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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Bush Policies Bring More Danger

August 23, 2003

After President Bush signed off on his National Security Strategy, declared Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to be a "man of peace" and let Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz lead him into invading Iraq, it seemed obvious that the world would become a much more dangerous place. I feel deep sympathy for the many Israelis and Palestinians who genuinely seek peace but who now see this dream crushed by religious extremists.

I feel the same about the Iraqis and our troops there. Bush's mishandling of the truth, distrust of diplomacy and preference for "first strike" military initiatives imperil not just the lives of those we attack but also our own lives and those of our children. It is a mystery how British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is so smart, could acquiesce in the deception and lack of planning. How long will it take to restore decency, honesty, foresight, courage and credibility in our leadership?

Mike Strong

Corona del Mar

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In reference to the horrors in Iraq, Bush said that we would persevere through every hardship (Aug. 20). He was on his way to a golf game during his long vacation in Crawford, Texas. Ironic, isn't it?

Doris Vernon

Camarillo

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The only way to get a handle on the violence in Iraq, and get on with rebuilding the country, is to internationalize the effort. That will happen only with new leadership in the White House. A new president will have to declare that the era of unilateral arrogance is over.

Nancy Koprowski

Laguna Beach

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Bush should jettison his laissez faire energy plank into the Republican recycle bin, with the spectacle of catastrophic power outages like the one a week ago still looming. Remember the days when the heads of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, all Bush appointees and cronies of Vice President Dick Cheney, and Kenneth Lay were oblivious to the criminal enterprise known as Enron wreaking havoc on California?

You would think that Bush knows the politically smart move now is to wear the white hat and, instead of chasing windmills and imagined weapons of mass destruction, tackle a real problem like our outdated electrical infrastructure. Smart voters know that the federal government, and not state governments (i.e., the GOP punching bag, Gov. Gray Davis), holds the aces and has the billions of dollars to fix the problem.

Pierce Mullaly

Sun City

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