Letter: America on trial

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THOMAS FLEMING's perceptive and sagacious piece ("The last evil empire?", 7 March) illustrated the dilemma currently faced in the American- led world order. Many will applaud the critique of American actions and lament all pervasive American culture (an oxymoron if ever there were one). Nonetheless, prevailing orthodox logic suggests that whilst the Americans may indeed be flawed and often misguided, we need them. We need them to maintain some form of acceptable order, to uphold international standards and to enforce "free trade". These attitudes are now obsolete.

At the time of the end of the Cold War some people were filled with foreboding at the prospect of a new invigorated, unaccountable Pax Americana. We seem to be vindicated, but our prescience is of little comfort as America swaggers around the world with arrogance and impunity.

Now is an opportune time to seek the creation of an alternative world order, not based upon and policed by American power and double standards. World leadership cannot be left exclusively to a nation which laid waste Vietnam, which bled and bullied Central America and insisted on denying that the holocaust in Rwanda was genocide.

DAVID JOHNSON

Stoke on Trent

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