Like gawky teenagers, Americans are far too obsessed with what people thousands of miles away think of them. The first reaction of the ordinary man in the street on December 7, 1941, was not to wonder why the Japanese hated him. It was not even his tenth reaction because at that point he was much too busy hating the Japanese to care why they hated him.
That attitude might not be pretty, but it was a practical response to the exigencies of wartime, and that war, like most wars, was not fueled by emotion, but by territorial aggression. FDR was unconcerned with Japanese emotions, let alone their hearts, minds and livers; because he knew that the conflict did not come down to emotions but to a power struggle between a Japanese empire in the Pacific and the only Western country with a view of the Pacific capable of standing up to the land of the rising sun.
The study of Muslim rage, its wellsprings and tides, is as worthless as the study of Japanese rage in the dying days of the 1930s. Despite the showy displays of violence in the last week by inflamed Chinese mobs attacking Japanese properties and Muslim mobs attacking American properties, the conflicts do not revolve around the axis of emotion, but of power and territory.
The issue, whether it is in the South China Sea or the world, is still that old Lebensraum [space to live]. Hatred is a useful emotion for those-who-want-to-expand-their-territory to feel for the people-whose-territory-they-want-to-expand-into. That is something that every conqueror from Genghis Khan to Adolf Hitler knew and intimately understood. If you are going to fight a people, then you might as well hate them too.
The moderns assume that war comes from hate, rather than hate coming from war. They study the rhetoric that our enemies use as pretexts for their acts of war, and lecture us on why Bin Laden was so angry at the United States of Infidels and how a badly dubbed movie led to a "spontaneous" wave of violence on the anniversary of Bin Laden's original attacks.
A short study of war however is enough to teach us that pretexts of the emotional, rather than the territorial kind, do not matter. Hitler's pretexts for war were all manufactured, one after another, to the shame of politicians in London and Paris who took his imaginary grievances seriously.
It did not seem to enter the gentlemanly mind of a Chamberlain that Hitler's issues with his neighbors arose only because he wanted to conquer them. It has similarly not entered the minds of our modern Chamberlains that Muslims are encouraged by their leaders to hate us, for the same reason that Nazi leaders encouraged Germans to hate the Jews whose wealth and property they had their eyes on.
The appeaser consensus obstinately refuses to understand that Muslim violence is not blowback or the uncontrollable reflex of a knee being jerked in response to our foreign policy. It is not a reaction that can be soothed by applying aloe and appeasement, but an aggressive action intended to expand their power and influence. That refusal to see Muslims as actors rather than reactors is rooted in a colonialist view of Third World peoples as the balls in our pinball foreign policy machine, rather than civilizations looking to step into a power vacuum that we have left open for them.
There was nothing spontaneous about this latest wave of violent attacks targeting American interests. It was a coordinated effort across multiple countries with the practical purpose of taking over properties in the Muslim world legally considered American territory, lowering the American flag and replacing it with the black flag of the Jihad and the Caliphate.
The Mohammed video, like Israel, serves as a convenient Grand Unification Theory of Islamic outrage, but the attacks were no more emotional than any other invasion and their meaning can be gleaned from their timing and their tactics, rather than the press releases. The attacks would have gone forward regardless of whether a Coptic filmmaker had dubbed in some lines about Mohammed, because their purpose was to use September 11 to demonstrate Jihadist staying power after the death of Bin Laden and to begin the Jihadist transition from terrorist groups to guerrilla armies.
Muslims do hate us, but the reasons why they hate us, rooted in xenophobic scripture and tribal cruelty, are not why we are at war. Conflicts do not begin out of hate alone, or France and England would still be at each other's throats; they begin with the hope of political, territorial and economic gains. Islam is more than a theology; it is the manifest destiny of over a thousand years of raiders, looters and slave merchants.
If Muslims only hated us, then we could live with that. But like Japan on December 1941, they do not just hate us in the abstract fashion that countries and peoples hate one another. We are not just hated. We are in their way.