Dr. Kwame Nantambu

Why People Hate America and Americans: Update
Posted: March 13, 2003
An analysis by
Dr. Kwame Nantambu

One of the most significant questions to emerge after the very tragic terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001 is: Why do people hate America and Americans?

In a nationally televised address to a joint session of Congress one week after the World Trade Center/Pentagon attacks, President George Bush answered this question as follows:

"They hate what they see right here in this chamber. A democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other."

At the outset, it must be stated quite categorically that contrary to President Bush's assertion, one of the reasons why people hate America and Americans is not because they are jealous of America's freedoms and/or way of life.

The fact of the matter is that people do not hate America and Americans because "The Donald divorced Marla"; people do not hate America because "Kim Basinger was beaten up by Alec" or because Pink is not coming out this season to get her NBA party started with a brand new beat.

People do not hate America and Americans because Cindy Crawford caught her hubby cheating with a college co-ed or because "Britney cracks up.as playboy Justin parties," or because "Julia Roberts kicks out her lover."

People do not hate America and Americans because Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob filed for divorce or because "J-LO filed divorce papers against her husband Cris Judd."

People do not hate America and Americans because "Soprano" start Jamie Lynn-Sigler "is battling anorexia" or because on 6 November 2002, a Beverly Hills, California jury found actress Winona Ryder guilty of "stealing more than $5,500 worth of merchandise during a shoplifting spree at a Saks Fifth Avenue last year."

The fact of the matter is that people hate America and Americans because of the nature and modus operandi of America's foreign policy.

In the words of one Canadian:

"It is definitely not jealousy. At least not in my case. We hate how America tends to be extremely arrogant, ignorant to much of the world, and seems to only consider violence the best way."

People hate America and Americans because America has:

. "Supported repressive monarchies and dictatorships.
. Ignored torture and other human rights abuses by (their) allies.
. Suppressed and helped attack democratic movements."

Let us recall that:

. In May 2001, "the United States was voted off the U.N. Human Rights Commission.(as) an opportunity for countries.to express dissatisfaction (with America's foreign policy)".

. "The Bush administration has decided to renounce formally any involvement in a treaty creating an international criminal court and (declared) that the signing of the document by the Clinton administration is no longer valid,"

. "Despite fierce U.S. opposition, advocates of the first permanent international war crimes court.obtained more than the 60 government ratifications required for the creation of the tribunal."

. "(On 3 September 2002), the International Criminal Court held its first meeting.ignoring a U.S. campaign to undermine its jurisdiction by exempting Americans from prosecution;" but in the case of non-Americans, the U.S. Pentagon Department has already set the stage "for prosecution of the Iraqi high command before U.S. military tribunals.for aiding or abetting crimes on the battlefield or for failing to investigate subordinates' alleged violations."

This unilateral action reflects America's Arrogance of Superiority at its racist zenith.

. The Bush administration has warned foreign diplomats that "their nations could lose all U.S. military assistance if they become members of the International Criminal Court without pledging to protect Americans serving in their countries from its reach."

However, despite the U.S. "arrogance of power," the Court could begin prosecuting cases in 2003.

People hate America and Americans because of its ethnocentric and etrocentric policy toward Iraq as opposed to North Korea.

The fact of the matter is that unlike President Saddam Husein of Iraq, the leadership in North Korea has:

. Declared that it possesses one or two nuclear weapons.
. Removed U.N. seals and surveillance cameras from nuclear facilities
. Expelled U.N. nuclear weapons inspectors
. Continued to produce and store chemical-biological weapons of mass destruction.
. The capability to reach the West Coast of the United States with long-range missiles
. Violated international atomic treaties
. Withdrawn from the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and
. Restarted a mothballed nuclear complex capable of producing weapons grade
plutonium and threatened to resume missile testing.
. Threatened to abandon the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War.
. Reactivated a nuclear reactor as a first step toward production of additional nuclear weapons within one year.
. Intercepted an unarmed U.S. Air Force spy plane on a surveillance mission
near North Korea's coast" on 1 March 2003. In this "threatening and provocative" act of aggression, the North Korean jets "came within 50 feet of the U.S. aircraft.in international air space."

The fact of the matter is that any nuclear threat from Iraq on America is at best five years away while nuclear threat from North Korea on America is now.

And contrary to President Bush's assertion, Iraq does not pose "a direct threat to the security of the United States (and) the American people (are not) at the mercy of the Iraqi dictator and his weapons (of mass destruction.)"

