Democracy-Key to U.S. Place in the Sun

To the Editor: We were opposed to the war for one simple reason: It’s not what the UN, the only democratic institution that exists at the international level, voted (or would have voted) to do. Now I ask you, the reader: If you really believe in democracy, can you honestly deny the votes of a majority of nations, a majority of people around the world, by doing what we are doing in Iraq? Realize that we are not even considering the rightness of this action. Almost all of us believe something our government does is wrong, but ask yourself: Is it right to forcefully subvert that policy? Most of you are answering no, because you believe that our democracy is more precious than any one government policy. I hope that someday you will feel the same way about our nascent international democracy: the UN. Some of you are dubious that international democracy is feasible. In response, I would urge you to see how democracy within a nation was viewed around 1776. It was viewed with equal skepticism, but it has endured. Democracy is a habit. It is one not easy to acquire, but not easy to break, either, as the last 200 years of western democracy have proven. Consider: One day when our own hegemony fades, our voice could still be heard as a nation among equals. And even when our nation has disappeared altogether, The United States might be remembered and revered as the last hegemon: the king who gave up his throne so that whole world could be free.Peter Barendse, Class of 2004Mary Cox, Class of 2003