Because we’re assholes. From Fred Reed, on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:
A frequent theme nowadays is “Why do they hate us?” meaning why does so much of the world detest the United States. The reasons given are usually absurd: They hate our freedom or democracy. They hate us for our cultural superiority. They hate us because we are wonderful.
No. Actually the reason is simple if unpalatable. They hate us because we meddle, and have meddled. They hate us because we are the most murderous nation on the planet. They hate our insufferable smugness.
People remember slights. They may not remember them as they actually happened, but they remember them. The Civil War ended in 1865, the Federal occupation in 1877. Yet today many Southerners are still bitter, to the point that their emotional loyalty is to the South, not to Washington.
Silly? Yes, if you are from the North. Grievances matter more to those aggrieved than to the aggrievers.
In Guadalajara, near my home in Mexico, a towering monument in a traffic circle honors Los Niños Héroes, the Heroic Children. These are the little boys who, when the invading American armies attacked Chapultepec in 1847, went out to fight for their country. Avenues are named Niños Héroes all over Mexico. Few Americans even know that there was a war.
Wounds to national pride gall people, and endure. Exactly why, I don’t know, but it happens. Consider China. How many have heard of the Opium Wars of 1839 and 1856? Or understand that the United States and the European powers simply occupied such parts of China as they chose, forced opium sales on China, imposed extraterritoriality, and bloodily suppressed the Boxers? How many people have even heard of the Boxers?
Over a billion Chinese.
My point is not that China is morally superior to the United States. It isn’t. However, if you want to understand why so many countries loathe us, you have to understand how they see us. Whether you agree is irrelevant. Nor does it matter whether their grievances are factual. For example, many South Americans believe their countries to be poor because of exploitation by America. This isn’t true, which doesn’t matter at all.
A few years back I was in Laos and chatted with a young Lao woman. She mentioned in passing the death of her father. What happened to him, I asked? Oh, she said, he died fighting the Americans. A war that many Americans saw as a meritorious crusade against communism was, to the countries involved, an inexplicable attack that killed their fathers and brothers and children. They didn’t see why the internal affairs of their country were America’s business.
To continue reading: Why They Hate Us