Saturday, December 08, 2012

Greenwald explains why other countries hate the U.S.

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Glenn Greenwald explains the obvious to those benignly naive Americans who can’t understand why anyone would possibly feel the need, no matter how unjustifiable, to advocate or use violence against their beloved country:

In the last four years alone, it has used drones to end people's lives in six predominantly Muslim country (probably more). Under its Nobel Peace Prize-winning leader, it has repeatedly wiped out entire families (including just this week), slaughtered dozens of children at a time, targeted and killed people rescuing and grieving its victims, and either deliberately or recklessly dropped bombs on teenagers (including its own citizens), then justified it with the most foul and morally deranged rationale.

It embraces and props up the world's most repressive tyrants. It isolates itself from the world and embraces blatant double standards in order to enable the worst behavior of its client states. It continues to maintain a global network of prisons where people are kept indefinitely in cages with no charges. It exempts itself and its leaders from the international institutions of justice while demanding that the leaders of other, less powerful states be punished there. And it is currently in the process of suffocating a nation of 75 million people with an increasingly sadistic sanctions regime, while proudly boasting about it and threatening more.

It spent years imprisoning even Muslim journalists with no charges. And then there's that little fact about how, less than a decade ago, it created a worldwide torture regime and then launched an aggressive war that destroyed a nation of 26 million people, one that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings.

Those are all just facts. And while there is no shortage of Americans willing to step up and dutifully justify some or all of those acts, it's so astonishing to watch people express surprise and bewilderment and anger when they discover that this behavior causes people in the world to intensely dislike the United States.

In short, you can’t play the part of a global bully and then act surprised when others want to punch you back. It doesn’t make them right to do so, but it is a predictable reaction to the very real offenses and atrocities the U.S. continues to perpetuate around the world.

‘Gangnam Style’ rapper PSY’s eight-year-old rap about murdering the families of U.S. troops who engage in torture is obviously and absolutely indefensible; no context ever justifies preaching senseless violence, much less against innocents. But being unjustifiable doesn’t equate to being unexpected, and to pretend that it’s all that shocking, especially during those years of rampant anti-Americanism under the Bush administration, betrays either critical ignorance or a lack of rational perspective.