empire and the Soviet Empire invaded Iraq and Afghanistan in the past.
Consider Iraq. After the Persian Gulf War, the U.S. Empire imposed possibly the most brutal sanctions in history on the Iraqi people. Year after year, Iraqi children were dying from infectious illnesses arising from untreated water and sewage owing to the inability to repair water-and-sewage treatment plants that the Pentagon had intentionally destroyed during the war.
Why did U.S. officials continue the sanctions year after year for more than 10 years knowing that they were causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children? Because the Iraqi people, most of whom happened to be Muslim, obstinately refused to comply with U.S. demands to oust Saddam Hussein from power. For that obstinacy, they needed to be punished. That’s what the sanctions were all about. (See this link for a compendium of excellent articles on the sanctions on Iraq.)
U.S. officials emphasized that the sanctions would be lifted once Iraqis complied with U.S. demands to oust Saddam from power and install a pro-U.S. regime. Even though the sanctions never succeeded in ousting Saddam from power, when “Sixty Minutes” asked U.S. Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright whether the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children had been worth it, she replied that such deaths were, in fact, “worth it.” After all, what better way to punish people for recalcitrance to the Empire than to maintain a system that kills their children? (See “Albright Apologizes” by Sheldon Richman.)
Consider Iran. The reason that neocons hate Iran is the independence that Iran shows toward the Empire. If the Iranian regime were to adopt the subservient and obedient attitude toward the Empire that, say, Libyan military strongman and terrorist Mohammar Qadaffi has adopted or, for that matter, that the pro-U.S. Shah of Iran adopted, everything would be hunky dory.
The neocon mindset about Muslims is much like the mindset of plantation owners in the Old South. As long as the slaves were obedient, respectful, and subservient, everything was fine. Oh, sure, slaves would periodically complain about their condition in life but, by and large, such complaints were considered acceptable. What was not acceptable was resistance and opposition to slavery itself, especially when it turned violent. That was when a message had to be sent. Such an uppity attitude simply could not be tolerated.
And that’s the way neocons view Muslims in the Middle East. They’re just too uppity. Like the slaves in the Old South, it was incumbent on the people in those countries to accept the new world order after the fall of the Berlin Wall. When the U.S. Empire spoke, they were supposed to listen, submit, and obey.
But as we all know — from the attacks on the World Trade Center in 1993, the attacks on the USS Cole, the attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the attacks on 9/11, and the violent resistance to the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan — there are people in the Middle East, who just happen to be Muslim, who, unlike the citizenry of Grenada and Panama, have refused to submit to the Empire and obey its commands. And that is what has earned them the everlasting hatred of the neocons.
Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.
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