Echoing the self-serving

To the Editor:
Micah Halpern’s “Talking Point” piece in the Sept. 7-13 issue echoes the self-serving, jingoistic line promoted by President Bush after 9/11, that the “terrorists hate us because of our freedom.”

There is no excuse for the horrific, evil acts of the 9/11 terrorists, but it can’t be denied that many of the world’s people — in the Middle East and the southern countries of the American continent, in particular — have justified anger toward the U.S.

Our nation has meddled in the affairs of these sovereign nations for many years, instigating and / or enabling the overthrow of democratically-elected leaders in Iran, Chile, Haiti, and many others; supporting non-democratic, often repressive regimes such as in Egypt and in Saudi Arabia; using those regimes to torture those we have “detained.” In general, the U.S. has behaved like an arrogant bully, shaping the planet according to our own desires.

Americans do love the concepts of “freedom and democracy,” but our actions too often contradict these fine sentiments. U.S. actions since 9/11 have definitely not made us safer: they have eroded our freedoms here at home and serously harmed our reputation in the rest of the world, and invading Iraq has contributed greatly to the precarious state of our economy.

No, it seems like Mr. Halpern has not yet awakened to the new reality: The “War on Terror” will not save us. We must abandon our strong-arm tactics and learn to become a more responsible member of the world community.
Patricia Dillon