Oh, why, oh, why, do they hate us so much?

English: John Pilger NS head shot

…..So rang the cries of many Americans on 11th September 2001. Well, this clip from John Pilger‘s, The War You Don’t See, illustrates what the problem was and how U.S. foreign policy since that terrible day has not improved the reputation of the U.S.A. throughout the world one jot….


About I Am Not A Number

I Am Not A Number is written by Chris Jury. For 30 years Chris Jury was a TV actor, director and writer best known for playing Eric Catchpole in over 60 episodes of the BBC’s antique classic, Lovejoy, and for directing over 50 episodes of Eastenders. In 2008 he was appointed as the Senior Lecturer in Recorded Media in the School Of Music & Performing Arts at Bath Spa University. He currently presents, Agitpop, a pop & politics radio discussion programme on North Cotswold Community Radio http://www.agitpopradio.org.uk He is currently the Communications Officer for UCU at Bath Spa University and a UCU SW Regional Rep at SWTUC.
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8 Responses to Oh, why, oh, why, do they hate us so much?

  1. But Israel was made safe from Saddam.

    • Saddam wasn’t a threat to Israel! There is only one country in the middle-east that definitely has “weapons of mass destruction” – that’s Israel who have had nuclear weapons for 30 years. Mordechai Vanunu revealed this to the UK press in 1986 and was kidnapped by Mossad for his troubles and spent 18 years in prison, 11 of those in solitary confinement.

  2. That’s a very interesting story about Mr. Vanunu (I linked to his Wikipedia article). I am a big fan of news programs and it is surprising how much relevant information is never distributed to the public. For example, from none of the American media have I ever heard anything about Mordechai Vanunu. We are only given information which is politically correct.

    • You really do need to read some Chomsky. Manufacturing Consent is a good starting point. The role of the press in all this is crucial. Without a free and responsible press that investigates and challenges corporate and state devised narratives how are democratic citizens supposed to make meaningful judgements about the actions of those in power? Even Dan Rather has admitted that if the U.S. TV and quality print press had done their job in the run up to the Iraq war the war would never have got public support and as a result probably not have happened. Instead in the hysteria following 9/11 the U.S. press became part of the government machine that justified and executed an illegal and more importantly an immoral war.

  3. 77notout says:

    And yet despite this terrible truth, we witness daily the on-going tragedy and complete waste of people and resources that is the war against terror in Afghanistan. I believe that the majority of politically/socially aware people in the UK know that this conflict is wrong and yet still it continues. One cannot help but feel the futility of our world when such problems remain unresolved.

    • True, it can be very depressing and it is clear that our ruling elites think nothing of sacrificing the lives of millions of civilians and hundreds of thousands of young working class men & women to pursue their own vain-glorious agenda. But all over the world people are recognising the brutal nature of the power structures and are resisting. In Syria the UN estimates that over 5,000 have already died in the attempt to overthrow the Assad regime and many more may have to die before the regime falls. In Egypt Mubarak has gone but now the people have to resist the entrenched power of the army. In the West the poorest members of society are being asked to pay for the structural failures of a system that has created a tiny class of super wealthy (the 1%) who have got rich on the backs of the other 99%.

      One can either react to this with fear, apathy, depression and disillusion or recognise that to challenge the wealth and privilege of these elites is unsurprisingly going to involve a fight. History shows us that they are going to try to preserve their wealth and privilege as sure as eggs is eggs and they will be prepared to use violence to do it. But along the way we’ll win some, we’ll lose some, but as the last 200 years in the West have shown, overtime the autonomy, living conditions and democratic rights of millions can and will be improved.

