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America's Hard Choices in Dealing With Iraq

January 06, 2002

As an Iraqi American, I read with interest Shibley Telhami's "A Time to Value Our World of Worry." Though I have found his to be a voice of reason in the past, I started wondering when I read his Jan. 2 commentary.

Telhami advises us against action to effect a regime change in Baghdad, partly because he is concerned about the sanctity of our nation's principles. Presumably, attacking Iraq is against our nation's principles.

But he forgets that our current policy of dual containment and enforcing U.N. sanctions, which must be continued in the absence of a regime change in Baghdad, is even more reprehensible and immoral, considering that the starving and malnourished Iraqi babies are paying the price of Saddam Hussein's intransigence and insistence on building and accumulating the weapons of mass destruction that Telhami fears Saddam will use when attacked.

Which world does Telhami want his children to live in--a world where the U.S. stands for spreading democracy or a world where the U.S. is blamed for the death and starvation of the children of Iraq? My preference is for the former; Telhami would have us choose the latter.

Azzam Alwash

Long Beach


Re "Iraqi People Deserve to Be Liberated," Opinion, Dec. 30: I just love the arrogance of people like Geraldine Brooks, who so casually would send my sons and daughters into harm's way on a mission to save Iraqis from their own government. And to save them for what, domination by the U.S. government, the same government that ignores its own Constitution and has just repealed most of the remainder of the Bill of Rights?

It always amazes me how Americans think it was the U.S. government that made this country wealthy rather than the wisdom of the founders, who created the smallest government they could agree upon. What economic ignorance! It takes decades for a society to learn how to progress with a free market. If Iraq is freed, it will no better know what to do with that freedom than the Russians knew what to do with theirs.

It is as though Iraqis are not responsible for their own freedom. What is next, the other dozens of countries that have worse governments? Or is Iraq only worth saving because it sits on all that oil?

Let's not use force to make me support Brooks' desire to change the world in the image of the Constitution-less U.S.

Eric Taylor


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