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All Critics of the War Are not Socialists

Reader comment on item: Why the Left Loves Osama [and Saddam]

Submitted by Susan Bradford (United States), Mar 20, 2003 at 10:31

I found Mr. Pipes' comments interesting as usual, but, please, to denounce those critical of the Bush administration's policies as socialist is absurd and insulting. I don't think Mailer or any of the others Pipes quoted truly delighted in the terrorist assault against the United States. What Pipes mistook for glee was in fact an understanding or empathy Bush critics have for those who resent U.S unilateralism.

The old liberal international order was created within a multinational framework, recognizing that no country can stand alone and that more can be achieved through international collaboration. Former Warsaw Pact countries have seen the advantages of joining NATO, for example. Not only do they enjoy the defense afforded to them, but they receive assistance for infrastructure supporting their nascent democracies and free market economies. Does their interest in joining and reaping benefits from the global economy make them socialist? I think not.

Both liberals and conservatives have internationalist proclivities , though conservatives are more likely to favor international collaboration with strict adherence to state sovereignty whereas liberals are willing to cede some sovereignty for larger international interests. For example, a conservative would not support having an international Central Bank determine national economic policy whereas a liberal would value international environmental standards, realizing that pollution is a transnational problem.

President Washington warned the U.S. about engaging in entangling alliances. We should have listened to him. But we find ourselves in an international order wherein collaboration and the support of other countries is necessary to fund international projects, to help us fight the war on terror, to survive and thrive. We are dependent on each other in many ways.

The blatant and arrogant disregard the U.S. has displayed towards other countries is now coming back to haunt us. When the terrorists attacked Americans, many liberals felt vindicated, though certainly not delighted in the harm inflicted on our country. The United States is the sole global hyperpower. We must use our power and influence responsibly. In essence, we need to cultivate better "soft skills" in diplomacy and adopt a more internationalist perspective, appreciating the views of other countries while still honoring our own. We must remember that we still are part of a larger international community. Reminding the U.S. of this does not make the messenger a Marxist-Leninist.


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