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Deadly Bombing of U.N. in Baghdad

August 20, 2003

The bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad on Tuesday makes it clear that American forces are not only fighting remnants of the Saddam Hussein regime and disgruntled Iraqis but also facing a panoply of factions that could begin to use Iraq as a new arena for pursuing jihad against America.

These are the same kinds of motivated individuals who spent nine long years fighting and defeating the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Iraq will be the prime magnet of every militant Muslim in the world.

Any disorder or tragedy in Iraq will be blamed on us, and our young servicemen and -women will be subject to attack.

Only one question persists: How much American blood should be shed in exchange for Arab oil?

Basim Zakaria

Las Vegas

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"Shiite Firebrand Seeks to Sway Iraqi Masses Against U.S." (Aug. 15) describes a young Sheik Muqtader Sadr, who often rouses 10,000 Iraqis with anti-U.S. exhortations. Lt. Col. Christopher Conlin, the U.S. Marine commander in the area, refers to the sheik as "an immature kid" and "a bit player." To downplay in a cavalier manner someone who is capable of an audience of 10,000 people reflects the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ideology for dealing with the Iraqis.

If we seek any success in Iraq, our military should stick to military affairs and keep out of the sociopolitical arena, and that includes Rumsfeld.

Mayer Gerson

Northridge

--- UNPUBLISHED NOTE ---

In stories after April 9, 2004, Shiite cleric Muqtader Sadr is correctly referred to as Muqtada Sadr.

--- END NOTE ---

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