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Baker on U.S. Rebuilding Iraq After War

February 17, 1991

Among the more inane statements have been those from former and present Secretaries of State George Shultz and James Baker (Feb. 7). These statements are to the effect the U.S. should stay in the Persian Gulf after Iraq is forced out of Kuwait to help Iraq rebuild, extract reparations and ensure the balance of power.

If President Bush follows this well-intentioned advice, he will see support for the Gulf intervention evaporate both in this country and abroad. The Arab world won't likely appreciate any more favors from us, and would like the opportunity to solve the problem themselves.

Our strategy should be to finish our work of driving the Iraqis out of Kuwait by March 15, before Ramadan. Even if we fail to accomplish this entirely, the coalition of Arab members can take over and finish the job against a greatly weakened enemy. After that date, American and European allied forces should keep a low profile and start going home.

Diplomats will have plenty to do at home and in the world community. Let's stop the selling of arms and lethal technology to dictators by the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Brazil and the Soviet Union. Let's help Israel face up to the Palestinian problem, among other things.

BERT ANDERSON, Redlands

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