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Gore Speaks Out on the Bush Team's War Plans

September 26, 2002

Re "Gore Assails Bush's Stance on Iraq, Questions Motive for War," Sept. 24: It's too bad to see Al Gore allowing himself to be taken in by Saddam Hussein. Hussein's game from Day One has been to shine us on, to "agree" to inspections but to chip away at what he allowed to be inspected until, by and by, he could refuse inspections outright. Now that we've turned up the heat, Hussein wants to repeat his outstanding success in this sort of gamesmanship and, yet again, Gore wants to let him do so.

The problem, however, is not just seeing the U.N. vindicated, or forcing Hussein to play by the international rules. It is the clock ticking on our own and the world's safety. Hussein is a known user of biological weapons, such as anthrax. He is known to be trying to achieve nuclear weapons capability. Gore is so caught up in Hussein's gamesmanship, however, that he has lost sight of the purpose for the inspections. The purpose was to disarm a man willing to use whatever weapons come to hand in order to keep himself in power and to invade and devastate his neighbors, given the chance.

The clock is ticking. We have the opportunity to make sure that Hussein can't launch a new series of attacks against his neighbors and against the U.S. Too bad Gore can't keep his eye on the ball.

James A. Gorton

Pasadena

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While I have never been a big Gore fan, I have to admit that he showed a lot of backbone in speaking out against the administration's planned invasion of Iraq, particularly when the war seems to enjoy such broad popular support. He is right to point out that we should fulfill our obligations to Afghanistan before charging off to another conquest and that President Bush's domestic agenda has been a failure.

Perhaps by making his position known, Gore will infuse the congressional Democratic doormats with the courage to stand up against this misguided war juggernaut.

Peter Hess

Los Angeles

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I agree with Gore's speech--in short, "one war at a time." Getting Osama bin Laden and his band of terrorists has to be the priority.

Hyman H. Haves

Pacific Palisades

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Robert Scheer's railing against the president's plan for a possible preemptive strike is sophomoric and ignores history's lessons (Commentary, Sept. 24). Many of us still living remember the horrors of World War II and the family losses we endured because the Scheers of the world made excuses while that lunatic in Germany built the most powerful army in history. It was almost too late when it became clear to the world what was going on.

In this age of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, the United States won't have the time and distance buffer that we had during World War II.

Larry Zini

La Quinta

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I am proud to be an American and love this country with all my heart, but in light of the presidential election fiasco of 2000, for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to describe the people of Iraq as "hostages to a small group of dictatorial, repressive government officials" (Sept. 23) seems the height of irony.

Steven Bartel

Los Angeles

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