What would the United States do?

In Chris Schafer’s Dec. 4 column “Saudi commercials could be feel-good hoax” on the recent public relations commercials aired by Saudi Arabia, readers were treated to a feast of no-source information and some half-baked foreign policy analysis.

Schafer often uses the terms “us” or “we” when describing activities of the U.S. government. Such inclusive terminology combined with a finger pointed at a suspicious ally is nothing more than an attempt to oversimplify the truth and create an atmosphere of “us against them.” Schafer’s analysis of the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia is hardly enlightening and completely overlooks basic questions about our policies and theirs.

For example, he suggests the Saudi government’s refusal to allow Americans (most likely U.S. Marines or covert operation units) to hunt for terrorists inside Saudi Arabia is suspicious and possibly an attempt to interfere with U.S. efforts to capture them. Schafer does not contemplate how the United States would react to a reciprocal arrangement if Saudi Arabia had undergone its own Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and if some of the suspects were Americans. Would we be willing to allow Saudi Arabian forces into our borders to hunt for them? Of course not.

Would this mean we were trying to interfere with justice? No. Schafer doesn’t remark on this double standard because it’s just not the way we, as Americans, are supposed to think about U.S. foreign policy. Our government is the “good guy,” the cowboy with the white hat.

Jim Novak, senior, neuroscience