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Late Night: Possibly We Should Stop Sucking So Much

”]”]Dan, with his finger on something that’s been bugging me forever:

… events in Cairo sent America’s foreign policy conventional wisdom into the ash heap. One could forgive its diplomatic corps for feeling a bit unmoored at the moment; all the old operating assumptions are out the window. Appeals to international treaties are scoffed at for the entirely sensible reason that the US does not abide by them. Our foreign policy has been dismissive of popular opinion when it was easier to cozy up to dictators, but we have just seen how fragile dictatorships can be. Suddenly governments cannot casually ignore or suppress dissent. Suddenly it matters.

The stories immediately post-9/11 made me want to throw things: “Why do they hate us?” I can’t imagine. Because for years we dropped bombs on their children? Would that possibly piss YOU off a little, if someone did that to you? What would you do, if someone killed your family, everyone you knew, tore a gaping hole in the roof of your house, in your business, in your life, and then walked away? What would you want, of them? And knowing what you want, how dare you assume anyone, no matter where they live or what language they speak, would want anything different?

We casually dismiss anyone else’s grievances against us, and you know, I do get it, that we live this way because if we didn’t we wouldn’t be able to MOVE, given the amount of hell we rain down on one another, human beings. But that we act mystified when other people react as we would, that I can’t forgive. I don’t think it’s a lot to ask, that we simply accept that other people’s lives are as precious to them as ours are to us, and stop saying patently stupid shit in public about how we can’t comprehend the anger against us.

And maybe, just maybe, if we truly are distressed by the level of anger against us in the Middle East, if we truly are shocked by how America’s government is hated, instead of fretting around about how we need better propaganda and more exposure of the puppies we really love and don’t kick and the way we play the game of football and whatever, we should stop the behavior which is inspiring the hate. As Dan says,

“Our image in the Muslim world would probably improve if we stopped killing Muslims.”

Shocking, I know.


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Allison Hantschel

Allison Hantschel

Allison Hantschel is a 10-year veteran of the newspaper business. She publishes First Draft, a writing and politics blog, with her partners Holden, Jude and Scout. She is the author of the books Chicago's Historic Irish Pubs (2011, Arcadia Publishing, with Mike Danahey) and It Doesn’t End With Us: The Story of the Daily Cardinal, about a great liberal journalism institution (2007, Heritage Books). She also edited the anthology “Special Plans: The Blogs on Douglas Feith and the Faulty Intelligence That Led to War” (2005, William, James & Co.) Her work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Daily Southtown, Sirens Magazine, and Alternet. She lives in Chicago with her husband, two ferrets, and approximately 60 tons of books.