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Nuclear Threats From Within 'Axis of Evil'

October 18, 2002

Re "N. Korea Discloses Secret Nuclear Arms Program," Oct 17: In the two places where we left our business unfinished, North Korea and Iraq, we now face belligerent dictators willing and able to threaten our country. The war against North Korea was the first coalition action of the new U.N. The fear of world opinion and communist China, at that time weak, caused us to stop short, which left North Korea alive and dangerous. It was another U.N. coalition action, against Iraq, that again -- because of fear of world opinion and of its neighbor Iran -- stopped short of ending that regime's threat against us and its dreams of regional domination. Can we learn from history? Can we now eliminate these threatening regimes before they become a bigger danger to the U.S. and the rest of the free world?

Alan Nitikman

Los Angeles

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The case for an invasion of North Korea: Member of the "axis of evil." Check. Has a rogue nuclear weapons program. Check. Ruled by a ruthless dictator. Check. History of aggression against its own people. Check. History of aggression against neighboring countries. Check. Threatens American allies with weapons of mass destruction. Check. Could supply terrorists with WMD to use against the U.S. Check.

Sits atop the second-largest oil reserves in the world. Nope.

Oops, never mind. Please return to the previously scheduled war with Iraq.

Kevin M. Buck

Canyon Country

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Re "Mr. Bush, Heed Carter and Learn," Commentary, Oct. 15: Robert Scheer (Commentary, Oct. 15) is right that former President Jimmy Carter is a great man with noble aspirations for peace. However, President Bush's situation should hardly be compared to Carter's. It would be impractical, if not impossible, for Bush to sit down at Camp David with the Islamic radical terrorists who threaten our national security. Attempts to negotiate with Saddam Hussein have gone nowhere, yet Bush continues to pursue tough inspections rather than war.

Yes, Carter was a great man and a peacemaker, but that is precisely why he would have difficulty making decisions in these times. In fact, the circumstances we live in today are much more akin to those of the Iran hostage crisis. We cannot wait 444 days to defuse threats to our security -- and perhaps that makes Bush the best man for this job.

Robert J. Meekins

Valley Stream, N.Y.

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"Perle's Passion Is Served" (Oct. 15) illustrates a one-sided point of view in the administration on war with Iraq. An antidote is provided in Scheer's commentary. Bush must listen to and heed voices other than the "gang of bullies" in his administration. The American people deserve to have all sides of an issue set before them -- and in time -- for them to let their representatives know how they feel. Most of us do not want an imperialistic foreign policy, and we do not want to go to war.

Phyllis Mackaoui

Arroyo Grande

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