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President's Disregard for European Opinion

September 27, 2002

I am enraged by the constant bashing on European countries because of their opposition to President Bush's approach to solving the Iraqi problem. How can he expect unconditional support on anything when it has been Bush himself in the past 18 months creating an atmosphere of hostility by rebuffing almost every international agreement on issues like global warming, the International Criminal Court, etc.? How does he expect to convince European leaders if his own defense secretary signals that he is not interested in even meeting with his German counterpart at the NATO conference (Sept. 25)? What sort of relationship is he planning to have with Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder if he doesn't even grant him the courtesy of congratulating him on his win (editorial, Sept. 25)?

Isn't talking things out what politicians are supposed to do? As a European I am appalled by the way Bush treats democratically elected leaders of sovereign countries when they don't agree with him. For sure, that sort of attitude is not going to help solve our global problems in the future.

Leila Heim

Manhattan

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I am not an advocate of war. But there is another side to the objections to war against Iraq. Much of the population complained that, although we had warnings prior to Sept. 11, no one did anything to prevent the tragedy that killed almost 3,000 and affected the lives of so many countless others. Now we do have warnings of Iraq's malevolent intentions toward the U.S. Should we ignore the warning signs and do nothing again?

Ellen Frankel Geller

Marina del Rey

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Re "Gore Assails Bush's Stance on Iraq, Questions Motive for War," Sept. 24: I am a charter member of the "Anyone but Gore in 2004" club. However, it has been exasperating to see the leading congressional Democrats knuckle under to the Bush rhetoric regarding an invasion of Iraq. Now, finally, a prominent Democrat has criticized the Bush warmongering for the folly it is. When the U.S. suffers the consequences for this misadventure, as it most assuredly will, Al Gore may be the only presidential hopeful in a position to say, "I told you so."

I don't think that Gore has a leg to stand on when complaining about how Bush is handling Iraq. After all, Gore and President Clinton and Congress did nothing for years after the United Nations inspectors were kicked out. Now it is time to stand back and see how it should have been handled years ago.

Michael Horstein

Los Angeles

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The subtitle to James Pinkerton's Sept. 24 commentary, "War Talk Provides Cover Fire," says that the "focus on Iraq draws attention from the economy." That may be true for those unaffected by the spiraling economic downturn.

For those millions who have seen their stock portfolios go into the tank and the millions of unemployed, the focus is still on the economy. Election day in November could prove that. The focus will indeed change for all of us if the number of military casualties reported from the impending war with Iraq are unexpectedly high.

For now, "it's still the economy, stupid."

Ken Johnson

Pinon Hills

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