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U.S. Must Take a Greater Interest in World Events

January 23, 2002

The most interesting aspect of "World Press Tries to Unknot Tale of Bush and the Pretzel" (Jan. 16) is the revelation of just how much the world pays attention to even the minute aspects of political life in the United States. Certainly before Sept. 11 it was embarrassing how little attention the average American was paying to the world. Will we revert? Like it or not, the life and politics of a hegemonic country in such a technologically and economically globalized world are going to get a lot of attention.

We as citizens of that hegemony have a responsibility, and indeed it is in our best interests, to pay equal attention to the world and to the foreign policies that our leaders practice. We have perhaps the strongest constitutional government in the world, but if we're not paying attention the politicians who construct our foreign policy will respond only to the narrow and selfish interests (often consisting of global, corporate fat cats) that can provide lucrative campaign finances. And that, in the long run, hurts our politics, our economy and our safety. We must be more active as a civil society.

J.P. Alban

West Hollywood

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