From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Thu Sep 13 2001 - 02:46:51 MDT

On Wed, Sep 12, 2001 at 01:52:50PM -0400, Dickey, Michael F wrote:

> The US was not attacked because 'it was a beacon of freedom' as
> BUsh said so melodramatically, it was attacked because we have been doing
> things in other peoples countries to piss them off. Stop pissing these
> other countries off (that is, remove the military presence which is a direct
> represnetation of the US as a country) and no longer does anyone breed
> hatred of the US and want to kill every working US citizen. Has Sweden ever
> been terrorist attacked? The only way to get rid of terrorism is to remove
> the incentive people have to commit it.

Well, there have been a few terrorist deeds. But most of them have been
aimed at other nations, such as the murder of the Yugoslaw ambassador
or the destruction of the German embassy in the 70's. Of course, the
assassination of prime minister Olof Palme might have been a serious
terrorist deed.

There is another reason for such attacks on the US, and that is
antiamericanism. It might appear absurd to many on this list, but there
are plenty of people who are deeply suspicious and prejudiced against
the US worldwide - including highly educated intellectuals. Just think
about how attacks on McDonald's in Europe has been framed not as attacks
on a local franchise, but attempts to stop American cultural
imperialism. Part of this is remaining cold war rhethoric that has
spread far beyond the left, a bit like sticky tar that sticks to
whatever is touching it and hence spreads everywhere. Part of it is of
course envy. Another part is the western sympathy for David versus
Goliath - the underdog is always the hero, the giant is never the hero:
since the US is a giant, it can't be good. All these things combine to
make prejudices against americans acceptable like no other prejudices
and biases the media - which reinforces the antiamericanism.

In many ways the fact that the US has become very rich and powerful by
being a beacon of freedom is the reason so many feel it acceptable to
attack it. That US foreign policy also gives them ample reason is simply
the igniting spark that ignites the fuel that is already there.

While an isolationist policy might earn the US a few brownie points in
many eyes, it wouldn't be enough. Especially if you factor in people who
have long memories and still want a revenge for what happened to their

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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