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More Questions Than Answers on Iraq

February 12, 2003

The headline of Marilyn Young's excellent Feb. 9 Opinion piece asks, "Will Iraq Be Vietnam or WWII?" Hmm.... Powerful nation blasts foreign lands, sure that what the locals really want is to be ruled by it; the aggressor eventually is humiliated and degraded. I'm afraid the answer to the question is yes.

Douglas Green

Sherman Oaks

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The position of France and Germany regarding Iraq is disappointing to me ("U.S. Exhorts NATO to Face Iraq Threat," Feb. 9). I regret that I lost a grandfather and an uncle so that the French can speak French, rather than German, and so the Germans can speak German, rather than Russian. I hope that the French and the Germans rot under the shame that they are only able to speak because of the American blood that saved them from their arrogant stupidity in the past. With friends like them, who needs friends?

Arden Acord

La Crescenta

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Steve Lopez's "Our Rush to War May Backfire" (Feb. 9) asks the questions Secretary of State Colin Powell, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and President Bush must answer before unleashing a nuclear holocaust on the Middle East. There is no excuse for an unprovoked attack on a sovereign nation, taking Iraqi oil fields for personal and corporate gain, while aggressively gutting American civil liberties. Behaving like a terrorist state bankrupts America's moral leadership in the world, and when the price of oil is paid in blood (American or Iraqi), we have gone too far.

War is not the answer!

Christopher J. Minnes

Los Angeles

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We moved thousands of troops to the borders of Iraq to enforce the peace. It worked. Iraq is cooperating with the United Nations. It is time to stop buying support for war from reluctant nations; instead, let us empower the U.N. and NATO to be relevant in this post-Cold War era. If we can solve the problem of North Korea by diplomacy, we can surely contain Iraq with the help of our allies. Our credibility as a world power is at stake. Only by using our power and influence to prevent war can we show the world that we are indeed peacekeepers.

Marilyn K. Slater

West Los Angeles

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Never mind that this war is a distraction from the fact that our economy has plunged since our president assumed office. Push aside the fact that layoffs and joblessness are on a crushing rise. Forget that over 40 million of our countrymen have no health-care insurance. Bush has billions of dollars to spend on war, on reconstructing Iraq and to bribe recalcitrant governments not to oppose us.

Far from preventing terrorism, Bush's war will provoke it. A U.S.-led invasion will radicalize and inflame the passions of individuals who up till now have been able to contain their zealotry. How will nightly Al Jazeera broadcasts of Iraqi women and children dying in Baghdad play in the minds and hearts of 1 billion Muslim people? The anti-American feelings generated by such a war will enable this administration to put in place even more draconian homeland security laws -- laws that further curtail civil liberties, laws to assuage the paranoia and xenophobia that are being whipped up on a daily basis. The public enemy changes from Osama to Saddam; I fear an Orwellian America looms.

Phil Tarley

West Hollywood

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