Before the smoke had cleared after the terrorist attacks of September 11, Americans were already asking, “Why do they hate us?” The question felt useless, even whiny. It was also unanswerable, since “our” specific attackers were dead. Yet it persisted. It persisted because of a sense that even with those particular haters gone, the hate itself was lethal, and whoever “they” had been, there was plenty more in store for “us.

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