In You Don’t Mess With the Zohan, Adam Sandler’s super-bad Mossad character is whacking Palestinian terrorists left and right when he pauses to wryly tell a gun-wielding goon, “Yes, I get it, you don’t like my country.”
A terrorist then launches into a Jimmy Carter-esqe yarn explaining how the Mideast situation not so black and white, detailing the nuances while whipping out a footlong blade to try to carve Sandler’s Zohan into little pieces (with little success).
If Israel shaped its policies on how much the country is liked by others in the world, Israel would cease to exist. That’s a hard fact.
Most of us were taught way back in grammar school that doing the right thing is not always the popular thing. Hence, the 44-page report issued this week by for the House’s Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs seems like an utter waste of tree pulp.
“The Decline in America’s Reputation: Why?” is billed as the first in a three-part series, based on 10 hearings that mulled the deep, election-year, campaign-fodder question of why nobody likes us anymore. The report starts off by quoting poll statistics that are meant to alarm us, including an “unprecedented” 45 percent drop in favorable opinion toward the U.S. in Indonesia (where, this week, Ahmadiyah sect members became marked men, so to speak, after not being deemed Islamic enough in this country where hardline extremism is growing at an alarming rate) and “a 26-point increase in Europe of the view that U.S. leadership in world affairs is undesirable,” which is so important to consider because of that continent’s erstwhile contribution of pulling together thinking groups in the face of unrepentant evil.
The report notes that approval ratings are highest in non-Muslim Africa, perhaps because they’re not clouded by a pervading leftist intellectual school of thought or driving their decisions based on religion. They’ve seen the benefits of U.S. aid, as well. But as the report states that “disappointment and bitterness arise from the perception that the proclaimed American values of democracy, human rights, tolerance, and the rule of law have been selectively ignored,” how come sub-Saharan Africa isn’t likewise so bothered by this seemingly general and universal human-rights pain? Because it has to do with religion, and it has to do with the anything-goes leftism that has allowed dangerous clerics’ flocks to grow in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and other parts of Europe.
The report also bemoans low favorability for the U.S. among respondents in communist China, though I can’t fathom any reason why this would matter one iota. Do we seriously think that a bit more freedom in peddling cheap goods overseas means that the People’s Republic is still not an anti-Western, indoctrination-friendly society to begin with?
The reasoning goes as so: If the Middle East hates us, then that’s a problem because they’ll want to wage jihad on us. If Europe hates us, then they won’t be our allies anymore. And if Latin America hates us, then it’s likely all Hugo Chavez’s doing (OK, so maybe that was my reasoned observation, not in the report – but the report notes 86 percent of “Latin American elites” rating U.S. relations negatively).
The report, in trying to get to the bottom of anti-Americanism, cites “a growing belief in the Muslim world that the United States is using the ‘war on terror’ as a cover for its attempts to destroy Islam.”
This is where the subcommittee’s report really reads like the Al Qaeda Propaganda Playbook. One look at the U.S. shows a society rooted in religious freedom where Muslims and others can practice their faith, proselytize, and form advocacy organizations. So if an uneducated audience is listening to a firebrand cleric conspiracy theorizing that America wants to eradicate Islam, is their blind acceptance of that claim America’s fault? Are we to blame for their blissful ignorance? The proof is in our guarantee of the right to worship, the lives we’ve sacrificed in Iraq and Afghanistan (with no Christian conversion program), and the $10 billion the U.S. pledged Thursday to rebuild Afghanistan (more Muslims!).
What it all really boils down to, though, is not surprising: Pollsters in the report cited that respondents perceived a lack of “fairness” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It was noted that Dr. James Zogby found a majority of Arabs wanting the U.S. to push for a “two-state solution” — which, of course, America has. The United States just doesn’t want Israel to be turned into a parking lot in the process. And when taken into context with Zogby’s further assertion that the U.S. took a poll dip because of our support for Israel after terrorist Hezbollah started the war on the Lebanese border, the subtext is clear. To appease the poll gods, the U.S. would have to abandon Israel altogether.
British author and World War I vet William McFee once said, “People don’t ever seem to realize that doing what’s right is no guarantee against misfortune.” Nor is it a guarantee of pristine Zogby numbers. And it shouldn’t take hearings and reports — and I’ll be waiting for “Irrational Global Hatred for Israel: Why?” — for this Congress to realize that.