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Government Security News January 2017 Digital Edition

Government Security News January 2017 Digital Edition. Available on the GSN Magazine Website at

Resentment and hatred

Resentment and hatred from the Middle East: Why they hate us – is by Michael Conti, Cal State, Fullerton, photos contributed by GSN. Resentment and hatred from the Middle East: Why they hate us By Michael Conti 12/14/16 – The Middle East in recent times has been seen as a place of chaos and civil unrest. To us, they seem backwards and outright barbaric as we see beheadings in news feeds, headlines of suicide bombings, and terrorist attacks throughout the world. To the common citizen of the United States, this aggression is unwarranted and it seems as though they simply hate us for existing. While that would put us in a good light and provide the moral high ground, this is simply not the case. As we look through the past seven decades, we see that the United States government has had a paramount role in what we see today. Modernized countries in Europe look as the US and see a trusted and amiable ally. However, those of less developed countries in the Third World see us as a tyrannical force that has forced upon them the will of imperialism. To put it simply, the US has been a police force for the world and has done well through humanitarian efforts, but they have also committed egregious acts including meddling in the affairs of sovereign countries, overthrowing rulers, and undermining governments by backing rebel forces in the Middle East under the pretense of defending democracy and its values. It is because of these acts that they hate us and have caused us harm. In order to fully understand the mindset of the US government in the 20th century, we must look at its beginnings when they achieved sovereignty as a result of the Revolutionary War. While this was a victory in itself, the fleeting US government was weak and needed to expand its borders in order to survive and thrive. It was thought to be their Manifest Destiny, a term used to describe and justify the taking of the rest of the modern day United States from Native Americans and Spain. While much of the territory came from the French in the form of the Louisiana Purchase, the rest of it was taken through federal acts and military force. To best explain this, Odd Arne Westad, a historian who specializes in the Third World and author of, The Global Cold War, gives a simple explanation for how the US operates when he states, “From its inception the United States was an interventionist power that based its foreign policy on territorial expansion. Its revolutionary message- free 38 men and free enterprise…” (Westad, 9-10). As we see from this quote, it not only goes along with the theme of having to expand to survive, but it also shows us how this idea evolved to be a mantra for future events under the guise of promoting freedom with a global economy. It is this idea that later justified intruding in the affairs of the Middle East. While it seems irrelevant to study the past, this piece of information is important as we can now look into future events with an understanding of the US’s motives. Now that we know the US has been an imperialist power from its inception, we can take a relatively clear look at past events and understand why the US acted the way they did in the Middle East. An example to look at comes in the form of a book written by Douglass Little titled, American Orientalism, The United States And The Middle East Since 1945. He delves into the era of the 1940s-1950s when the United States emerged as an economic super power following World War Two while the rest of Europe was in ruin. Under the Truman administration, financial aid was given to the allied powers to rebuild. However the source of this aid is re-

vealed when Little states, “To fuel the European Recovery Program that Secretary of State George Marshall unveiled in June 1947, the Truman administration intended to rely not on the oil fields of east Texas or Venezuela but, rather, on the 300,000 barrels of Saudi crude…” (Little, 53). Indeed, rather than looking to their own secured resources in order to help the recovery effort, the US government decided to impose itself by taking oil from Saudi Arabia in addition to other Middle Eastern countries such as Kuwait and Lebanon. The book goes on to say that they did this in order to maintain their status as auto-manufacturing giants. It’s not surprising given the context that under the ideas of Manifest Destiny, the Saudis are uncivilized barbarians and that it is justifiable to take from them as a result. While it may seem relatively harmless to take resources, oil is the livelihood of Middle Eastern countries as it is their single most profitable export. To take this from them would be to threaten their way of sustainability. It’s no wonder as to why they would resent such a thing. However, the taking of their resources is relatively tame when we look further and see that the US, along the other Allied Powers, stirred civil unrest in the Middle East after establishing the Jewish nation of Israel by taking the holy city of Jerusalem from Palestine in the post-World War Two era. The establishment of Israel in 1948 was backed by the Allied Powers and came as a grave insult to Palestine. The holy and ancestral lands of Jerusalem were taken from them and given to their sworn enemies, the Jews. This almost immediately caused a massive conflict known as the Israeli War in which Israel emerged victorious and had taken yet more land. The textbook Major Problems in American Foreign Relations, Volume II: Since 1914, a series of documents and essays on US foreign relations gives us a glimpse into the predicament that the Arab nations such as Palestine were in before Israel came to be when it states, “The Arabs, no less than the Jews, are victims of history. Four centuries of Turkish rule hurt them at least as badly as a decade 39 of Naziism hurt the Jews. Now, in their morning of independence, the Arabs have suffered defeats at the hands of a small, despised people” (Major Problems, 319). As this quote eloquently shows us, the Palestinians and other Arabs were also victims of oppression just as the Jews were. The seizing of their lands was kicking them back down as they were getting back up. With such blatant encroachment and arrogance, further resentment from the Middle East toward the US and the West undoubtedly developed. One of the final series of acts that solidified this hatred is seen after we look into the overthrowing of rulers in order to create pro-American regimes that would allow for further meddling. Not only has the United States government meddled by leeching resources and usurping ancestral lands, they made matters worse by overthrowing governments in order to insert pro-American regimes that would be willing to resist the Soviet Union during the Cold War. With the backing of the US government, countries such as Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Egypt underwent political coups that overturned the ruling government. All of this went relatively unknown to neighboring nations until the Iranian Revolution that overthrew the pro-