The recent shootings of three U.S. soldiers in Florida at the hands of a Saudi citizen raises a standard question in the U.S. government’s perpetual “war on terrorism”: “Why do they hate us?”
Soon after the 9/11 attacks, the official mantra began being issued: The terrorists just hate us for our “freedom and values.” No other explanation for motive was to be considered. If anyone suggested an alternative motive — such as “They are retaliating for U.S. governmental killings over there” — U.S. officials and interventionists would immediately go on the attack, heaping a mountain of calumny on that person, accusing him of treason, hating America, loving the terrorists, and justifying their attacks.
It happened to me and other libertarians who dared to challenge the official motive behind the 9/11 attacks. Shortly after the attacks, I spoke at a freedom conference in Arizona consisting of both libertarians and conservatives. When I pointed out that the attacks were the predictable consequence of a foreign policy that kills people over there, another of the speakers was filled with anger and rage over such an “unpatriotic” suggestion. Then, a few weeks after the 9/11 attacks, FFF published an article by me entitled, “Is This the Wrong Time to Question Foreign Policy?” in which I pointed out the role that U.S. interventionism had played in the attacks. FFF was hit with the most nasty and angry attacks I have ever seen.
Eighteen years later, the evidence is virtually conclusive that the reason that the United States has been suffering a constant, never-ending threat of terrorism is because U.S. military and CIA forces have been killing people in the Middle East and Afghanistan since at least the end of the Cold War, and even before.
After all, if the terrorists hate us for our “freedom and values,” why haven’t they been attacking the Swiss? They have pretty much the same freedom and values that Americans have. And they are much closer geographically to Middle East terrorists than the United States is. Why haven’t the terrorists been attacking them?
The answer is simple: the Swiss government, unlike the U.S. government, hasn’t been killing, maiming, and injuring people and hasn’t been bombing and destroying countries in the Middle East and Afghanistan.
A long history of U.S. interventionism
U.S. interventions in the Middle East began, of course, long before the 9/11 attacks. There was the 1953 CIA coup that destroyed Iran’s experiment with democracy with a coup that replaced the democratically elected prime minister of the country with a tyrannical pro-U.S. dictator. Not surprisingly, that produced the violent Iranian revolution almost 25 years later. The Iranian revolutionaries didn’t hate America for its “freedom and values.” They hated America for the U.S. government’s installation, training, and support of the tyrannical regime against which they revolted.
In the 1980s, there was the sending of U.S. troops into Lebanon as interventionist “peacekeepers.” The terrorists ended up blowing up a Marine barracks, killing 241 U.S. soldiers. The terrorists didn’t hate America for its “freedom and values.” They hated America for the federal government’s interventionism into Lebanon. As soon as all U.S. troops were withdrawn from Lebanon, which was the right thing to do, there were obviously no more deaths of U.S. soldiers in that country.
It was after the Pentagon and the CIA lost their official Cold War enemy, the Soviet Union (i.e., Russia), that they proceeded headlong into the Middle East and began killing multitudes of people. There was the Persian Gulf War, waged without the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war, where thousands of Iraqis were killed or injured. That was followed by a decade of brutal sanctions against Iraq, which contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children.
Thus, when Ramzi Yousef, one of the terrorists who tried to bring down the World Trade Center with a bomb in 1993, appeared before a federal judge for sentencing, he angrily told the judge that it was U.S. officials who were the butchers, for killing multitudes of innocent children in Iraq.
As those Iraqi children were dying, there were retaliatory terrorist strikes on the USS Cole and the U.S. embassies in East Africa. Once again, however, U.S. officials continued to steadfastly maintain that was all about hatred for America’s “freedom and values” and had nothing to do with the deadly and destructive U.S. interventionism in the Middle East.
Then came Osama bin Laden’s declaration of war against the United States, in which he expressly cited U.S. interventionism in the Middle East as his motivating factor. That was followed by the 9/11 attacks, along with other terrorist attacks both here and abroad. Through it all, U.S. officials and interventionists have blindly maintained that the terrorists hate us for our “freedom and values,” not because the U.S. government kills, maims, injures, and destroys people over there.
The recent Florida killings
And now we have the latest killing spree, this one at the hands of a Saudi citizen in Florida. According to a story in yesterday’s Washington Post about the killing of three U.S. soldiers, the killer, Ahmed Mohammed al-Shamrani was described as “strange” and “angry.” “He looked like he was angry at the world,” said one person who knew him. Another said that he looked at people in an “angry, challenging” way.
The article says that “the FBI has not yet determined a motive for the mass shooting.”
Well, of course it hasn’t. That’s undoubtedly because the FBI hasn’t yet found any statements in which the killer states that he hates America for its “freedom and values.”
But the Post article does point out something quite interesting. The article states: “The gunman, who was shot dead by a sheriff’s deputy responding to the shooting, is thought to have written a ‘will’ that was posted to the account a few hours before the rampage. In it, he blasts U.S. policies in Muslim countries.”
Well, isn’t that interesting! Unfortunately, the Post didn’t provide a verbatim transcript of the killer’s “will” in which he “blasts U.S. policies in the Muslim countries.” The Post does point out though that “the writer says he does not dislike Americans per se — ‘I don’t hate you because of your freedoms,’ he begins — but that he hates U.S. policies that he views as anti-Muslim and ‘evil.'”
In an article at antiwar.com entitled, “Pensacola: Blowback Terrorism,” Scott Horton provides a verbatim transcript of the killer’s “will,” in which the killer states in part:
I’m not against you for just being American, I don’t hate you for your freedom, I hate you because every day you supporting, funding, and committing crimes not only against Muslims but also humanity. I am against evil, and America as a whole has turned into a nation of evil. What I see from America is the supporting of Israel which is invasion of Muslim countrie, I see invasion of many countries by it’s troops, I see Guantanamo Bay. I see cruise missiles, cluster bombs and UAV.
Now, if one goes back to Ramzi Yousef’s sentencing hearing in 1995 — some 24 years ago — one will see that Yousef angrily said much the same thing to the federal judge who was getting ready to sentence him to jail for his 1993 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
Americans have a choice:
One, continue the U.S. government’s decades-long killing spree in the Middle East, in which case America will continue to experience never-ending terrorist retaliation, the perpetual “war on terrorism, and the ongoing destruction of our liberty and privacy at the hands of our government, which is purportedly protecting us from the terrorist threats that it produces with its foreign interventionism.
Or, two, stop U.S. forces from killing any more people, bring them all home and discharge them, which would help get America back on the right track, one toward liberty, peace, prosperity, morality, normality, and harmony with the world.