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Dick Cheney

September 03, 2000

Dick Cheney has criticized the Clinton administration for not having an exit strategy for our military commitment in the Balkans (Sept. 1). Pardon me if I am a little skeptical about Cheney's ability to help develop such a strategy. After all, he was the secretary of Defense who implemented the Bush administration's exit strategy in Iraq. That exit strategy left the Republican Guard intact and Saddam Hussein in power.

Republicans need to quit worrying so much about exit strategies and become more concerned about how to achieve victory in the field.

JAY STEVENS

Long Beach

* So Cheney is criticizing Al Gore on military issues. Back in the '60s Cheney never served in the military; Gore put on a uniform and went to Vietnam. Cheney claims that having been secretary of Defense during the Gulf War qualifies him to speak about the armed forces; that position is strictly political. It was uniformed men and women like Gens. Norman Schwarzkopf and Colin Powell who were successfully lambasting Saddam in 1991, and it was politicians like Cheney who made the questionable decision not to destroy the Republican Guard and chase Saddam out of Iraq.

Sorry, but I would much prefer that a veteran like Gore make decisions on veterans' matters and other military subjects.

CLEMENT SALVADORI

Atascadero

* "It's a Hard, Painful Life for Cheney" (by Robert Scheer, Commentary, Aug. 29) is a weak, sarcastic attempt to portray Cheney in an unfavorable light due to his working for Halliburton. I would like to have Scheer point out those past Cabinet members or senior members of the Senate/Congress who have not left public service and gone into high-paying jobs in the private sector. It is a perk of politics and just possibly why many bright people will take the low-paying government jobs.

Did not Robert Rubin do a good job in the Clinton administration after coming from the top job at one of Wall Street's biggest firms and then return to a similar position? This Cheney situation is not at all unusual.

ROBERT BERGSTROM

Woodland Hills

* It is more than high time to place the belabored "restoring honor to the White House" issue in some less dishonest perspective. To deny medical care and coverage to millions of Americans (including one-quarter of our children), to obstruct a living wage for struggling working-class families, to be indifferent to ecological ravages and to undermine our Constitution by hypocritically misusing it with partisan attempts to impeach a president over trivia--all these exhibit more dishonorable character flaws, flaws that will bring much greater suffering and shame to the American people, than ineffectual attempts to hide an extramarital dalliance between consenting adults.

ROGER CARASSO

Northridge

* I agree with Cheney that upright, moral character is always important in public life. So any American voter who supports a campaign that seeks victory through the promotion of guilt by association of an innocent political opponent through deceitfully veiled rhetoric that is styled "positive" has a serious, serious moral problem. Gosh, I hope I'm not being too "encryptic."

WILL WYCHE

Palm Springs

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