Yet the Bush administration has not threatened to launch a military invasion of North Korea. In the words of Secretary of State, Colin Powell: "We have made it clear, we have no aggressive intent (and are) looking for ways to communicate with the North Koreans."

The Bush administration has therefore decided not only to launch "diplomatic efforts," but also to offer a "bold initiative" that would "bring aid, energy, and eventually even diplomatic and security agreements to the country."

Let us recall that European nations are also against U.S. policy toward Iraq.

In fact, France says "it will fight to prevent war in Iraq," and along with Germany and Belgium on 10 February 2003, "vetoed a U.S.-backed plan for NATO to protect Turkey from any retaliatory strike by Iraq in the event of war."

In the words of German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder: "We agree completely to harmonize our positions as closely as possible to find a peaceful solution to the Iraqi crisis."

In fact, eighty percent of the British public is against the U.S. invasion of Iraq; the figure is seventy-five percent in France and over eighty percent in Spain, while forty-five percent of Afrikan-Americans and sixty percent of Hispanics are against any U.S. war on Iraq.

In addition, on 15 February 2003, tens to hundreds of thousands and in some instances, millions of anti-war demonstrators took to the streets to protest against any unilateral military invasion of Iraq. These demonstrations took place all across Europe (for example, Rome, Germany, France, Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, Netherlands, Denmark, and Austria) and in six hundred cities in more than a dozen countries, including the United States, Britain, Australia, Scotland, Canada, Ireland, Russia, South Africa, Tokyo, Bangladesh, Prague, and Syria.

Some protestors carried signs and placards equating George Bush with Adolph Hitler.

Indeed, these vociferous demonstrations convey a very potent, dissenting and tenacious collective, hateful voice from the international community against America's policy toward Iraq.

For his part, President George Bush arrogantly and summarily dismissed these anti-war protests as "well-intentioned but irrelevant"-the equivalent of a marketing "focus group."

Yet in the same "arrogance of power" breath, President Bush was meticulously attempting to bribe Turkey to the tune of $15 billion in loan guarantees and grants "to allow 62,000 U.S. ground troops to use bases on Turkish soil to open a northern front against Iraq." The reality is that ninety-four percent of Turks oppose any war on Iraq.

Even Pope John Paul II has publicly expressed his "strongest opposition" to U.S. war policy toward Iraq, by suggesting that: "war is not always inevitable. It is always a defeat for humanity. No to war."

As of August 2002, the following countries opposed U.S. war policy toward Iraq: Australia, Bahrain, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Their positions are as follows:

. "We express our determined opposition to any unilateral military action against Iraq."
. An attack "could be justified only if it were decided on by the Security Council."
. There is "no proof" of Iraq's war-like intent.
. A U.S. strike would be a "tremendous mistake."
. "The case for war has not been made."
. "If regime change is the goal (in Iraq), then who else is next?"

Surprisingly, the pro-U.S. ally Saudi Arabia has publicly warned America not to engage in any unilateral policy "act of aggression" by arbitrarily invading Iraq, while on the one hand, fifty-two Afrikan nations issued a joint summit statement on 20 February 2003 stated quite equivocally that: "there is an alternative to war."

On the other hand, on 21 February 2003, one hundred and fourteen nations of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) issued a draft resolution to the extent that: "the use of force against Iraq would run contrary to the global consensus that 'categorically rejects the current threat of war'" by America.

In his obdurate opposition to the U.S. war policy toward Iraq, former South African President and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Nelson Mandela, has stated quite categorically that:

"We would want to urgently appeal to the U.S. and its leadership to demonstrate their strength in the world by respect for those democratic principles they hold dear in their domestic affairs. All Bush wants is Iraqi oil because Iraq produces 64 percent of the oil and he wants to get hold of it.No country should be allowed to take the law into their own hands."

As a corollary, former U.S. President and recent recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, Jimmy Carter has opined that: "For powerful countries to adopt a principle of preventive war may well set an example that can have catastrophic consequences."

This sentiment is corroborated in the stern admonition on 8 February 2003 by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan as follows:

"This is an issue not for any one state alone, but for the international community as a whole. When states decide to use force, not in self-defence but to deal with broader threats to international peace and security, there is no substitute for the unique legitimacy provided by the United Nations Security Council."

As a riposte, the Bush administration has replied as follows: "the United States would go to war against Iraq alone if its European allies would not join the fight. Who needs (the) U.N.?" Or, in the words of President George Bush: the United Nation's Security Council "is an inefficient, irrelevant debating society.we don't need anybody's permission" to defend this country.

