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Worldwide sympathy has been squandered

Posted: Wednesday, March 05, 2003

One and a half years ago, thousands of people were killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center towers. This was arguably one of the most heinous acts ever committed by human beings, and countries all over the world felt incredible sympathy for the United States. Yet in 18 months, the current administration has managed to erase any sympathy most other countries have felt. In fact, the anti-American sentiment around the world has become almost an epidemic. How can this be? How did the outpouring of worldwide sympathy erode so quickly only to be replaced by disdain? The answer is simple: Our current administration's witch-hunt style of diplomacy has alienated too many people. Now, the only feeling that many countries have is the feeling of their arms being twisted to support the United States in its quest for revenge.

I vehemently oppose a war with Iraq. First of all, this entire "crisis" with Saddam Hussein is a smokescreen to hide the fact Osama Bin Laden has not been captured or killed, as well as to protect our oil interests in the Middle East. Second, our administration's policy of a preemptive strike on Iraq is morally reprehensible. Preemptive strikes of this nature are unprecedented on the part of the United States. Attacking Iraq would give the U.S. and every country in the world future misguided justification of invasion in the name of defense of country. Furthermore, the United States' attempt to manipulate the U.N. Security Council and NATO allies has caused so much arguing that it has done nothing but weaken worldwide alliances to truly fight terrorism. Finally, we are fooling ourselves if we think this war will relieve some of the fear and anxiety we have been living with at home. In the aftermath of war, global and domestic terrorism will be worse; the use of secret military tribunals will increase; Fourth Amendment rights under the Constitution will continue to erode under the Patriot Act; and our economy will suffer even more than it is now if $100 billion are wasted upon the destruction of Iraq.

Ultimately, going to war without exhausting every diplomatic solution imaginable is nothing more than a blatant disregard for human life. It will certainly not be our top decision-makers whose lives will be at risk. It will be our brothers and sisters, our fathers and mothers, our children, and innocent Iraqi civilians.

Jamie Marks

Douglas



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