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deMOCKcracy Mistakes of this magnitude should not be tolerated by the American people.

The events of the last few years have formed divisions that never before existed. Attitudes that used to be moderate and accepting of other cultures have been swayed to the far right, showing little tolerance for anything foreign. This isn't just true for American society, but for societies across the globe, and herein lies the biggest danger to all of us. Americans from all walks of life have picked up a "kill 'em all and let God sort them out" mentality, which directly mirrors the vehemence we feel from terrorist organizations. Question is, is it within our power to stop the slaughter on both sides?

There are many that agree that the Bush Administration's foreign policy has played directly into the hands of those whose influence they've tried to subvert. Islamic fundamentalism now reaches further into the Islamic world, solely because of American aggression and unilateral military action. Desperate, frustrated, impoverished people from the third world are keen to strike at what is looked at the ultimate source of wealth and control on the planet, the United States, just as we Americans feel driven to strike at our own government when it acts in a way that shames us. I've felt shamed by Bush and his imperialist ways, and feel badly for him, because he truly thinks that American culture can save the world. If only it was such a simple place.

All societies have basic laws they live by, which uphold morality and punish base human barbarism. All moderates in all societies must recognize these similarities if there's hope of peace, yet governments are still corrupt, greedy and bloodthirsty. Now we see an administration bent on revenge. What purpose that revenge serves remains a mystery, and the people who support American military action don't seem to argue against it. Someone has to pay for 9/11, right?

I think many of the countries of the world would benefit from a healthy dose of democracy, but democracy can't flourish in areas where education is poor and ethnic and religious hatreds are ripe. Those issues need to be resolved before an effective transition to democracy can take place. The only institutions addressing social concerns in many Islamic countries are the fundamentalist organizations that provide support for people in need. Bush cannot hope to downplay their influence and instill democratic ideals through the use of military force. The quagmire in Iraq now serves as an example of Bush's simple planning. Now, the only option is to follow the examples set in post WWII Germany and Japan: commit far more military personnel for security, and engineering personnel for rebuilding of the infrastructure.

Mistakes of this magnitude should not be tolerated by the American people. I'm angry at the fact that we lost thousands of innocents on 9/11, and would love to see those responsible suffer for their crimes, but the schoolyard bully reaction Bush uses is just too simplistic to work in such a complex world. This man lies to deceive us, only uses fear to control us, and will ultimately make us more enemies than friends.

That's my two cents. Thank you,


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