And even before hearing the Progress Reports by Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix and nuclear chief Mohamed El Baradei before the U.N. Security Council on 14 February 2003, the Bush administration was busy "drafting a U.N. Security Council Resolution with Britain declaring that Saddam Hussein has failed to disarm, and must now face, unspecified 'consequences'."

In their Reports, Hans Blix stated that his teams: "have not uncovered any weaopons of mass destruction in Iraq.(and that) Iraq has on the whole cooperated rather well so far with UNMOVIC" while Mohamed El Baradei reported that: " inspectors found no evidence Iraq had resumed its nuclear weapons programs."

And even in the absence of a "smoking gun," the Bush administration, along with Britain and Spain, submitted a second war-driven Resolution to the U.N. Security Council on 24 February 2003, concluding that: "Iraq has failed to take the final opportunity" to prevent "serious consequences" against it.

And in a typical demonic, imperialistic, supremacist, hegemonic and monocratic modus operandi, the Bush administration read the "Riot Act" to Angola, Guinea, Cameroon, and Mexico in order to garner their favorable vote on the Resolution. America's hostile "Arrogance of Superiority" threat to these poor, poverty-stricken countries was: "Any country that doesn't go along with us will be paying a very heavy price."

And to back up this global, monocratic threat, President Bush issued a callous, blanket and acerbic ultimatum that "he was willing to go to war even without passage of a second U.N. resolution." This represents superlative "Arrogance of Superiority" at its core.

Indeed, such a heuristic isolationist and big-stick foreign policy action on the part of "empire" America represents Euro-American supremacy and Globalization at their ethnocentric, etnocentric, and xenophobic zenith.

People hate America and Americans because "the world community has been sadly disappointed" that the "U.S. turns (a) blind eye to developing nations' needs" and arrogantly walked out on the U.N.-sponsored international conference on racism in South Africa. The U.S. position was: either my way or the highway.

More specifically, people hate America and Americans because of America's policy when it comes to the liberation, interests and well-being of non-European people. People hate America because its policy does not reflect real democracy, equality and respect for all human life and dignity.

People hate America and Americans because America's foreign policy is totally devoid of the notion that ALL people have "the inalienable right to life,liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" and that no nation, however big or small, has the God-given right to determine who should be eligible for those rights or freedoms.

America seems to be "out of step" with global reality and the aspirations of oppressed peoples in this new millennium under the rubric of the Bush administration's policy of globalization.

In terms of European global supremacy, it is the Bush administration that is guilty of "material breach" in this Iraqi regard and if the United States were to attack Iraq without approval of the Security Council then such action would tantamount to a violation of the United Nations Charter.

The only way to eliminate international terrorism is to put U.S. foreign policy and the equality of non-European-American life and peoples on the same page and footing.

The outside perception is that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness only apply to Europeans, namely Americans. The outside perception is that the life of an Israeli is more precious, valuable, and worthwhile than that of a non-European, Palestinian, or Arab.

Human equality seems to be non-existent and a non-starter in the overt implementation of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. U.S. policy does not act when Israel "kills" 12 Palestinians, but reacts forcibly when Palestinians "murder" two Israelis. It is as if different, non-equal human beings are involved. This policy generates hatred toward America and Americans.

The Bush administration does not react when Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon bombs Palestinian official buildings, offices, and compounds, builds illegal Israeli homes, and occupies Palestinian lands.

U.S. policy-makers must realize that "only Palestinian people can decide who should lead them."

People hate America and Americans because of the Arrogance of Superiority that is exhibited in U.S. foreign policy toward non-Euro-Americans and/or people of colour. This policy angers people worldwide.

The fact of the matter is that being an American only makes you better off; it does not make you better, albeit superior.

The fact of the matter is that God created man equal, but man in his ultimate supremacist wisdom, has recreated his fellow man unequal - one superior and one inferior.

It is this Arrogance of Superiority in America's foreign policy that cajoles and propels people to hate America and Americans.

The fact of the matter is that the tragic events of September 11, are not targeted to change America's freedoms and way of life, but to address America's racist foreign policy. Global terrorism cannot be eliminated through a policy of unholy, collusive alliances.

In terms of the real threat to international peace and stability, America's "actions are propaganda, wrapped in a lie, inside a falsehood." The Arrogance of Superiority is the covert cover for America's determined war on Iraq.

People do not hate America and Americans. They hate America's policy toward them.

Shem Hotep ("I go in peace").

Dr. Nantambu is an Associate Professor, Dept. of Pan-African Studies, Kent State University, U.S.A.

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