Re "U.S. Has Precious, Yet Precarious, Ties With Qatar," Dec. 22: We wouldn't be agonizing over Qatar were it not for the looming possibility of war with Iraq. So the latter is the real subject at hand, and here's the deal on that. It's this simple: You do not tell the American people we are going to war. We are going to put your sons and daughters, your husbands and wives, your brothers and sisters in harm's way. They may die.
But you do say: We have to wage this war. It's because we have certain evidence against Iraq. No, we're not going to tell you what evidence. You don't need to know. Just trust us.
When a government issues such an edict, you don't have a democracy, you have a dictatorship.
During my military career I had access to intelligence information obtained from sources above the top-secret level. I am aware of the risks involved in divulging information obtained through these sources. However, the present confrontation with Iraq places the reputation of this country in jeopardy unless we produce overwhelming evidence supporting our conviction that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction.
There's an old saying: Put your money where your mouth is. In this case a modification is in order: Put your proof where your mouth is.
Lester L. Krause Jr.
It seems that we are getting closer to war against Iraq. The Al Qaeda terrorists must be gleeful at the prospect of two of their enemies killing one another without their having to throw one stone. After a U.S. "victory," the Shiite Muslims of southern Iraq (more friendly to Al Qaeda than the Sunni Muslims) probably would gain control of Iraq and its oil. President Reagan was right that we were better off with Saddam Hussein.
Our leaders should use "carrot" diplomacy by offering to not attack Iraq and to lift sanctions in exchange for Iraq's help in ending terrorism against Israel and establishing a PLO-less Palestinian state. Our "stick" foreign policy will just create more jihad against us.
John Wisdom Dancer