US elections

Mr Pantelis Boukalas («Dogfighting,» October 5) does not have his finger on the pulse of the American elections. The debates are not trivial exercises, nor is this election trivial. Yes, a good number of the US electorate is uninformed and does not understand the difference between Al Qaeda and Iraq (35 percent are hopelessly ignorant of the facts) but these voters are all universally voting for Bush. A great many of us do understand the difference and will be voting for Kerry.  Many polls show that the Iraq war is the number one issue among the electorate. Americans also understand that there is a clear difference in foreign policies. Kerry is a multilateralist, Bush is not… It does no one any good to belittle the American electorate. We are not so monolithic as Mr Boukalas imagines, and there are plenty of Americans that value democracy and the rule of law above all, who have a healthy respect for international laws. We see a very real difference between Bush and Kerry with regard to these issues.  We hope that European citizens will be as vigilant as a good number of Americans who recognize that powerful elites – in the media, in business, in government – have disproportionate means to influence public opinion to their own ends. And yes, this happens even in Europe, as much as it does in the United States. D. ANASTASOPOULOS, Buffalo, NY.