  4. I understand your point of view concerning Israel not having to fear Saddam because of its stockpile of nuclear weapons. But even though several nations have possessed nuclear weapons for decades and even though several of these nations have been involved in sizable conflicts since becoming nuclear powers (including Israel), there has not been a nuclear weapon used in conflict since the two were dropped on Japan in WWII. This isn’t to say that Israel wouldn’t resort to their use – I believe they wouldn’t hesitate under the right circumstances. But their situation would have to be dire and they would have to have a logical and sensible target. If Saddam had remained in power he, or his sons, would have continued to threaten Israel and Iraq’s then-sizable army would have only had to travel a relatively short distance to reach Israel.
    It troubles me to think that the militaries of the US, UK and other countries were duped into fighting and dying for Israel, but I really think that that is what happened.
    It has been my opinion for several years now that the explanation for the invasion of Iraq which makes the most sense is that it was done to protect Israel. You will never hear this theory mentioned anywhere in American media. It is a view which is definitely not politically correct. If you do a Google search of say “Iraq War fought to protect Israel,”you will find a number of sources which support my view. Consider who the people were who were advising President Bush and encouraging him to attack. When you consider who the players were the theory seems more viable.

    • You say: “It has been my opinion for several years now that the explanation for the invasion of Iraq which makes the most sense is that it was done to protect Israel.”

      Well, clearly the U.S.A is firmly committed to the support of Israel, come what may, and certainly the fear of Iran gaining a nuclear capacity is directly linked to the threat this would pose to Israel and the horrifying possibility of a massively destructive nuclear conflagration out of the control of the U.S. – a potential nuclear WW3.

      But I actually think this was a minor concern in regard to Iraq and that the motives for both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are relatively easy to discern. At a strategic level the U.S.A will soon be largely dependent upon middle-east oil. The idea of ‘liberating’ the Iraq people from the totalitarian regime of Saddam and in the process installing a “democratic” regime that would be pro-U.S.A, actually makes sense even though it is entirely self-serving and amoral at best.

      Combine this with the fact that the U.S. President at the time of 9/11 was a Bush and it all clicks into place. George’s father had fought the first Iraq War but failed to topple Saddam. Even before 9/11 there had been serious conversations about finishing the job in Iraq and bringing down Saddam by military force (revealed in White House papers published as part of U.S. freedom of information legislation). These conversations make it clear that Bush Junior’s motive here was to make his mark in history by being a more successful military President than his Dad. The problem was that before 9/11 such a war could not have been sold to the American electorate. After 9/11 the American people were desperate to kick some Arab/Muslim butt, any Arab butt would do, and Saddam looked an easy target to Bush, Cheney et al – i.e. U.S. military supremacy in the light of 9/11 could be reasserted, an evil dictator toppled from office with minor Western casualties and the U.S.A would be seen as “liberators” by a middle-eastern population that otherwise sees the U.S. as a tyrannical defender of Israel. In the process George Bush and Tony Blair’s places in the history books as saviours of the world would be assured. What’s not to like?

      And so “in pursuit of their Falklands war”, Bush & Blair closed their eyes and ears to all the evidence from Sudan, Palestine and the previous Russian sortie into Afghanistan, that indicated to any even moderately informed observer (me for example) that an American army invading Iraq would not be regarded as liberators and on the contrary fiercely resisted even by those who wanted Saddam or the Taliban toppled.

      U.S. Foreign policy since WW2 has been a moral and political disaster. The U.S. Army have been involved a number of appalling wars in the third world (Korea & Vietnam to name but two), that led to the slaughter of millions of civilians. In addition the C.I.A has covertly intervened all over the world to undermine left-of-centre but democratic and popular regimes and replacing them with pro-U.S.A totalitarian regimes all in the name of defending the world from the “threat of Communism”.

      For the last 40 years the U.S.A and the U.K. have not been promoting freedom and democracy in the middle-east; on the contrary they have been intimately involved in supporting most of the middle-east tyrants (including Saddam and the Taliban!) that are now threatened by the popular uprisings of the “Arab Spring”. As a result the U.S.A is widely regarded as a hypocritical, self-serving and tyrannical Imperial oppressor in much of the middle-east (and most of the Third world actually) and the results of the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan were entirely predictable and indeed were predicted by many commentators in Europe and the rest of the world. In the U.K. Over 2 million people marched against the war and Blair had to lie to Parliament and his own Cabinet to win the vote to go to war.

      I don’t think we need a conspiracy theory to explain Iraq/Afghanistan, we just to recognise that the industrial military complex is always looking for an excuse for war and that Bush and Blair were so vain-glorious that were willing to risk the lives of millions of other people to secure their place in history and it worked because already history is judging them and finding them wanting.

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