Americans want nation's actions, policies to be example for others

Posted: Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Who wants some freedom fries to go with their crow?

While I commend your Mr. Spence for expressing his disgust that our nation was deceived by the Bush administration about the necessity to stage a pre-emptive military attack on the people of Iraq and his doubts about what the billion dollar a month military occupation of this country might also cost in human life, it's inappropriate for him to conclude that "it's time to tell the rest of the world that they'd bloody well better help."

Most of the rest of the world did not blindly accept the lies before the invasion. Most of the rest of the world had serious doubts about what attacking and occupying Iraq would achieve. Many in the rest of the world see our occupation of Iraq resulting in increased instability in the region. Many in the rest of the world view our occupation as little more than a thinly veiled armed takeover of the world's second largest oil reserves. More people in the world protested this war, even before it started, than ever protested any war before in history. In the world of today, we are perceived as empire builders and to many, in our own way, a tangible threat to world peace and unity.

Our nation chose to act unilaterally, contrary to world opinion, and even threatened other nations who refused to endorse our actions. We have abrogated nuclear proliferation and missile treaties, we have broken the Geneva Convention, we maintain that the international rule of law does not apply to us. We have made it clear to the rest of the world that we consider ourselves to be apart from them. We have no right to "bloody well" expect other nations in this world to take responsibility for our actions, and certainly, not in order to alleviate any of our own individual responsibilities in this matter.

Attempts by our own citizens to ask for accountability in government, to ascertain the true motives for our need to attack the people of Iraq, to question the veracity of "facts" purported by this administration, to protest or disagree with legislative actions and presidential directives that are in direct conflict with our constitutional law, resulted in being accused by this administration and its U.S. Attorney General, among others, of being unpatriotic and aiding the enemy.

Too many of us have stood by while our foreign and domestic policies have been radically changed for the worse. We are confronted with very real and growing problems at home and abroad and we must take responsibility and work to correct them.

We can surely hope that some of the rest of the world might help us if we reach out to them now, but what we must "bloody well" expect is for our administration to not set themselves apart from the rest of the world, nor for that matter, from its own citizens. We must demand that our

country's domestic and foreign policies serve as an example, respected by its own citizens, and deserving to be emulated by the rest of the world. We must expect this of ourselves, we must insist

that there is truth and open accountability in our own government, that we may again be a respected democratic example for the world. When we accomplish that, we will all then be true patriots, in every sense of the word.

Paul Zimmerman


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