Sunday, January 07, 2007

“Why Do They Hate Us?”
(Could it be because they see us as Ferengi?)

Etymology: The name "Ferengi" is an Arabic name for European traders, or for Westerners in general. Both the Arabic word and the name are similarly pronounced feringhee. The name is likely derived from the Arabic word faranj or ifranj = "Franks" or possibly the Persian word farangi, meaning "foreigner" or (most likely) the Hindi/Urdu word ferengi, which is a dialectic varietion on the Persian word. In Ethiopia, ferenj or ferenji has the same meaning. The Greeks used Farang or farangi to refer to western Europeans, especially from Catalonia. The Star Trek usage was taken from the above usage.[1] - Wikipedia

Any who have followed the Star Trek series, will instantly recognize the Ferengi as “They and their culture are characterized by a mercantile obsession with profit and trade, and their constant efforts to swindle people into bad deals.” (Wikipedia) Hmmm, any of you out there feeling the ‘shock of recognition’?

After the events of 9/11 perhaps the most asked question by most Americans was a plaintive “Why do they hate us?” Through all the various organs of our culture, educational, mass media, entertainment, we (Americans) are always shown our own visage in the very most complementary aspect possible. Our every action is, according to all of our various media, always and forever motivated from the highest of altruistic motives. Forget the fact that quite often many of our humanitarian ‘contributions’ following disasters have a rather high component of outdated medicines, stale or surplus foodstuffs that would otherwise be written off.

And, unfortunately, this is not a new aspect of our culture, it has been a consistent pattern since our very inception. It has only grown more pronounced with time.

The concept of America as a ‘City upon a hill’ originated with John Winthrop in 1630. Of course, to see ourselves as that ‘city upon a hill’ we Americans have had to constantly and continually gloss over our own history as ethnic cleansers and land thieves par excellence and genocidists that put the Nazi Germans to shame. And yet, even with our undeniable history of persecution and racism we see ourselves as, somehow, a ‘chosen people’ of unparalleled charity and goodness.

Almost from our earliest days, starting at least with the ‘Monroe Doctrine’ of 1823, we have arrogated to ourselves a ‘special relationship’ with the other countries in our hemisphere. It has been interpreted, throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, to ‘empower’ the U.S. to act as a hemispheric ‘policeman’. This policing has usually involved invasion and garrisoning of our chosen target, usually to extract raw materials from the countries at first and then to shape the internal economies and cultures of those countries and societies, always to U.S. or corporate benefit.

We have systematically overthrown regimes not to our liking and replaced them with tractable puppets/dictators who we allowed to monstrously oppress their own populations as long as they danced to the tune played in Washington or various corporate boardrooms. By installing/supporting such Washington lackeys who oppressed their own people, we have created a large and growing tsunami of hatred and disgust among the populations of the world (Papa Doc’s, Shahs, Mobutus, etc., too numerous to mention are not the people; they are the bought and paid for lackeys) .

“Why do they hate us?” Rather than plaintively wail such nonsense, it might do us well to wipe the fog of self-adoration from the mirror and take a long, hard look.

1 comment:

timber said...

I once heard a Veterans for Peace speaker say that about 75% of our "foreign aid" takes the form of military aid. Even if the number is closer to half, that's a damning contradiction of our own delusional self-image. We support somewhere between 700 and 1000 military bases around the world, in addition to carrier strike forces, patrols of nuclear-armed subs, and ongoing covert operations; how many humanitarian missions do we support?

But don't expect many people in the military to acknowledge their mission, any more than we can expect it from some anonymous technocrat at Sandia Labs or Los Alamos, diligently pouring millions of tax dollars into secretive projects to develop new tactical nukes or bioweapons; none of these people will ever accept any responsibility for their actions. They're ALL just "doing their jobs," "following orders," and "trying to support their families."

I read "Backpacker" magazine, and I saw a letter in a recent issue from an Iraq vet who talked about how great it is that he could help rebuild Iraqi schools, as if those schools didn't exist before they were bombed by his own comrades, and as if the US had never supported Saddam Hussein. The same guy would have been sending home pictures of himself posing with Saddam in front of his palace
20 years ago. It's an obscene and dangerous form of willful ignorance.

But the Pentagon and all its attendant crony agencies and vendors are the engine of this state-socialist war economy, and without it American capitalism would have long since collapsed, so don't expect the fake peace advocates in the Democratic Party to suggest cutting military spending. Better to play along with the myths of "crazy Ayrabs" who hate us for our freedoms than to challenge the status quo. After all, we can't possibly do anything that might threaten our chances of putting another fake liberal DLC hack like Obama or Hillary into the White House in '08 can we?

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