The Democrats debated on NPR today, and were asked “Why do Muslims hate us?” If there’s a more tiresome question that has arisen from the ashes of 9-11, I’m not aware of it.

“Where’s my aircraft carrier?” was, essentially, the vast majority of Americans’ reaction after 9-11, liberal and conservative alike, but the rubber band has snapped the 9-10 left back to its former, pacifist, blame-America-first self. That NPR question arises from that attitude that all the hate directed at us must somehow be all our fault, and not motivated by anything other than our own actions. The word you may be looking for to describe that attitude is “narcissism.” Liberals corner the market on that stuff. And several of the Democrat candidates betrayed their worst, most liberal, knee-jerk blame America first instincts.

“Because we are trusted so little” – Joe Biden

Because of “the bullying, selfish, abusive behavior” of President Bush and his administration. – John Edwards

“John’s point is right, but I want to broaden it a little. If you were a Muslim overseas listening to Rudy Giuliani saying they want to come over here and kill you, you would get the impression that we don’t want to talk.” – Barack Obama

“This has been a vacuum for a long time. We don’t know their culture.” – Chris Dodd

The Muslims who attacked us on 9-11 hated us enough to attack us before we were in Iraq. They attacked us in 2000, they attacked us in 1998, they attacked us in 1996, etc etc. Was all of that hate the result of Bush bullying? Does Muslim hate violate the rules of space and time? Do they really hate us due to our lack of knowledge about their culture? Might there have been some other motivator apart from American actions? Hm? Osama bin Laden’s 1996 fatwa against us was based primarily on the fact that we were basing troops in Saudi Arabia. They were there protecting Muslims against other Muslims.

Is it possible, Democrats, that there is anti-American propaganda out there that spins opinions against us no matter what we do? Is it possible, Democrats, that the various governments that infest Muslim lands feed their people a steady diet of hatred for the West and America in particular? Is it possible, Democrats, that some Muslims hate us because of who we are (non-Muslims) and what we are (free) and who our friends are (Israel)? Should we change these things about ourselves to please them?

Answer me this, Democrat candidates: If we deserve Muslim hate, then why do the Muslims who have had the most constant contact with us, and with our military at that, have the highest opinion of Americans? I’m talking about Afghanistan, former home of al Qaeda, where not only do a majority of the Muslims not hate us, they want us to stay around.

Seventy-one percent of Afghans support the United States’ presence in Afghanistan — and where the U.S. is seen as strongest, its approval ratings peak.

But..but…Silky says we’re a bunch of bullies.

Despite some deterioration, most Afghans continue to see the U.S.-led overthrow of the Taliban as a good thing — 76 percent, although down from 88 percent last year — and to support U.S. forces remaining in their country. And 65 percent of Afghans still view the United States favorably overall, down from a peak of 83 percent in 2005 but still remarkable compared with America’s image in most other Muslim countries.

If you go through that poll I cited, you’ll see that our popularity in Afghanistan is sagging, but it appears to me based on this paragraph that the sag isn’t a result of hating America. Quite the contrary, actually.

Not all trends are negative; many Afghans in this national poll express forbearance, and half retain optimism, in the face of the country’s difficulties. And criticism of the United States is largely focused on its performance, not its presence.

Which means the more terrorist butt we kick, the more Afghanis tend to like us. The same seems to be true in Iraq’s once unruly al Anbar province, where the local Sunnis have turned toward the US and away from the hardcore Muslim mujihadin in their midst. Why? If we’re ignorant, infidel bullies, why are they siding with us?

One thing is clear: The Democrats who answered that question without either challenging its premise or by essentially blaming the US for being hated ought to be kept as far from the White House as possible. They don’t understand the war or the basic complexity of the world, they never have and they never will.

Update: One of the names that ought to come up in discussions of the sort the Democrats engaged in is Sayyid Qutb. He’s the Egyptian who came to America in the late 1940s, witnessed decadent sock hops in Colorado, and declared us all more or less worthy of death. He went on to found join the Muslim Brotherhood, which eventually gave rise to pretty much all of the Islamic terror groups that plague the world today. He was the uber Islamist who hated America long before it was fashionable. Heck, he hated America before George W. Bush was in kindergarten. Why, oh why, did Sayyid Qutb hate us?

The Democrats would also do well to watch a little Arab TV once in a while. This link will take you to LGF, which has a clip from Kuwaiti TV. I’ve been to Kuwait. The people there are cosmopolitan by regional standards. They’re outwardly friendly. They’re our allies because we saved their hind ends from Saddam. But if this TV audience is representative, they’ll also just as soon cut your head off as look at you if you run afoul of Islamic law. Is this America’s fault, Democrats?