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Bush Has a Full Plate Without Going to War

October 17, 2002

Our plate is full! Will someone please inform President Bush. A Bali nightclub has been bombed, with many deaths ("Al Qaeda Blamed for Bali Bombing," Oct. 15). An oil tanker has been attacked, Marines in Kuwait were shot at and killed, the Philippines is under attack, a sniper is loose in Washington and President Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan is slipping.

The president does not seem to have enough and wants to start some more fires. Who will pay for all this? He beats the war drums and Republicans fall in behind him as the USS Economy is sinking. When will we have enough?

Ron Hohn

Los Angeles

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I have vacationed in Bali. The people there are beautiful and peace-loving, in an environment that has been described as heaven on Earth. Because of the horrible bombing by Al Qaeda, many young adults were killed or maimed or, at the very least, scarred for life. Bali will no doubt suffer economically because of a drop in tourism.

It does not take a PhD to figure that Saddam Hussein is to some degree aligned with Al Qaeda. The terrorism they inflict on innocent people divide nations and religions, rally killing and hate and seem to rhyme with the beginnings of Armageddon. I am solidly behind any political or military agenda whose primary purpose is the elimination of terrorism on this planet.

Ben Bradley

Walnut

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Re "Inside the Mind of a Dictator," Oct. 12: Let me see if I understand this. The dog (Iraq) bites, but only if provoked or attacked. The U.S. intends to attack the dog to prevent it from biting. OK. I think I got it now.

Steven J. Cannata

San Marino

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In 1990, we are reminded, Hussein took Western hostages to be used as "human shields" because he knew that our country "would be too squeamish to blow up targets to which its citizens were strapped." Now the U.N. wants to send inspectors to search his arsenal. I wonder if this isn't the easiest way for him to get an ample supply of human pawns to blackmail us.

Maria E. Gariano

Thousand Oaks

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Back in the '60s we were warned that if we didn't stop communism in Vietnam, we would have a domino effect and all of the East would fall to communism. Should we have said no to war in Vietnam? And should we say no to war in Iraq? If we do blunder into a conflict, we will face the grave possibility of mass attacks in return. If we do our best to contain Hussein, we may face a mass attack.

Bill Burlingham

South El Monte

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In still another effort by this administration to build support for invading Iraq, missing Gulf War pilot Michael S. Speicher has been declared "captured" (Oct. 12). The evidence? There's no proof he's dead. Of course, as Navy Secretary Gordon England acknowledges, there's no "definitive" proof he's "alive and in Iraqi custody" either. So England just says it is his "firm belief" that Iraq knows what happened to him. In other words, forget evidence, we're going with our feelings.

Lynn McDonie

Santa Clarita

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In response to an Oct. 10 letter regarding Americans having no problem recognizing their enemies as Germany and Italy after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor: For the period Dec. 7 to Dec. 10, 1941, the U.S. said nothing about war against Germany and Italy. On Dec. 11 Germany declared war on the U.S., even though it was not obliged to under the terms of the tripartite agreement between Japan, Germany and Italy. Later that day the U.S. Congress declared war on Germany and Italy. The question is, what would the U.S. have done if Germany had not declared war on the U.S.?

Paul Hutchinson

Calabasas

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