I was reading some messages on the Yahoo! message boards and came across this statement:

"Face it, the rest of the world hates us because of our economic success and our military might as much as it hates us for our support of Israel or our stationing of troops in the Middle East. "

The sad thing is that many agree with him.

To blithely dismiss the invasion of Iraq as "stationing our troops" is incredibly callous and stupid. What are we doing there? Why have close to 100,000 people died, including Americans? We have cluster-bombed Iraqi neighborhoods, we have killed innocents, and we have destabilized the entire region. Sure Saddam was the devil. But what about fundamentalist regimes like Saudi Arabia or all of those other "good" dictatorships we support? Don’t they deserve to be deposed too? We are using massive numbers of depleted-uranium (what an oxymoron) rounds that are not only poisoning Iraq, they are poisoning our troops as well. “The rest of the world” sees the mayhem and terror that exists there, they don’t have news media that block the truth. You should watch the BBC News (don’t forget that the Brits are still one of our few true allies) and see how they present the war to their people. We are kept so isolated from reality most Americans think there is peace in Afghanistan.

We are torturing people in a "Gulag Archipelago” of secret prisons around the world, spitting on basic human rights. We established a court system to prevent the very thing that is happening now! Every person has the right to face their accusers, the right to counsel, and the right to be treated like a human being. We gasp at what happened in Iraq when we all know far, far worse things happen in a Supermax prison here in the good old US of A. The rest of the civilized world sees that too, don’t forget. They see us treat human beings like garbage and warehouse them like animals, and compare that to the justice system in their own country. You may not care what an Afghan thinks about the war, but the Germans, Russians, Japanese, and others who actually have justice systems of their own are also seeing the same evidence and weighing it for themselves.

“They” hate us because we are hypocrites. Our founders set this country up as a democracy with specific checks and balances, establishing the basic rights of citizens. We are supposed to be the good guys. We have to respect the constitution, or why are we trying to export it? We refuse to follow basic international treaties like the Geneva Convention, yet expect “the rest of the world” to jump when we snap our fingers. We ignored the UN and turned our backs on our allies, and wonder why they are upset?

They see that Bin Laden was once on our side, and they didn’t conveniently forget that we supported Saddam’s Iraq with massive military aid when it suited us. You never saw the picture of Rumsfeld and Saddam warmly shaking hands? The “rest of the world” did.

Frankly, I believe the only way to fix this is to vote Bush out by a landslide, and have Kerry show up at the doorsteps of our erstwhile allies and shrug his shoulders while saying “Our bad, Bush was a mistake. Let’s be friends again.”