Freedoms in US under threat [Archives:2003/635/Letters to the Editor]

May 12 2003

Paul Hughes-Smith
[email protected]

I have just read a recent letter 'Don't be excited by anti-war Americans' in your paper. The writer cautions you that 'I think you would be ashamed to know that most of the anti war protesters in the United States are left-wingers' as though being a left-winger is akin to a pornographer or pedophile. Though undoubtedly there is freedom to criticize in the US, this freedom has been under threat ever since the events of September 11th and many sections of society are now viewed with a deep suspicion that is actively encouraged by much of the establishment press – left-wingers, Muslims and anyone with a Middle Eastern sounding name being the principal targets.
There are many Americans who are now criticizing the Bush administration for a host of reasons from those in the military and the security services right through to your average family man or woman from middle America concerned for the future of their children; attempts to demonize this opposition, as exemplified in the aforementioned letter, just give a taste of the problems the US is going to have to face in the coming months in its relations with the Middle East and with those of us in the West who do not support their action over Iraq and their proposed long-term policies of 'regime change' in the area.
We in Britain are wary of backing an administration that seems to be controlled behind the scenes by a Christian fundamentalist/ Zionist lobby; that is not how we do things in Europe and unfortunately the US seems strangely taken aback by our reluctance to follow their current policies especially their now clear antipathy to involve the UN in weapons inspections and the rebuilding of Iraq.
I therefore remain deeply pessimistic about the future of Iraq, Afghanistan and the establishment of a viable Palestinian state as long as the present political climate prevails in Washington.
Lastly I would also likely to congratulate you on your letter castigating the leaders of other Arab regimes and your warning to them to put their houses in order. Had they had the legitimate support of their peoples and not been the puppets of the US and the IMF, they could have proved an effective opposition to this present conflict and could have dealt with the problem of Saddam Hussein themselves instead of providing the excuse for the intervention of the US and its partners.