Stone put it succinctly: "Every government is run by liars and nothing
they say should be believed." In my lifetime, I've seen absolutely nothing
to prove him wrong. For example, when the most recent alleged terror plot was
announced, President George W. Bush dutifully trotted out this old favorite:
"There are people that still plot and people who want to harm us for what
we believe in."
People want to harm
us "for what we believe in." Repeat it often enough and it's bound to
convince somebody, I guess . . . but is there really anyone out there who
actually buys this line of reasoning? If so, please raise your hand because I'd
love to meet you. I'd love to ask you: What exactly do "we" believe
in and why would it motivate anyone to take down a commercial airliner?
We're told it's our
freedoms that irk so many people but does anyone truly assume that some of our
fellow earthlings are motivated to plot and sometimes commit mass murder simply
because we have the Spice Network? C'mon, if you're looking to get on someone's
nerves, surely you can conjure up something far more infuriating.
maintaining a massive nuclear arsenal. Next, make sure you're the only country
to ever use such weapons in battle (on civilians, no less). Finally, go around
threatening any country (except Israel, Pakistan, and India) that even
contemplates starting a nuclear program.
If you want to get
someone irate enough to blow themselves up and take a whole lot of folks with
them, you could drop bombs on their babies on a regular basis or enforce
sanctions that kill a half-million kids and then brag about it on "60
Minutes." That would likely result in more than enough anger to provoke at
least a declaration of war.
example of provoking hatred took place recently when, as reported in the New
York Times, Israel "asked the Bush administration to speed delivery of
short-range antipersonnel rockets armed with cluster munitions" (M-26).
This request is likely to be approved but any delay in that approval due to
"concerns over the likelihood of civilian casualties" in Lebanon.
Human Rights Watch calls the M-26, "a particularly deadly weapon."
Bonnie Docherty, a researcher with the group, said these rockets were also
"used widely by U.S. forces in Iraq and caused hundreds of civilian
Call me crazy, but
I'll bet behavior like this will piss off a lot more people than, say, the
existence of "multi-cultural day" at your local grade school.
The only belief of
ours that "they" might hate is our propensity to engage in aggression
and repression anywhere on the globe. Consider this: If your neighborhood was
bombed into the Stone Age -- your children buried in the rubble -- and the
taxpayers funding those bombs walked around saying you were ignorant enough and
narrow-minded enough to hate them "for what they believe in," how
forgiving would you be?
"I wonder how
the foreign policies of the United States would look if we wiped out the
national boundaries of the world, at least in our minds, and thought of all
children everywhere as our own," says historian Howard Zinn. "Then we
could never . . . wage war anywhere, because wars, especially in our time, are
always wars against children, indeed our children."
Z. is the author of several books, most recently "50 American Revolutions
You're Not Supposed to Know" (Disinformation Books). He can be found
on the Web at www.mickeyz.net.