A must-read piece appears in Sunday’s Washington Post. It’s written by Muslin writer Mohsin Hamid. During a recent trip to Dallas, a man in a bookstore asked Hamid, “Why do they hate us?” The Dallas man was asking why the Islamic world hates the United States so much. The rest of the article is an answer to that question. The answer boils down to this:
“But there is another major reason for anti-Americanism: the accreted residue of many years of U.S. foreign policies. These policies are unknown to most Americans. They form only minor footnotes in U.S. history. But they are the chapter titles of the histories of other countries, where they have had enormous consequences. America’s strength has made it a sort of Gulliver in world affairs: By wiggling its toes it can, often inadvertently, break the arm of a Lilliputian.”
I would have to agree that most Americans have little to no knowledge of what is going on in world affairs, much less the profound ways in which the American behemoth affects the destinies of distant places. I don’t believe that America is an empire (I’ll post on that topic tomorrow), but that doesn’t diminish its responsibility as the world’s lone superpower. With great power comes great responsibility. As citizens who elect their government, that is a responsibility that falls to us.
Please take time to read Hamid’s entire piece:
(HT: Harrison Scott Key)