President George W. Bush's simplistic characterization of people of the world as "good" or "evil" makes for a confusing and contradictory foreign policy.
"Terrorists" are "evil." But how do you define a terrorist? Were the patriots of the American Revolution terrorists when they defied the existing power structure? Few Americans would characterize those of the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party and those at Yorktown as terrorists, and rightly so.
Therefore, there are cases in which the powerful and constituted authority (in the above case, the British) refuses to recognize the legitimate grievances of the people over which they have power.
I concede to President Bush that the perpetrators of Sept. 11 are by most anyone's standards "terrorists" but, at the same time, I have great sympathy for the Palestinians, the majority Muslims of Kashmir and the people of East Timor, who have (or had) little or no voice in defining their futures.
All of these people have some very legitimate grievances against the powers that control their lives. What form of protest or resistance would Mr. Bush have them take to change their circumstances?
I wish the Bush administration would give us better definitions of "good" and "evil," "freedom" and "terrorism."
T. Lucien Mohammed, Aiken, S.C.
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