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No Progress on Security in a Dangerous World

October 22, 2002

Re "CIA Director Defends Agency at 9/11 Hearing," Oct. 18: President Bush's CIA chief George Tenet has stated that we are no less subject to attack now than on 9/11. This means that the Bush administration has made absolutely no progress toward protecting our nation in more than 13 months.

Now there are the revelations about the North Korean nuclear arms program. Although North Korea has missiles capable of hitting the U.S., Bush hopes to resolve the problem "diplomatically" while pushing for all-out war against the much-smaller threat from Iraq. This was Bush's chance to show it is not all about oil, but now it is obvious that oil is all that matters to Bush. It will be even worse than Tenet states when President Pervez Musharraf falls in Pakistan, where Bush allowed Al Qaeda to form again.

All that matters is oil and making money for the most bought-and-sold politician in history.

Norm McCormick

Fullerton

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The U.S. could instantly gain added global credibility for the Iraq war initiative if it would commit to letting the U.N. determine the fate of Iraq's oil as part of any post-war scenario. Until the U.S. makes this commitment, its claims for the need for regime change in Iraq due to its possession of weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein's generally being really evil seem a bit contrived.

The U.S.' delayed reaction to the North Korean revelations, where, apparently, diplomacy is the right approach, only enhances the need for an "it's not the oil (stupid)" declaration.

Art Holland

Los Angeles

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I find it amazing that Leon V. Sigal ("A Bombshell That's Actually an Olive Branch," Commentary, Oct. 18) could analyze the intentions of Kim Jong Il's regime without a single reference to its horrific human rights record. His conclusion that Pyongyang wants to bargain away the weapons of mass destruction program it has been illicitly developing for normal relations with the U.S. and others assumes that North Korea is near being a normal state.

A regime that runs a massive gulag system, tests chemical weapons on humans and starves its population can't risk normal relations. In attempting self-preservation, the North Korean regime's strongest card to play is the nuclear blackmail that has won it hundreds of millions of dollars from the U.S. and others. My bet is that North Korea does all it can to hang on to its weapons of mass destruction.

Rep. Ed Royce

(R-Fullerton)

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Let's see, now. Back in 1994, President Clinton and his merry band of naive excuses for statesmen awarded North Korea a nuclear power plant in exchange for a promise to not develop a nuclear weapon. No verification, no nothing; just a nuke plant in exchange for a promise. Yet Clinton now wants to tell the world how Bush ought to be doing things. I'd call that an example of misleading by the misguided. A bit more of this activity and Clinton will be ready to run the U.N.

Kenneth K. Ebmeier

Upland

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