Question of Democracy

I was very disappointed by Howard Rosenberg’s column applauding the health of American democracy as displayed at Ohio State University during the presentation of the Clinton administration’s case for bombing Iraq (“Democracy’s Rough Edges Were Showing,” Feb. 20).

For the first time on TV, we saw people asking the politically difficult questions that American policymakers and most journalists have consistently ignored: Why does the Clinton administration have a double standard, bombs and sanctions for Iraq but economic and military assistance for our “friends” even though they too are human-rights abusers, occupiers and holders of weapons of mass destruction?

Now that these topics have been raised by Ohio State students, the media--including Ted Koppel on “Nightline"--have joined with the administration’s damage-control campaign by trying to discredit the questioners rather than addressing the substance of the questions.

These questions are still waiting to be answered in detail, plus an honest assessment of the U.S.’ role in distributing a full range of weapons to Iraq and many, many other countries. Until that happens, I believe that America’s democracy remains in the intensive care unit!