"Why do they hate us?" That's what many Americans asked after 9/11, "oblivious to their country's role in decades of coups, tyranny, sanctions, regimes, and occupations across the Middle East," writes Seumas Milne in the Guardian. Now, they're asking the same about the protests gripping the Muslim world—with just as little self-awareness. Sure, anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims lit the fuse. "But it would be absurd not to recognize that the scale of the response isn't just about a repulsive video."
People are protesting because this insult "is seen once again to come from an arrogant hyperpower that has invaded, subjugated, and humiliated the Arab and Muslim world for decades," Milne writes. Since 9/11, "the US and its allies have attacked and occupied Afghanistan and Iraq; bombed Libya; killed thousands in drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia; imposed devastating sanctions," and tortured with impunity, Milne writes. "After 11 years of the war on terror … the only surprise is that there aren't more violent anti-US and anti-western protests."