Who are the “bad guys” in the War on Terror?

The imperialist narrative of benevolent U.S. involvement in the Middle East which has served as the justification for the wars on the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Palestine has been crumbling around the emerging events in Egypt and the rest of the Arab world, as rebellions shake the foundations of dictatorships around the region.  Suddenly media outlets are shocked to  discover that — in spite what dozens of U.S. politicians and State Department lap dogs might say — widespread hatred for the U.S. government hasn’t been because “they hate our freedom” after all, they just hate the U.S. policy of crushing their own efforts at freedom by supporting thugs like Hosni Mubarak.  These dictators who are virtually universally despised around the Middle East were seen as  “stabilizing” forces in the region.  So instead of living up to their foreign policy rhetoric, they U.S. grants guys like Mubarak tanks, fighter jets, tear gas and guns to crush popular resistance.  Consider this Al Jazeera interview with U.S. state department lackey PJ Crowley:

The State Department has it’s head spinning trying trying to make sure the U.S. winds up looking like the good guys in Egypt, and ensure that nobody connect the dots too much.  The mainstream media has been almost perfectly complacent.

Yesterday a close friend of mine who writes the blog Diary of a Walking Butterfly shared a report with me that came out in November 2010 with not so much as a peep from the mainstream media from Fox News to NPR, only a month before the media would hardly shut up about the discrepancies between the Pentagon and White House special reports on the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The report called Afghanistan Transition: Missing Variables, from the International Council on Security and Development, shows that almost 92% of Afghan men have never heard of the September 11th attacks, and largely oppose the U.S. and NATO presence in their country, seeing it as destructive and immoral.  Like the reports that Egyptians are largely angry at the United States for materially and politically supporting their oppression, these reports contradict the “they hate us for our freedom” narrative which is used to give moral justification to the  imperial occupation of Afghanistan.  On his blog  friend quotes Socialist Worker, saying,

In other words, the U.S. is bombing people who have no idea why they’ve been bombed for the past nine years. They don’t hate us for our “freedoms”–as has been claimed over and over–they hate us because we’re killing them and their families.

Here are some excerpts from the report:

Afghans polled were then asked if they recognized this picture:

Afghans being polled were then read a description of the September 11th attacks,

“On September 11 2001, Al Qaeda attackers hijacked planes in the United States which were full of ordinary passengers, including women and children. They flew these planes, full of people, into two tall buildings in the city of New York. They destroyed both buildings, which were full of ordinary people.

The attacks killed 3000 innocent citizens, including Muslims. They were organised and directed by Al Qaeda, led by Osama Bin Laden, who was then living in Afghanistan protected by the Taliban government.

The American government asked the Taliban to hand over Osama Bin Laden. They refused, so the Americans and their allies NATO attacked the Taliban, and came into Afghanistan to look for Osama Bin Laden and overthrew the Taliban.”

It turns out that we’re the bad guys after all! It reminds me of this video by the Palestinian hip-hop group DAM.

It’s my hope that the rebellions in Egypt and across the Middle East, as they break down the veil of lies and deceit, will serve to help revitalize the anti-war and anti-imperialist movements in the United States and bring a spark back to American’s revolutionary and political imaginations. Youth across the United States are inspired and moved by the bravery of Egyptian youth and students.  To stand in real solidarity with the Egyptians, we must resist the system in the United States which served to equip their oppressive regime with the tools of their coercion.  So much is possible.  To close consider the following inspiring photo of Christian Egyptians protecting Muslim protesters during prayer,

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