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Letters to the Times

U.S. Must Defeat Mideast Oil Weapon

April 14, 2002

While the United States defends freedom and democracy against armed terrorist forces, our government and citizens are being held hostage by economic terrorists--the foreign oil cartel ("The Pressure Is On to Play the Oil Card," by Jeremy Rifkin, Commentary, April 10). Every day, we live under the threat that some foreign policy of the United States will irk the Mideast oil lords, who will then cut off supply to our country, devastating our economy. Always enjoying its role as a Mideast destabilizing force, Iraq cut its oil supply to the U.S. in response to the crisis in Israel.

America's dependence on foreign oil must end. We cannot continue to have our nation, its policies and our citizenry held hostage. President Bush should marshal his enormous approval ratings and America's resolve and challenge Americans to discover a workable alternative fuel within 10 years. Only then will America truly defeat terrorism.

Michael M. Shapiro

Stanford, Calif.

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Rifkin points out that the U.S. currently obtains 9% of its oil from Iraq. Bush has identified Iraq as a major sponsor of terrorism.

I eagerly await the public service ads showing someone filling up an SUV at the gas pump while casually remarking, "Today, I helped Saddam Hussein build weapons of mass destruction for terrorists. Hey, I needed to get to work!"

Craig Berry

Los Angeles

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The old saw of war making strange bedfellows was never more in evidence for me when comparing Michael Ramirez's "oil carrion" political cartoon with Robert Scheer's searing calumnies toward Ariel Sharon (Commentary, April 9). For perhaps the first time in my life I will side with the right of Ramirez over the left of Scheer!

Marc Rogers

Rowland Heights

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