I am not a democrat, republican or even an independent. I, as a foreigner, am simply an observer of political life in the United States and other countries. I have no ax to grind and I am not motivated by left or right wing conspiracies. I am not without opinions, though. A statement by President Bush compelled me to write. Surely many of you by now have heard him say They (the terrorists) hate us for our freedom. This argument is weak at best. Canada and Sweden, just to name a few, are free, democratic countries. No one is attacking them for their freedom. I think it is time for this Administration to start looking at the real causes of the hatred that some countries express towards the USA. If the argument is America is a superpower it doesnt either automatically mean that America should be hated. It is what is done with that power that may cause the intifadas against the USA and its interests. I am also perplexed about a person in America being called unpatriotic if he criticizes the current administration. In a healthy democracy criticism should not be construed as unpatriotic unless it is totally off the mark and false. Even the leader is a human and makes mistakes and may not always know what is the best for his country. Nor being a leader makes one above being corrupt or immoral in ones actions. Power breeds corruption in too many cases. The times become scary when the citizens follow the leader blindly. Therein is lost the soul of democracy. I would like to hear other peoples points on concepts of democracy and the causes of hatred and distrust that America is facing around the world. I would like honest, open-minded discussion on the subject.