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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

U.S. Shouldn't Disregard Allies' Views on Iraq

February 11, 2003

In "U.S. Exhorts NATO to Face Iraq Threat" (Feb. 9) Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld indicated that whatever the views of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, they will not affect the United States' decision on whether to go to war.

What arrogance! We are not the rulers of the world. No wonder our allies and enemies look at us with fear and great reservation (not to be confused with respect). The administration continues to link a future 9/11 tragedy to Iraq, despite the weak, almost nonexistent connection between the two.

Iraq is a poor, Third World country that could not even beat Iran in eight years of war. Iraq's army was vanquished in mere days after its invasion of Kuwait. Iraq, with its secular government, does not even have the Muslim-based system that Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden seek for the Arab world.

Iraq is no threat to the U.S. This administration is an embarrassment to this country and the civilized world body. Stop the belligerent warmongering and inflammatory rhetoric.

Bryan Hays

Saugus

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Surprise! The U.N. just got relevant. The plan to send "blue helmets" to secure Iraq, allowing inspections to proceed, is a diplomatic way of saying to the U.S. invaders: Keep out. I applaud the German-French proposal and hope the U.N. can stand fast in the face of belligerent U.S. aggression and propaganda.

Dean Kerr

Orange

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Let's take an objective look beyond the headline on Sunday's front page, "Many Desire U.N. Backing for War on Iraq."

Based upon your survey data, most Americans now back a war effort against Iraq. Period. Only 7% care whether the U.N. supports us.

Michael N. Beltramo

Los Angeles

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The Bush administration is concerned about Saddam Hussein's hidden biological and chemical weapons, right?

We know the Iraqis have them, but we don't know where they are. If we go to war, isn't it likely that our own bombs might hit these hidden targets and unintentionally unleash the biological and chemical agents into the atmosphere, infecting or killing not only Iraqi innocents but our own soldiers?

I take the recent "terrorist alerts" to mean the Bush administration knows they are just lying in wait for us to make the first strike so they can justify unleashing biological and chemical agents in our own backyard.

For all intents and purposes, President Clinton was impeached for adultery. Can President Bush be impeached for stupidity? Just wondering.

Catherine Coker

Glendale

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The consequences of invading Iraq are uncertain, just as the consequences of not invading Iraq are uncertain. What is certain about this portentous, unfolding confrontation is that our chosen role is shaking up that country's despotic regime and causing the U.N. to pursue its mandate.

These consequences alone justify our actions, thus far.

Ruel Mizrachi

Venice

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From the beginning I have felt -- certainly hoped -- those in our government knew more than they were telling us about Iraq. Now, I fear they know less than they are telling us.

Patricia Freter

Yucca Valley

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