They Don’t Hate Us For Our Freedom

Could this line finally die? What does it even mean to hate someone for their freedom? It’s nonsensical.

The radical Islam (and yes, that’s what it is) we see in the Middle East with al-Qaeda and ISIS is not the result of a vigorous opposition to personal liberty. Yes, they believe the entire world must convert to Islam or die, but it is lunacy to believe this is the start and finish to their ideology. They don’t hate us because of our freedom, they hate us, at least in part, because we support their oppressors.

The historical despotism by the United States and other western democracies has led to the modern jihadist backlash. Our traditional support of “strong men” in the Middle East is at minimum an indirect catalyst for the existence of al-Qaeda. And our continued interference in the Middle East when we took out one of these strong men (Saddam Hussein), is at minimum an indirect stimulant for the rise of ISIS. We thought we could have our cake and eat it too. We thought wrong.

Let’s make one thing clear, we are not fighting a war. There is nothing about our engagement with ISIS that resembles war. And that’s because you can’t use traditional weapons of warfare when you are up against a disparate group of people, who are not represented by a nation-state, and who are adhering to an ideology, not a nationality. Bombs don’t kill ideas. They never have, they never will. But nonetheless, human beings continue to believe a blitzkrieg will quell rebellion. Good ideas or bad, they will not succumb to the rumble of an explosion or the crack of a rifle.


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