• Winona, Missouri

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Regarding Gwynne Dyer’s Nov. 16 article, “The West starts beating its war drums once again“: When has the West ever stopped beating its war drums?

Since 1945 the Western powers have been involved in many regional wars, “liberation” invasions and outright aggression, as we witnessed with the Bush invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the bombing of Afghanistan in late 2001.

There are reasons why many nonaligned Third World nations fear the West. For example, what faithful Muslim wouldn’t pause and feel just a bit threatened if he knew that the crusading Christian Right in America has gained considerable influence over the U.S. military establishment in recent years?

What Muslim leader wouldn’t feel a bit nervous knowing that during the Vietnam war, President Richard Nixon rattled his nuclear-tipped saber in North Vietnam’s face? And that George W. Bush made similar threats against Iraq on the eve of the American invasion in 2003? Of course, Bush was only talking about “tactical nuclear weapons”, which makes it seem a lot more tolerable.

Dyer poses a very troubling question in his article: How many Americans actually know where Iran is on a world map and what its population is?

Iraq and Iran are “blessed” with much of the known oil reserves on the planet. And this might explain why Britain and the United States are so anxious to bestow the blessings of democracy on both of these oil-rich nations. In the minds of most Americans, the people of both nations are just a bunch of camel-riding “ragheads” who ain’t even Christian.

Mitt Romney, the heir apparent as the Republican Party’s 2012 nominee for president, says he vows to stop Iran from developing its own nuclear bomb, either by imposing draconian sanctions or by outright war. Late-night talk show hosts in America love to poke fun at Iran’s president, much like they once satirized the deposed ruler of Iraq, the late Saddam Hussein.

Some American industrialists would consider bombing Iran just another example of profitable “venture capitalism.” They’ve earned billions of dollars in war-related revenue since Bush’s pre-emptive invasion of Iraq. How sweet it is.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

robert mckinney

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