In response to the haughtiness in the following email, guest columnist Frank P Hart set a couple of things straight.
Yesterday, on TV, I saw your president admitting he went to invade Iraq based on wrong information. I thought, we are lucky that we are no more during the cold war. Otherwise, he would have blown up the planet.
He is still acting to destroy the planet by not doing anything to preserve the planet in favor of business.
Hope soon you will find a more responsible man at the top of the most powerful country!
That's for politic, as my good friend, I wish you a merry Christmas!
Salut [Jean Hémar]
If I were you, I'd spend less of my time worrying about the President of the U.S. and more time worrying about the President of France. For a guy who claims to spend no time keeping up with the news, you certainly seem to have little problem parroting the lines of the op-ed pages of Le Monde and Le Figaro.
Fact is, it isn't the Cold War era anymore, but that does not mean that people like Hussein, Ahmadinejad, and Kim Jong Il are no less dangerous; in fact they are more so, since the Cold War discipline on international protocols controlling the proliferation of nuclear materials is unravelling. Accurate intelligence or not, the President of the U.S. acted to defend the country and its Constitution according to the oath of office he swore to uphold (and last time I checked, that oath did not take into consideration the views of Europeans). That is not the action of an irrational or stupid man. It is the action the man found necessary based upon information furnished to him. And he is now taking steps to reform the shortcomings of the intelligence services. The reality, however, is that the CIA has been in decline since the 1970s due to policies put in place by a Democratic Congress and Democratic President (Carter), and the CIA's ineptitude will not be reversed overnight. But it will be reversed.
You (and other Europeans, especially the op-ed pages of the European press) can bitch all you want about Bush, but the reality is that *any* responsible human being that had been elected President would have done exactly the same thing he did. Or perhaps you're annoyed because we didn't elect an environmentalist dolt like Al Gore, who would have continued to leave the country exposed -- even after September 11 -- much the way that Bill Clinton did, thus permitting organizations like Al Qaeda to plan continuing attacks unfettered by any interference from intelligence-gathering or law-enforcement agencies.
I should also remind you that, even though the United States has not signed the Kyoto Protocol -- and never will, its percentage of emissions increase over 1990 levels is one of the lowest on the globe. Most western European countries, including France, are well above 1990 emissions levels and are above the increase of the United States, so what do you realistically have to bitch about without being complete hypocrites? Go ahead and bitch about the U.S. if it makes you feel better. I will be happy to read your screeds, but you should also be prepared for a critical response.
Now that we're done bitching back and forth at each other, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Please pass along those sentiments to [your family].