Tuesday, September 21, 2004

We're Hated - So What?

I watched the president’s speech to the U.N. today (yeah, ministers get to watch TV at 9:30 in the morning), and for the most part I liked it, particularly his optimism, confidence in the power of liberty, and invocation of “God bless you” at the end. The fact that he didn’t level Kofi Anan and the others implicated in the Iraqi oil for food scandal tells me that Mr. Bush is a man of patience and temperance, while the U.N. is corrupt, morally bankrupt, and too stupid to know it’s not prudent to bite the hand that feeds you (22% of the U.N. budget comes from the U.S., not to mention that fancy building on the east river). John Kerry, of course, was quick to respond with some nonsense about Bush “lecturing” the delegates, which sparked off the daily debate. As I watched and listened today, it occurred to me that there is now another way to philosophically divide Americans - those who are ashamed of America for being hated and those who wear this hatred as a badge of honor. I am in the latter group.

Either America is evil and hatred of it is merited, or America is a decent country and the haters are evil. The correct answer is so obvious that only someone who already hates America or who is simply morally confused would choose the first. To assess the veracity of this, all we need do is compare America, a country that has liberated more people from tyranny than any other, and which has been a place of refuge, tolerance and opportunity for more people from more backgrounds than any other in history, with those who hate America. So here we go:

Militant Muslims hate America. These people include the former Taliban regime of Afghanistan, Al Qaeda and other Muslim terrorist organizations, the Islamic regimes of Iran and Sudan, and members of Hamas and the many Palestinians and other Muslims who support it. Now, what types of people are these, and what societies have they made or seek to make? To call the Taliban primitive is to insult the many primitive peoples who were light years more civilized than these totalitarians who forbade girls to get an education and prohibited women from such innocent activities as going to the zoo. They murdered anyone who loved liberty, beheaded any Muslim who converted to another religion, and blew up some of the most priceless sculptures of the ancient world because those works of art were of a different religion. Is it a good or bad reflection on America that the Taliban hated this country? Al Qaeda and other Muslim terrorists seek to impose Taliban-like regimes on everyone in the world, beginning with the Muslim world. They routinely slaughter innocent people - literally slaughter, as cutting off the heads of their human sacrifices is their preferred method of murder. They are monsters in human form. Is it a good or bad reflection on America that Al Qaeda and other Muslim terrorists hate this country? The Islamic regime of Iran has taken one of the brightest nations on earth back into the darkest past of human civilization. Their great ally is the genocidal regime of North Korea. Is it a good or bad reflection on America that the Islamists in Iran hate this country? The Arab Islamic regime in Sudan has killed about one million non-Arab, non-Muslim blacks in the south of its country. Rape and enslavement of these blacks is routine. Is it a good or bad reflection on America that the Sudanese regime hates this country? Hamas and its many supporters among Palestinians have developed a new theology of cruelty and death - that a Muslim boy who blows himself up while maiming and murdering as many innocent Jews as possible goes to heaven where he is then sexually serviced by dozens of virgins. In the annals of the history of religion, no analogous theology of cruelty and vulgarity has ever been devised. Is it a good or bad reflection on America that Hamas and its Palestinian supporters hate this country?

When you look at the roster of the America-haters and realize that none of them hates France or Sweden, this assessment of America-hatred is rendered even more obvious. America, largely alone, calls these groups and regimes what they are - evil. America, largely alone, wages war against them. And America, largely alone, prevents them from assuming far more power. In the last century, America’s enemies have read like a who's who of evil, led by Nazi, Communist, and now Islamo-fascist murderers. So, the question is, can we assess the moral quality of the American people by noting who our enemies are?

The answer is, yes! We should be honored to be hated by them. But not all Americans regard this hatred as a moral badge of honor. Some Americans regard this as a badge of shame. If we are hated, these people contend, it must reflect our moral failings, not the moral failings of those who hate us. So, for these people, the fact that throughout the Muslim Middle East, religious leaders pray publicly for the extermination of the Jews, that the leading Muslim scholars praise suicide mass murderers, that Arab newspapers regularly publish articles that manufacture Nazi-like lies about Jews only reflect on Jewish and American wrongs, not on the low moral stature of the haters. So, too, the fact that most Saudis and other Muslims in the Arab world applauded the terror of 9/11 says to these Americans and many other Westerners that something must be wrong with America, not with the societies that produce the terror and hate. This is the view of Europe, another place that dislikes America. But again the same question may be asked: After morally assessing, let us say, France, the leader in anti-American rhetoric, would you rather be admired or disdained by France? And would you rather be admired or disdained by the United Nations?

For this humble immigrant, and soon to be proud American citizen, those questions are rhetorical. Woe unto us if Saddam Hussein, the Iranian mullahs, the Sudanese regime, and the U.N. start liking us as much as they like France.

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