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Leave me out of it
The most potent weapon in our arsenal is our belief in democracy

By Brad Hernlem
February 12, 2002
The Iranian

Well, it seems that quite a few people are ecstatic about President Bush's State of the Union declaration of war. Ali Sarshar says "Yes" to Axis of Evil. What is "evil"? Are weapons of mass destruction (WMD) "evil"? ["Yes. "Axis of Evil""]

Mr. Sarshar says that we should forget about Israel and the other complications. It doesn't matter whether OTHERS are part of the WMD problem or not. It doesn't matter that Bush is trying to dismantle counterproliferation agreements. It doesn't matter that he declared his war (which is no longer about terrorism, BTW, but directed toward other nations instead) at the same time that he is calling for massive spending on weapons and militarization. If it isn't WMDs that constitute evil, what is it?

Do Mr. Sarshar and Pres. Bush believe that they are God to discern evil from good, that they can go to war and kill in the name of what is Right? Personally, I've had enough of Holy War. Didn't we learn anything from September 11? Violence in the hands of people that think that they are right and others are wrong or "evil" is the problem. What are we doing to put an end to this affliction?

Ramin Ahmadi ["Not a friend"] says that "Iran's oppressive autocracy cannot be America's ally". I don't care whether Iran is our ally or not. What concerns me is whether they are our ENEMY. If we go around picking enemies then it is certain that we will have them. It isn't the U.S.'s responsibility to impose governments on other nations nor should we prop up those that are repressive or undemocratic.

When Bush first announced his "war on terrorism" following September 11, I was at first suspicious and then supportive. He seemed to be doing the right things. Even though military action was clearly a major component of the war, there were indications that the Administration understood that there were more important diplomatic and humanitarian fronts in such a war.

Now it seems that Bush has abandoned all that. It was just too hard to make the necessary policy changes. Dropping bombs was easier and more fun. It is not surprising, then, that Bush did not even mention the mastermind of September 11 in his speech. Instead he created an "Axis of Evil" to continue his military war even though none of the nations in that axis had anything to do with the attacks on the U.S.!

I'm sorry folks, if you want to go to war with the Iranian government, do it yourselves. Leave me out of it. I'd rather fight the "war on terrorism" that never happened. That IS a war worth fighting. A war to bring about an end to the phenomenon of people fighting "crusades", "jihads", killing in the name of "good" versus "evil".

The most potent weapon in our arsenal was never deployed. No, I do not mean the atomic bomb. I mean our belief in democracy, liberty and the rights of humanity. Instead of finding ways to express in our foreign policy these ideals that we covet for ourselves, the Administration has instead tried to find ways to curtail these freedoms to "protect us".

We don't need a massive military buildup, we need a massive infusion of funding for the diplomatic corps. People around the world don't hate the U.S. because of our beliefs. They resent us because they see that our foreign policies bear no resemblence to these principles.

Think! Does it make any sense that we demand Arafat "break the backs" of HAMAS and PIJ while at the same time HAMAS operates a web site in the land of the free? Does it make any sense that we demand Iran cooperate to apprehend al Qaeda members while we allow Mojahedin-e Khalq terrorists to operate offices in the U.S.?

Does it make any sense that we tell Sharon that it is OK to assassinate people and destroy their homes in "self defense" while at the same time we rail against Arafat to "behave like the leader of his people" and when he tries to defend his people we tell him that this is forbidden because he swore not to? Does it make any sense that we sell/give $billions in arms to Israel to defend itself but if Iran (apparently) sends $millions in arms to the Palestinians it is "support of terrorism"?

For the sake of those who died in the savage attacks of 11 September, do NOT use their deaths to excuse a new war against Iran. Do NOT use their memories to excuse a massive budget increase for a global crusade.

Comment for The Iranian letters section
Comment for the writer Brad Hernlem


Yes. "Axis of Evil"
Let's call it what it is
By Ali Sarshar

I just felt the urge
I can't say if many Americans agree with me, but
By Dave Marshall

Not our friend
Iran's oppressive autocracy cannot be America's ally
By Ramin Ahmadi

Give me a break
When countries act like schoolyard bullies
By Sepehr Haddad

Iran next?
U.S. military attack would prolong the reign of Iran's despotic rulers
By Shahriar Zangeneh

... following the
September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks


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