On Jan. 26, 2008, Hugh Cortazzi wrote an article for The Japan Times titled “Democracy is not a panacea,” but now that the United States has seen the first term of a Democratic president rather than a Republican one (the lack of distinction between the two parties’ foreign policies notwithstanding), Cortazzi seems to be pining for the days of the straight-talkin’ world sheriff from Texas (March 7 article, “Where’s the world policeman when you need one?“).

Cortazzi’s list of all that’s wrong in the world fails to account for the root cause of many of these problems: America’s global hegemony. Through successive Republican and Democratic administrations, the U.S. has supported thuggish Mideast dictators and even now supports the theocratic kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Using drones to kill children is winning the U.S. no fans in Pakistan. In Asia, the U.S. policy of keeping 28,000 troops in South Korea guarantees that China will support the buffer nation of North Korea, no matter how corrupt or evil it becomes.

The global community does not need a “world policeman”; it does need the world’s free nations to get their own houses in order. For the U.S., that means dealing with profligate spending and ending hypocritical violations of human rights abroad.

joseph jaworski
taragi, kumamoto

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.