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World Opinion Shift Expected During War

Likening world opinion to a friend, Ali S. Wyne ’08 (“Anti-Americanism in the New Century,” Oct. 16, 2007) concludes that “Under the Bush administration, we have turned our back on our most dependable friend.”

I am amazed. World opinion is our most dependable friend? I have been traveling this world since the Carter administration, and I have found, contrary to Mr. Wyne’s claim, that what is most dependable is the world’s willingness, even eagerness, to criticize America to a visiting American’s face.

Mr. Wyne may be correct that this tendency has increased under President Bush, but this is nothing to wring our hands over. It is to be expected during a war. Much of the world, long accustomed to overwhelming U.S. military power, is also accustomed to its restraint. It takes offense when America actually exercises that power, because such exercise reminds the world just how dependent it is upon both U.S. power and U.S. restraint.

Frank Mullen, Draper Laboratory employee