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Technology Puts Iraq in America's Backyard

September 05, 2002

Jacob Heilbrunn's article ("The Reaganites Strike Back," Opinion, Sept. 1) turned on a few simple points: The two poles of Republican foreign policy are "neoconservativism" and "realism." Neoconservatives have a crusading, confrontational mentality and are, generally, bad. Realists are pragmatic people who are not interested in getting into fights all over the world. They are good.

Perhaps Heilbrunn can weigh in on what seems to be the question of the day: With the existence of portable weapons of mass destruction, and with devices and delivery systems increasingly available to groups and regimes hostile to the U.S., is the "realism" or "America First" approach possible? Is it intellectually coherent? Put differently, hasn't the evolution of weapons technology placed the entire world in our hemisphere, within our immediate sphere of defense and influence? This, I believe, is the neoconservatives' point.

Lewis Soloff

Santa Monica

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Re "Public Still Backs Military Move on Iraq," Times Poll, Sept. 2: The Bush administration has failed miserably with the economy, environment, energy, foreign and domestic policy.

Before Dubya directs our kids down the perilous streets of Baghdad in his zealous pursuit of evildoer Saddam Hussein, I'd like to see him first fulfill his year-old promise to hunt down and capture Osama bin Laden--a real terrorist with no standing army, hiding in a desolate area and responsible for the murder of thousands of U.S. citizens.

Rick Conrad

Los Angeles

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Regarding all these articles about our next war in the Mideast and if we should go ahead or wait until our allies join in: As a Middle Easterner, I am blessed to be living in this country, but most of my family and loved ones still live and suffer under tyrant regimes. For their salvation and the security of the world, President Bush should go ahead with the war, but the main goal should be the removal of all tyrants of the Middle East: presidents such as Saddam Hussein, Hosni Mubarak, Moammar Kadafi and royal families such as Al Saud and Al Hussein, who are responsible for the creation of extremism and terrorism.

Until democracy spreads over the Middle East, hundreds or thousands of Bin Ladens could come out of that politically and socially rotten part of the world. We all should look to this war as the biggest move this great nation has taken since World War II to secure world peace, prosperity and democracy for generations to come.

Omar Nasser

Long Beach

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For 50 years I have observed that those who beat the war drums most loudly tend to be people who are in no danger of having to put on a uniform and be shot at. Has anyone else noticed this?

Charles E. Hendrix

Pacific Palisades

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