The Corner

Why They Hate Us

From a reader applying for “Tired of pussy-footing around guy”:

Jonah,

I am a recently retired Naval Aviator. I’ve been a Combat Search And Rescue (CSAR) pilot and have served on command staffs as well. I suppose I could apply for Navy guy or Helo guy or CSAR guy but that is not my intention for this note.

I’d like you to bring your analytical skills to bear on the “why they hate us” issue. It is my contention that we are largely resented and despised in certain quarters not due to our tough or arrogant policies but rather for our benign and often weak reaction to insult and attack. I believe our limp reaction to seditionists at home is equally damaging.

The Egyptian, Jordanian, and Saudi “press” just to name a few are extraordinarily anti-American. These are public information sources that are directly controlled by their governments. These countries are routinely referred to as allies and yet they actively cultivate anti-Americanism. Our leaders pass it off as internal politics that keeps these governments stable. I think that very point is wrong in the long term and in the near term we are in effect cooperating with those that are helping to breed the next generation of Osamas. I say it is high time we said “we’re not going to take it anymore.” We can’t continue to let tin pot governments blame the USA for their miserable failures. If they do, we should threaten loss of aid then loss of protection, right up to active support of those (non anti-American) forces attempting to overthrow them. These countries populations hate us because their governments tell them to. We have to make it more painful to slander us than to confront their real failures.

Similarly we need to get tough with the “peace” activists here. If you peacefully march and hold a sign you are lawfully exercising your right to display your lack of cognitive function. However, if you block the streets you are disrupting commerce and preventing the timely provision of emergency services and you should be prosecuted for those crimes. Arresting these people and then just giving them a ticket for being a nuisance gives them a badge of honor and encourages them to come out and do something even more outrageous. Remember how Rudy cleaned up New York?

Thanks for your service to your country. Also, please pass my thanks on to the rest of the spectacularly talented staff and contributors at NRO/NRODT. And say hi to Cosmo.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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