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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

The Worldwide Role of American Power

March 28, 2003

Re "Power & Duty," Opinion, March 23:

Gary Schmitt says what I have heard from many other writers and speakers when he writes: "The unavoidable reality is that the exercise of American power is key to maintaining what peace and order there is in the world today. Imagine a world in which the U.S. didn't exercise this power."

Imagine, indeed! What claptrap. What insufferable arrogance. Sadly, this has infected too many Americans and our leaders. The world can survive very nicely without the United States, and if the U.S. continues with this imperial posturing, it may want to.

William Hoke

Manhattan Beach

*

You need to express thanks to Schmitt, for without his opinion piece you were soon to lose a customer. After so much visibility that the mindless antiwar faction receives, it is refreshing to read a well-thought opinion about the United States' position in the world.

Matthew White

Irvine

*

Schmitt, the executive director of the Project for the New American Century, the think tank that nurtured the hawks in the Bush administration, reveals the real reason for the war in Iraq: It is the opening salvo in the war of the worlds (the world of U.S. power versus the world of anyone and everyone foolish enough to resist). According to Schmitt, United Nations-type consensus building is out; you're either with us or against us.

He believes this is as it should be because, without an overwhelmingly powerful U.S. military firmly in control, the world of the foolish would soon be in chaos with wars and dreams of independence.

Filled with fantasies of America as the great liberator, he totally forgets one of the primary reasons for the existence of Al Qaeda and the horrors of Sept. 11: the presence of American troops on holy land in Saudi Arabia. Schmitt's (read President Bush's) war will nurture an entire flock of Osama bin Ladens.

Jim Parkhurst

Long Beach

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