Sep 3, 2014

Why terrorists really hate the West

Terrorists hate us for our freedom, right? It's a bit more complicated than that, writes The Mandarin journalist David Donaldson.

The murder of journalist Steven Sotloff, coming weeks after the murder of journalist James Foley in similar circumstances, seems an incomprehensible act of barbarism and hatred. What has caused Islamic State militants to hate the West so much that they would brutally murder a journalist and broadcast the grisly act worldwide?

Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s insistence that terrorists “hate us not for what we’ve done, they hate us for who we are” is misleading. It’s a line periodically wheeled out by politicians wanting to whitewash the West’s history of war and troublemaking in the Middle East, and one that ignores the facts.

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13 thoughts on “Why terrorists really hate the West

  1. klewso

    I can’t understand why “journalists” have to get all the “facts” they need from politicians like Abbott?
    That they don’t have to query the likes of such politicians, wanting to put their own spin on reality?
    Or maybe that sort are more “hacks”?
    Whereas real journalists do research – and query such politics/assertions of personal fantasy? And that trait makes them easy to tell from the pack?

  2. klewso

    I wonder if there’s picture of Honest John bitch-slapping AFP’s “Slippery” Mick Keelty (over his comments about us being a greater target under Howard’s policies – just before his backward somersault with pike) hanging on the wall in ASIO’s (and any other department’s) head office?
    [“The Hand That Rocks the Department’s Budget!”?]

  3. douglas kirsner

    It’s really all about Israel and the US? So that’s why IS is slaughtering all the Shi’ites it can, and why there have been nearly 200,000 deaths with 3 million refugees in Syria?

  4. Shirty

    Nice work on that Strawman Douglas. The article is titled “Why terrorists really hate the west” not “Why IS is doing what it’s doing”. The point is not what motivates IS to barbarically hack its way across the Middle East (they barely rate a mention in the article), but whether terrorists hate the west for “what we’ve done” rather than “who we are”

  5. seriously?

    @douglas kirsner – the article wasn’t about what you reference about syria and isis/iraq – it’s about why do “they” hate the west – is it about resentment of our “freedoms” and “way of life” (as is often trotted out eg abbott), or resentment of the actions and interventions the west (led by the US in recent times) in arab muslim countries. the latter seems far more plausible.

    it’s not too hard to see that the accumulated interventions of western countries in the middle east in modern times has played a major role in the problems and conflicts we see there today.

  6. Mali Edon

    Do not Arabs repeatedly refer to Americans as Crusaders? There may be long memories in play.

  7. Steve

    Having just come back from Malaysia I was interested to note the daily reporting of the conflict from a very pro-Palistinian point of view compared to the more pro-Israel stance in the Australian press. I believe David’s article highlights not so much the motivation of the Muslim groups which is complex and often regional but the support and sympathy that they can draw from Muslim people around the world.

  8. davoid

    I remember quite clearly, following the twin towers going down, and everyone’s thinking What the fuck was that all about, Bin Laden himself then enlightened us: it was largely because of the West’s support of Israel against the Palestinians and their cause. George Bush, however, knew better. He contradicted Bin Laden: they did it because they ‘hate freedom’, and then he decided to invade Iraq.

  9. Christopher Nagle

    The history of Zionist fundamentalism in Palestine has been THE critical contradiction in the Middle East since 1948. Its application has spread across the Islamic world since the Afghanistan war and deepened in hostility after Iraq. This has produced a latterday version of the 1930s global Jewish conspiracy and there is quite enough evidence for it to give it extensive traction in the Muslim world. Google ‘Shylock in the Twenty-First Century’ for an analysis.

  10. Bill Hilliger

    Klewso says: …I can’t understand why “journalists” have to get all the “facts” they need from politicians like Abbott?

    Answer: because journalist are not journalist at all. They are stenographers, they take dictation from politicians and type it verbatim into print.

    A m e r i c a and B r i t a i n …is why terrorists really hate the West. Australia was in there helping as well. Eventually our dear leader(s) wishes will come true, and we Australians too will be hated by all and sundry in the middle east. Moral: …sleep with mangy dogs catch mange and fleas.

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