Cultural Revolutions

Looming Large

War with Iraq loomed large as I was flying home to my district on February 6, reading glowing reports in the Washington Times of Secretary of State Colin Powell’s speech to the United Nations the day before.  Then, I turned the page and read these words from Canadian Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew: “I’m hearing a lot of things about the United States, . . . a lot of anti-Americanism, stronger than I’ve heard in the past, and that worries me a great deal.”  He made these remarks at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington.

Just a little over three weeks earlier, I had made my first visit to Australia, with a U.S. congressional delegation.  When I arrived on January 13, I opened that day’s Sydney Herald and found nine letters opposed to war with Iraq and none in favor.  Adam Lyons, for example, wrote: “When our [Australian] servicemen go overseas this time it will be with the clear interest to plunder Iraq.  It will not be to make the world a safer place; it will not be to protect a threatened nation.”  While I do not believe U.S. troops intend to plunder Iraq, this letter is typical of the depth of feeling in many other countries.

That same day, the Sydney Australian carried a column by Gabriel Kolko, research professor emeritus at York University in Toronto.  Professor Kolko wrote: “Things go...

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