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Bumbling, Imperialism Mark U.S. Terror War

November 06, 2002

Re "Allies Find No Links Between Iraq, Al Qaeda," Nov. 4:

While the security services of Western European nations successfully discover, arrest, prosecute and imprison terrorists, the total U.S. product after 14 months of intensive bumbling by domestic intelligence agencies is one man awaiting trial and an undisclosed number of brown-skinned people deported. Meanwhile, our president and his chicken hawk associates continue to insist that there are close ties between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda, despite the absence of evidence and in the face of denial by the security forces of our allies of any known linkage.

In my 80 years of life we have had good presidents and bad but none who deliberately set a path for war with no purpose but to gain political advantage or, perhaps, control of petroleum resources, an act that we once dared to call imperialism. For shame that this great nation has fallen into the hands of the inept, the unknowing, the greedy and the heartless and is led by the least competent occupant of the White House since Warren Harding, if not Millard Fillmore.

Lee Hahn

Laguna Woods

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Professor Fawaz Gerges states that the White House should avoid war with Iraq and instead use creative strategies to decrease the pool of recruits for militant Islam and its terrorism ("Hearts, Minds and Terror," Commentary, Oct. 31). However, he ignores that these recruits are the result of self-interested manipulation by various groups in Arab society that divert attention away from corruption by blaming these and other failures on the United States. This manipulation is coupled with Islamic religious instruction by clerics and leaders like Osama bin Laden who teach war and martyrdom.

In this light, what are America's misdeeds? Surely not the $2-billion annual aid to Egypt, the defense of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in the Gulf War or President Clinton's Camp David peace proposals to the Israelis and Palestinians. Gerges asks for policy changes and appeasement. What he should seek is for Arab leaders to promote civil reform and reject those in their societies who are at war with the West.

Robert C. Gusman

Calabasas

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