OPINION

Against policies of doubtful validity

Professor Couloumbis’s article of May 15 («Tackling anti-Americanism in Greece») fails to distinguish between «anti-Americanism» per se – a blind prejudice against all things American – and justifiable concern over policies pursued by the Bush administration. But to ignore this distinction is to risk being stampeded by the spin doctors into a passive acquiescence of policies of doubtful validity. The term «anti-Catholic» was once used to intimidate anyone seeking to preserve the separation between Church and State. Politicians labeled «anti-Semitic» for urging fair play for Palestinians were often driven out of office (See Finley, «They Dare To Speak Out»). Joan Didion writes in The NY Review for January 16 that «The president of Harvard recently warned that criticism of the current government of Israel could be construed as ‘anti-Semitic’ in their effect if not in their intent.» The epithet «anti-American» must be viewed with equal suspicion. So-called anti-Americanism has received a fresh boost as a result of the influence of a group of neo-conservatives on US foreign policy. In «Project for the New American Century,» they set forth the steps by which the US should achieve world domination. They urge a «robust diplomacy,» employing intimidation, a «you’re next» policy reminiscent of German-style diplomacy under Von Ribbentrop and now advocated openly by Richard Perle, an apologist for Israel and close associate of Rumsfeld, Bush, Wolfowitz, Feith and Rove – all high governmental officials or consultants, all hawks and all part of the loose coalition of neo-cons who set the tone for the Bush administration. Ray McGovern, of «Senior Former Intelligence Agents for Sanity,» likened their manifesto to Hitler’s «Mein Kampf» for its naked intent to impose a Pax Americana on the rest of the world. (CNN interview) George Washington, who warned the new American republic against «foreign entanglements,» might have thundered his disapproval if not hung his head in shame at such imperialist plots. But shame or disapproval to one side, such provocations carry with them grave risks for American democracy, American society and the American people. It is in the best interests of the American people to oppose them. FREDERICK FEIED, PH.D. Zakynthos.