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Congress Gives War Choice to the President

October 13, 2002

Re "Congress Backs War on Iraq," Oct. 11: The congressional backing of the resolution giving this president, or any president, the broad power to attack Iraq under the circumstances as presented in President Bush's own recent speech is a potential error of the first magnitude -- even if it is, as some claim, simply an attempt to extract the fullest leverage from other diplomatic initiatives.

Indeed, if this were Hollywood circa 1977 and the initial "Star Wars" trilogy were being developed, it is lamentably clear that the United States would be cast as the Empire and represented by the persona of Darth Vader.

Lewis Redding



Re "CIA Feels Heat on Iraq Data," Oct. 11: When will the citizens catch on that the president is creating the need for a war? He and his advisors want the CIA to create data to support his point of view for war, when most data now suggest there is no reason to rush to battle. Apparently, he thinks we voters are that simple that we will believe all that he says.

After listening to Congress, it appears he could be right. Did you ever wonder why he has pushed this war with such passion and fervor? As an American and a voter, I am frightened.

David W. Berke

Sherman Oaks


I didn't vote for Bush and have no plans to do so in 2004, but if it comes to believing Bush over Saddam Hussein, I go with my American president. If we invade Iraq and Bush is wrong about Hussein having chemicals of mass destruction, then the result will be a few thousand dead Iraqis. If we invade Iraq and Bush was right about Hussein, we saved America and our allies from a fate that would make Sept. 11 look like a picnic in the park. And there'll still be thousands of dead Iraqis. I am not going to shed any tears for dead Iraqi civilians.

President Bush, it sounds like a win-win situation for America.

Rose Bricker



California Democrats voted 24 to 8 against Bush's resolution for preemptive, unilateral attack on Iraq. Reps. Jane Harman, Howard Berman, Adam Schiff, Calvin Dooley, Brad Sherman, Tom Lantos, Ellen Tauscher and Henry Waxman voted for the resolution. I have personally spoken to the staff in Sherman's and Waxman's offices and both reported constituent calls in excess of 90% against the resolution. I am left to wonder whom these so-called "representatives" think they are representing.

Nathan Britton

Los Angeles


As I listened to the debates from the Senate floor on the resolution to hand over to the president the Congress' power to declare war, a few things became very clear. There have been extraordinarily articulate and eloquent positions taken on both sides of the issue.

However, while America is hunting down terrorist cells and rebuilding Afghanistan, we are also moving headlong toward economic crisis. I hope I am not the only American who recognizes this drumbeat for unilateral, preemptive war on Iraq as a weapon of mass distraction.

David Ohman



Upon reading your Oct. 11 headline, I said, "I'm tired of Congress rolling over like dawgs for the Bush administration." My husband responded, "Presidents get their wars. LBJ had his war. The elder Bush had his little wars. Now this Bush wants his turn." I guess that's the way it is, but I still don't like it.

Martha Strapac



Re letters on Iraq and Hitler: Hitler took over part of Czechoslovakia in 1938, and Britain responded with a policy of appeasement. Saddam Hussein took over Kuwait in 1990 and a United Nations force led by the United States forced him out in 1991. That war has been fought, appeasement is not on the table, the analogy with 1938 is not valid. World War II was won by an international coalition, not by the United States alone. That is a better analogy.

George Tucker

Redondo Beach

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