Sir: The bewilderment and shock that has ripped through America as a result of the Oklahoma blast is not surprising. Neither is the news coverage that it has received. But it does reflect a rather unsavoury American arrogance.
"This looks like Beirut, not America," one witness was quoted as saying (report, 21 April). "How can anyone kill our babies?" says another. Unfortunately the same way that "American might" bombs civilians in bunkers in Iraq, and in their beds at the dead of night in Libya. The same way that American law, obsessed with the inflexibility of right and wrong, keeps a British woman in America charged with killing her newborn baby, instead of returning her to British care where she belongs. The same way that it executes murderers when the claim is that the defendant had an alcoholic black-out on committing his crime, and that his upbringing involved being fed alcohol until he fell into comas.
Of course, one feels great sympathy for these people, much the same way that one should for all the others; it's a ghastly and horrible crime. But it's hard. Perhaps America is merely having a dose of its own medicine. Perhaps it now knows what it feels like.