In response to Todd Roberson’s letter “A Lesson for the Liberals” (Daily Nexus, April 3), I agree that there has been little meaningful dialogue between the left and right, but that does not mean the pro-war argument is not understood, or that the “ill-informed” left blindly rebels without cause. The pro-war stance is actually understood quite well. By dismissing anti-war claims as ridiculous, Roberson exposes the fact that he is equally ignorant of the liberal argument. Aside from that, it would be a mistake to claim that protesters are against conservatives in general.

We are against this administration’s decisions.

The Bush administration has declared supreme authority to disobey the U.N. charter and is refusing to acknowledge the vast opposition to war. To promote democracy by disobeying the majority of the world, by bribing countries for military access, by spying on and threatening U.N. members to coerce acceptance – well, I would hope you see the contradiction.

To argue that this war is in the common interest is simply ridiculous; it is in the interest of a small minority. Pre-emptive self-defense is an act of aggression, especially when clear evidence of an Iraqi threat is so, well, unclear. This war undermines the very purpose of the U.N. charter itself, and the administration has breached at least 15 articles of the Geneva Conventions through the treatment of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and Afghanistan. After “liberating” the Afghans and installing a former Unocal advisor as their president, a recent documentary shows evidence of U.S. involvement in a massacre of nearly 5,000 people in northern Afghanistan, a very serious war crime for which international inquiries have been stifled. Warlords still control much of the population there, the war against the Taliban still continues, and aid for rebuilding has been stalled for months. These actions alone warrant impeachment far more than lying about a blow job.

The claim that America is an imperialist nation is not without support. Since WWII, economic, political and military goals have been shaping U.S. foreign policy. It should be well known that the U.S. constantly exerts control over many countries that have opened their resources to the American market and obey our demands for fear of economic or military reprisal. This behavior is becoming more overt under the pretense of fighting terrorism. In a statement of principles published in 1997 by the “Project for the New American Century,” signed by Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Jeb Bush, among others, the neo-conservative goal of global dominance is stated quite clearly. “American foreign and defense policy is adrift. … We aim to change this. We aim to make the case and rally support for American global leadership.” In order to achieve this, the administration must “increase defense spending significantly … to carry out our global responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future … strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values … promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad … [and] accept responsibility for America’s unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity and our principles.” These statements are clearly reflected in the policies of the Bush administration. Dick Cheney’s oil company, Halliburton, already has contracts for rebuilding Iraq’s oil fields and infrastructure, and the administration has announced that America alone will control not only reconstruction, but political operation of Iraq by installing retired army Lt. Gen. Jay Garner as interim leader of postwar Iraq.

Every single U.S. intervention has been associated with humanitarian purposes consistently and deliberately amplified as a tool to gather support from a populace that consistently resists such acts. Roberson’s summary of the motives for war is exactly what the conservative media has been broadcasting for the last year.

Erland Sanborn is a senior art studio major.