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Letter to the Editor: Anti-war groups help mitigate U.S. stereotypes

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

To the editor:

The post 9-11 period provided an unprecedented moment of international goodwill toward the United States. The Bush administration squandered this opportunity to galvanize international cooperation, choosing instead to pursue the agenda of the Project for the New American Century. Most of Bush's top people belong to that group.

The long standing agenda of the project has been U.S. domination in the economic, political and military spheres, including an invasion of Iraq. The media of most other countries reported this prior to the war. Predictably, most people of other countries opposed the invasion. Many now view the United States as an arrogant, self-serving, bully bent on empire. We are isolated and resented as never before.

Most ominous is the recent shift in Iraqi opinion with most now viewing the United States as occupiers rather than liberators. Reuters recently reported that the war has been hugely successful as a recruiting tool for al-Qaida. It is difficult to avoid concluding that we were safer prior to the invasion.

The anti-war movement, including 1,000-plus members of military families and groups like Veterans for Peace, serves a critical function in the post invasion period. A high-profile peace movement mitigates the prevalent stereotype that all Americans are naive, arrogant and self-serving. In addition to staunchly opposing the shedding of U.S. blood for oil and hegemony, the movement makes it more difficult to condemn or attack Americans using these prevalent stereotypes.

ROBERT POLACK JR.

Cape Girardeau