Choosing to Blame America Rather Than Looking at Themselves

RECEIVED Fri., Jan. 30, 2004

Dear Editor,
   You suggest foreign aid as a more reasonable alternative to the Iraq war ["Page Two," Jan. 23]. Translating this into real-speak, I get, "Hey, we'll send you $60 million a year if you'll quit knocking our buildings down." Duh.
   You also suggest expanded spy activity as an alternative. I submit that expanding our spy capability in a xenophobic police state like Iraq would have been difficult.
   You also suggest diplomacy, which raises the question of why America, with its large state department, its hosting of the United Nations, and its position as the world's leader in foreign aid, is not already secure from foreign hatred.
   You say, "All the excuses for the invasion have always rung hollow," and you indeed list one or two "excuses" which have proven false. But there were many other "excuses" which you do not mention: Iraq's brazen attempt to assassinate an American president, its history of reckless military aggression, its cash support of Palestinian terror, its attempts to shoot down American warplanes, its activity at suspicious sites (shown in satellite photos), its undisputed history in WMDs of all types, its general barbaric nature, and its undisguised hatred of the "Great Satan" (us).
   Finally, you mention the argument for the war that the "most dangerous terrorists are those supported by states, and the Iraq war proves what our response to such states will be." This is a weighty and clear argument, but your response is a mere reference to some Egyptian terrorists who attacked their own government.
   I think the Mideast, like the Unabomber, is not comfortable with modernities (entertainment glut and industrialization). Unfortunately, they choose to blame America, instead of performing the difficult, rare, pride-swallowing, and almost self-destructive act of acknowledging their own human weakness.
Thank you,
Herbert Ward
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