'They' being Middle East Muslims, especially those who have taken up arms against the American presence in the region. In his speech to the American Enterprise Institute (in defense of torture), Cheney explained the roots of Arab resentment:
Not so, says retired CIA analyst Ray McGovern, at least not entirely. They hate not our freedoms, but our policies, particularly American "support for Israel." Cheney, McGovern says, got that part right, a deliciously odd admission coming from the man responsible for undermining so many of our vaunted freedoms and civil liberties.
Not that those on the left haven't tried to convince the "they-hate-our-freedoms-crowd" of the damage done by American policy on Israel-Palestine. The complaints of leftists, however, are cavalierly dismissed as rants from the "blame America first" fringe.
Even when terrorist masterminds like Osama bin Laden, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ramzi Yousef explain that their animosity toward the U.S. is almost entirely due to its Israel policy, who takes them seriously? They're terrorists.
But what if the same policy criticisms were voiced by the U.S. Department of Defense itself? Would people then sit up and take notice? Perhaps. And therein lies the genius of McGovern's piece on Cheney.
McGovern, you see, has unearthed a U.S. Defense Science Board report written just two months after 9-11, and then sent directly to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in 2004, two months before the fall presidential election. Here's an extended quote from the report --page 48:
of and support for radical Islamists, while diminishing support for the United States to single-digits in some Arab societies.
• "Muslims do not 'hate our freedom,' but rather, they hate our policies. The overwhelming majority voice their objections to what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights, and the ... support for ... tyrannies, most notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan, and the Gulf states.
• "Furthermore, in the eyes of Muslims, American occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq has not led to democracy there, but only more chaos and suffering. U.S. actions appear in contrast to be motivated by ulterior motives, and deliberately controlled in order to best serve American national interests at the expense of truly Muslim self-determination."
The report, now declassified, was suppressed by those in charge --and according to McGovern-- by the mainstream media.
But hey! We're still in Iraq. We're still in Afghanistan and bombing targets in Pakistan. We still support Middle Eastern kingdoms and dictatorships. And... our policy toward Israel shows no signs of changing.
So maybe, just maybe, the conclusions in the report will, at long last, do some good.