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Unintended Consequences in Iraq Crisis

October 08, 2002

Re "The Power Paradox," Opinion, Oct. 6: I am far from convinced that the president and Congress have fully thought through the economic consequences of a war with Iraq. To be a strong country requires being strong militarily and financially. Our debt continues to increase within and, even more important, abroad. The economy is in trouble now, and with a long-term commitment in Afghanistan, the Middle East, Colombia and many places I'm sure the American public is not told about, I worry if we already have too much on our plate.

We seem to have quickly forgotten that it was the economy that brought the USSR down and ended the Cold War. Did our leaders not learn anything from this?

Bob Corzine

Ridgecrest

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I am at a loss to understand the position of Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and so many letters that are published by The Times ("Senate Debates as House Panel OKs Iraq Measure," Oct. 4). Have all of these folks forgotten what happened in 1936 when Winston Churchill warned that the body politic should do something about Hitler--and most politicians stood against him and preached "appeasement"? The result was the blood of 6 million Jews and many others, including Gypsies, the handicapped and homosexuals at the hand of the Nazi madman. The potential for Saddam Hussein to do likewise is real. If he gets his hands on weapons of mass destruction, the Jews of Israel are dead, and many other people will perish. Why is Boxer willing to appease?

Greg Parkos

Venice

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Some other president, some other time, could depose Hussein without earning the contempt of most of the world. Even President Bush could have done it if he'd gone to the United Nations and quietly gathered support instead of declaring war first and then asking for support. But with an election a few weeks away, with Vice President Dick Cheney's and Bush's ties to the oil industry, with the economy nose-diving and with Dubya saying of Hussein, "This is a guy that tried to kill my dad at one time" (Oct. 3), everyone will see war on Iraq as wagging the dog.

The moral authority the U.S. has been able to wield will be gone. Depending on whether the U.N. gives cover to the war, this administration will have destroyed either the effectiveness or the credibility of the U.N. International relations will take a step back to Thomas Hobbes' "war of all against all." Terrorists will spring up like dragons' teeth.

Brent Meeker

Camarillo

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