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Forum Post: "Why do they hate us when we're so good?" -- George Bush's poignant question

Posted 11 years ago on Sept. 16, 2012, 8:05 a.m. EST by flip (7101)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

"Uneven distribution of petroleum deposits has created a disparity of wealth and power in the Middle East. Gulf countries with relatively small populations have the most oil." - why is that? could it be because - " In the 18th and 19th centuries, major European nations competed to establish and maintain colonies around the world. Superior military power and economic leverage allowed them to create new markets for their manufactured goods, and to exploit the natural resources of the African, American, and Asian continents.

An oil derrick in 1909, in present-day Iran, during the early days of Persian oil-field development [ enlarge ]

Since the early part of the 19th century, Europeans vied to control the Middle East. The Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 divided the Ottoman lands between the British and the French, giving those nations control over any natural resources, most importantly oil.

Modern armies were thirsty for oil. The British navy was the first to switch from coal to oil in 1912, and other new technologies, like automobiles and airplanes, quickly and drastically increased the demand for fuel.

The United States was becoming an important player in world affairs during the early 20th century, and soon Americans found they, too, had a vested interest in developing and controlling oil reserves in the Middle East to supply their growing needs."

and that is how we end up with this - "So, for example, The Wall Street Journal, to its credit, immediately after September 11th, began raising questions about what are actually the attitudes of people in the part of the world to which this terrorist act was traced. Everyone assumed it, rightly, to be somehow connected to networks like the al Qaeda and others who were organized by the CIA and the British for their own purposes. In fact, the people who are now chasing them in caves in Afghanistan were the same ones who were training them fifteen years ago -- trained by the US Special Forces... So "What are the attitudes of people in that region towards the United States?" and these questions were explored with some minimal care, really, for the first time. I mean, it wasn't really done seriously. If you would do it seriously, you would not just ask the way The Wall Street Journal did: what are the opinions [of] what they called "moneyed Muslims"? Rich, rich guys -- bankers, professionals, partners in US multinationals -- people who were right inside the US system. I mean, it's interesting to know what they think, too, but that's not everything. And it's to their credit that they even looked that far.

And what they found, and if someone went a little bit further with minimal effort, they would discover that this question -- you know: "Why do they hate us when we're so good?" -- George Bush's poignant question -- it's a very old question, for it was asked by President Eisenhower in 1958 -- actually, in secret at that time. But now it's a pretty free country, we have a lot of documentary evidence so we know what's been going on. Back in 1958 -- which turned out to be a very crucial year in world history -- that was the year, in particular, in which the US fought a major clandestine war to try to break up Indonesia, and a number of other things. ... The US at that time had three major crisis areas, according to the internal discussions, all in Islamic countries, all in oil-producers. One was Indonesia, one was Algeria, one was basically Iraq -- the Iraqi region. Those were the three crises. It was made explicit in the internal meetings. In fact, Eisenhower, vociferously, according to the minutes, insisted on this: there was no Russian involvement. The enemy is indigenous nationalism. In fact, that's true throughout the Cold War, but very explicit then, and Eisenhower did discuss it with his staff, said there is a campaign of hatred against us -- not on the part of governments but on the part of the people, and we wanna know why that's true. And he got some answers. John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State, said the problem is that the communist -- "communist" just means anybody who's a nationalist, and the CIA was telling them strongly that their main enemy wasn't communist but it didn't matter, "communist" just means the ones we don't like -- and they said the communists have an advantage over us, an unfair advantage. He said they can appeal to the masses of the population. That's an appeal that we can't counter. And the reason is they appeal to the poor and the poor have always wanted to plunder the rich. That's the big problem with world history. And we somehow find it hard to sell our message that the rich can -- should -- plunder the poor. That sentence I added -- the rest was his.

But there was a more serious and considered answer given by the National Security Council, the highest planning agency. They pointed out that there's a perception in the Arab world that the United States supports status quo regimes which, of course, are brutal and oppressive, and does so in order to secure its own interests in obtaining oil, and then they said, well, it's hard to counter this perception because it's correct. They said it's natural for the United States to link itself up with the status quo regimes and try to sustain them and to pursue its interest in obtaining oil. So the end result is that there's a campaign of hatred against us among the people who we're basically robbing and on whom we're imposing harsh, brutal, repressive and corrupt regimes, and it's pretty difficult to counter that campaign. You know, that's exactly what The Wall Street Journal is finding after September 11th. It wouldn't take much research to discover this. Do a little more research you'd find out quite a lot, that this is very consistent.



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[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (23799) 11 years ago

The key is that this subjugation of the people of the Middle East has been going on for a long time, much longer than the creation of Israel, and much longer than the discovery of oil.

Anyone interested in getting into the psyche of "The Colonizer and the Colonized" should read the book by Albert Memmi.

If you want to understand, truly, how the West has depicted the East throughout history, read "Orientalism" by Edward Said.