The time lag between an attack and our retaliation should be under thirty seconds, lest there be any question of our sincerity. And a thwarted attack should be dealt with in the same way as a successful one. We should not confuse ineptitude with innocence.<p>Ugly, isn't it? Do you think our enemies have any more compassion or mercy for us? But we are not being the aggressors. Nothing will happen, if we are not attacked. We're merely making clear our intention to retaliate with decisive force.<p>Does the world like us for surgically removing the Taliban from Afghanistan? Do they hate us any less for freeing women from such oppression? Did they come to appreciate the United States for driving Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait or removing such a tyrannical madman from power? Did they even love us when we were the heroes who saved the world from Hitler? If so, how long did that last? Did they love us in peacetime, when we minded our own business? Did they love us in 2001, when we were the victims?<p>No, you can't win them over. The world is never going to like us. They will always question our motives and assume the worst, mainly because that's what they find within themselves. They can't imagine altruism or doing the right thing as anyone's genuine motivation, because it is incomprehensible in their own nature.<p>They can't compete with us, so rather than try, they choose to give up and resent us. They are jealous, self-loathing losers, and what makes them feel good is to pick a scapegoat like the United States and focus all their self-loathing externally.<p>Which is fine. I don't mind being an emotional punching bag. Just don't start flying our planes into our buildings. Then, I take offense.<p>Do we have anything to be ashamed off? Sure, we are far from perfect. At least we have the decency and honor to recognize our own flaws and feel embarrassed by them. We feel shame when there are isolated incidents of mere <i>white-collar</i> crime in our country. I don't see any other countries worried about how much we like them.<p>Meanwhile, Muslims can institutionalize sending their own children to suicide-bomb innocent civilians and rationalize it away. And we accept it! Why are our standards for <i>their</i> behavior so low? We expect so little from the rest of the world. How condescending we are! If there is anything we should be ashamed of, that is it.<p>Still, who gives more aid to the rest of the world? Who is the champion of the oppressed? Who comes to peoples' rescue in a crisis? We do. Are we really so bad?<p>Does being hated by the world bother me? Yes, but only to the extent that I find it unjust. Do I really care about how the rest of the world feels about us, when I consider the values of most of that world? Nope, not really. Whether they like us or not has more to do with their own screwed up values than it does with us. Does the fact that we stand for freedom and rights for all people make us evil?<p>Are we not entitled to defend ourselves? Let's not do a half-assed job at it. Let's make sure we don't suffer another reeling attack. Despite our own issues of shame and self-loathing, we do not deserve to have our innocent civilians murdered. Let's deal with the evil head-on.<p>Then we can work on our own self-improvement and our image.