From travel guru Rick Steves:
When I came home after the most learning 12 days of travel I’ve ever had in my life, I realized this is a proud nation of 70 million people. They are loving parents, motivated by fear for their kids’ future and the culture they want to raise their kids in. I had people walk across the street to tell me they don’t want their kids to be raised like Britney Spears. They are afraid Western culture will take over their society and their kids will be sex toys, drug addicts and crass materialists.
I just feel we underestimate the spine of these people. They will fight and die to defend their values. And their values are not to destroy America and Israel. Their values are to defend their way of life against Western encroachment.
They’ve given up democracy because they know a theocracy will stand strong against encroaching Western values.
We think they’re terrorists, but we have to remember that 96 percent of the planet is not American. And most of them look at us like an empire. When I write about us being an empire, it touches a nerve more than almost anything else I write. I get so much angry feedback.
But I don’t say we’re an empire. I say the world sees us as one. I say there’s never been an empire that didn’t have disgruntled people on its fringes looking for reasons to fight. We think, “Don’t they have any decency? Why don’t they just line up in formation so we can carpet bomb them?” But they’re smart enough to know that’s a quick prescription to being silenced in a hurry.
As is typical on Salon.com, they try to make the rest of the article a hit piece on Republicans. Democrats good, Republicans primitive ignorant fundamentalist terrorists. I think Steves is mostly cool with that ideology, which is shame unto him.
What if trading democracy for theocracy brought more stability? What if the biggest enemy isn’t government, but a population out of control, drowning in their own desires and becoming more neurotic by the minute?
Interestingly, we heard the same thing from al-Qaeda:
“The Americans impose themselves on everyone who believes in his religion and his rights. They accuse our children in Palestine of being terrorists. Those children that have no weapons and have not even reached maturity. At the same time they defend a country with its airplanes and tanks, and the state of the Jews, that has a policy to destroy the future of these children.”
“As we mentioned before, Allah ordered us in this religion to purify Muslim land of all non-believers, and especially the Arabian Peninsula where the Keâ€™ba is. After WWII, the Americans became more aggressive and oppressive, especially in the Muslim world.
We are surprised this question is coming from Americans. Each action will solicit a similar reaction. We must use such punishment to keep your evil away from Muslims, Muslim children and women. American history does not distinguish between civilians and military, and not even women and children. They are the ones who used the bombs against Nagasaki. Can these bombs distinguish between infants and military? America does not have a religion that will prevent it from destroying all people.”
“Wherever we look, we find the US as the leader of terrorism and crime in the world. The US does not consider it a terrorist act to throw atomic bombs at nations thousands of miles away, when it would not be possible for those bombs to hit military troops only. These bombs were rather thrown at entire nations, including women, children and elderly people and up to this day the traces of those bombs remain in Japan. The US does not consider it terrorism when hundreds of thousands of our sons and brothers in Iraq died for lack of food or medicine. So, there is no base for what the US says and this saying does not affect us, because we, by the grace of God, are dependent on Him, Praise and Glory be to Him, getting help from Him against the US. As for the last part of your question, we are fulfilling a duty which God, Praise and Glory be to Him, decreed for us. We look upon those heroes, those men who undertook to kill the American occupiers in Riyadh and Khobar (Dhahran). We describe those as heroes and describe them as men. They have pulled down the disgrace and submissiveness off the forehead of their nation.”
“Everything is made possible to protect the blood of the American citizen while the bloodshed of Muslims is allowed in every place. With this kind of behavior, the U.S. government is hurting itself, hurting Muslims and hurting the American people.”
“We were good friends. We fought together in the same trench against the Russians until Allah sent them away in humiliating defeat. You mentioned that he works for meâ€”we do not have anyone who works for someone else. We all work for Allah and await his reward. And regarding your mention of his attempt to assassinate President Clinton, it is not surprising. I did not know about it, but it is not surprising.
As I said, every action solicits a similar reaction. What does Clinton expect from those whom he killed and assaulted their children and mothers? This is not a surprising matter.”
The response is universal: the biggest player on the field is feared because he is powerful.
In the case of the West, he is also feared because he is decadent. Do you want your daughter to grow up like Britney Spears, and to know thirty anonymous men in sexual congress before marrying an idiot?
Do you want your children to drink alcohol and watch TV as a means of numbing their neurotic lives?
Do you want your kids to have advertising instead of culture, marketing instead of history, and fear of offending others instead of morality?
That’s why people oppose the United States: because we have no native culture, we have become the raw force of the marketplace, destroying culture wherever we go and replacing it with Coca-Cola, Britney Spears’ gaping vagina, and psychologists who tell us everything is OK but still cannot center our lives.