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Does Rhetoric Duct-Tape Us Into a Corner?

February 16, 2003

Re "Al Qaeda Lurking in U.S., FBI Warns," Feb. 12: Another holiday and another terror alert from the Bush administration -- how predictable has that become? Perhaps it is really a terrorist threat, or maybe it is just hype for President Bush's war; only the administration knows that. Personally, I feel as safe as I did before 9/11, and I don't intend to go out and buy plastic sheets and duct tape for protection from what is really propaganda from the administration.

I would be willing to bet that we will not have another terrorist incident this year, barring a war in Iraq, which would substantially increase the odds. Osama bin Laden must be having a belly laugh at believing he has already won the war on terrorism as he disrupts our economy, kills our tourism industry and triggers millions to be spent on security with a simple tape recording. The Bush administration needs to tone down the rhetoric and treat the Bin Laden audiotape for what it really is -- just a threat.

Panfilo Fuentes

Bakersfield

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Bush is threatening the United Nations with irrelevancy (Feb. 14). This seems to beg for answers to at least two questions: Does George W. realize that the U.S. is a member of that body and that chief weapons inspector Hans Blix is working for us? Is this the same way Bush would threaten our Supreme Court or our legislative bodies if he didn't get his own way?

If the U.N. should become irrelevant, George W. will be the main reason. Few people would want that fact on their resume, or tombstone.

Donald A. Dzienis

Bellflower

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Once again, Blix and his inspectors have come out with the latest, stating on Friday that they have found no weapons of mass destruction or signs of nuclear activity in Iraq. They have also disputed several of Secretary of State Colin Powell's pictures and the information presented to the Security Council and say more time is needed for further investigations.

I am sure that Dubya will never back down and allow this. Once again he and his war-hungry administration will read between the lines and distort the reports to justify war.

Jeanne Stacks

Mission Viejo

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Where do France, Germany and Russia get off telling us to be patient with Iraq? What do they know about war anyway? Oh, yeah ... never mind.

David Ando

Rancho Palos Verdes

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Turkey has demanded that the U.S. provide biological, chemical and radiation protection for its civilians. No problem. Ship them what our government has mandated as front-line civil defense for Americans: duct tape and plastic sheeting. Turn off your A/C and furnace, tape yourself into a room, turn on the television and let the missiles fly!

The only practical use of the plastic sheeting is to wrap and drag your remains out of the house.

Rob Ross

Burbank

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I am more convinced than ever that Bush has painted the United States into a corner. Having embarrassed and humiliated our "friends" in Europe with arrogant comments, implying that we'll go it alone if they don't support us, we have gained their anger and disdain. When Russian President Vladimir Putin says he might use his veto at the U.N. Security Council, he is making it clear that the U.S. is not running the world.

What is becoming increasingly clear is that this is a vendetta for Bush and a payoff to the oil industry. If we want to salvage anything from this mess, we had better show more proof than the embarrassingly ineffective, inaccurate garbage presented to the U.N. on Feb. 5. Without the support of the U.N. we risk alienating ourselves so completely that we will become the target of everyone, not just the terrorists we will incite.

Jay Slater

Los Angeles

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God bless Bush, a 21st century profile in courage.

Rose Hamill

Garden Grove

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The No. 1, 2 and 3 questions are: What happens to a bombed-out Iraq after we do whatever it takes to win the war?

Herb Wallerstein

Beverly Hills

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