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Bush Poised to Act on Iraq: Use Force or Force of Law?

October 09, 2002

President Bush is quoted as saying in his speech Monday night: "We refuse to live in fear." Exactly what is he causing the American people to do?

The economy keeps dipping lower and lower, and the threats of terrorist attacks and the so-called necessity for a war on Iraq get hotter and hotter. When are the people in this country going to wake up? Hopefully soon.

Bonnie Kalaf

Studio City

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Re "Cowboy Style Won't Lasso Support," by Tyler Marshall and William Wallace, news analysis, Oct. 7: It is understandable that European diplomats, in their customary dither to avoid decisive action, would seize on Bush's colloquial style as justification for avoiding his compelling substance. It is not understandable that objective journalists would resurrect 2-year-old faux pas to justify their sympathy with perceived European sophistication.

For the record, the president's Monday night address was free of the Western mannerisms so jarring to the ears of the refined. But I do not expect this to produce increased receptivity in Europe or even among certain American journalists.

William R. Snaer

Lake Arrowhead

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I listened to his every word. All of it is conjecture and spreading fear to get a preconceived notion and plan to attack Iraq. Good luck to Bush and his cronies. Congratulations to those who believe his assertions. Let us consider the U.S. Constitution suspended as long as this man is our president.

Bassim Shawaf

Los Angeles

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All the war crimes that "Iraq War Crimes Dossiers in Works" (Oct. 6) lists occurred from 1988 to 1991. You characterize the first Bush administration not pushing for prosecution as ironic, when it was more likely craven political expediency.

There has never been a serious explanation as to why we supported Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war and failed to topple his regime or offer real help to opposition groups after the Gulf War. Why was he an acceptable dictator in 1988 yet is an evildoer now?

Paul Zelevansky

Beverly Hills

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Finally our government is talking seriously about indicting Hussein and his cronies for their crimes against their countrymen and their neighbors. You can hardly find an Iraqi American among us who has not called for such an action before. It is the best way to change the regime and to get the international community behind us.

Ridha Hajjar

Director, Ahlul Beyt Mosque

Pomona

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Certainly Bush deserves the chutzpah-of-the year award. He has spent much time trying to kill the new International Criminal Court but now has decided Hussein should face a modified international tribunal.

Where was he when most of the atrocities were being committed? The Kurds were gassed in 1988, and religious persecution and ethnic cleansing go back to 1991. Somehow the president doesn't seem like he is ready to lead Amnesty International.

Mark Elinson

Los Angeles

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Will someone please remind our president that, as a Texan, he should know that no sheriff worthy of his star goes riding off into the sage after the bad guys without a posse to back him up. If he can't convince the U.N. (posse) that he is right, he just may be wrong.

Gene Huber

Irvine

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I have no doubt that the thousands of people who took part in the peace demonstration at the Federal Building in Westwood on Sunday are sincere. Just as the people who urged this country not to get involved in "Europe's war" between 1939 and 1941 were sincere, until Pearl Harbor changed everything. A dictator is a dictator, whether he is Adolf Hitler or Hussein. They cannot be dealt with diplomatically in the same way that democracies negotiate with each other. To the people who marched across the country, I would ask: Should we wait for another Sept. 11? Should we wait until thousands of Americans are killed in a chemical, biological or nuclear attack? Will it take another Pearl Harbor for you to realize that force is the only thing that dictators like Hussein understand?

Richard Rosenthal

Long Beach

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