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The President's Rhetoric and the Realities of War

January 26, 2003

Re "How Will Iraqis Greet Their 'Liberators'?" Commentary, Jan. 23: It's very rare for another person to speak my whole heart on any subject, but Walter Bernstein has done it.

Listening to what our government has to say about this war and about justice, ethics and responsibility at home, I shake my head in bewilderment. I didn't think I'd moved, but this is not the country I grew up in.

Anne Watston

Redondo Beach

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So President Bush says allies' challenges to his Iraq policy are like "a rerun of a bad movie" (Jan. 22). What movie is that? "The Madness of King George"? We could call it "Road to Baghdad," except Bush is Hope-less.

David Rennie

Studio City

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I was very much taken with " 'Axis of Evil' Rhetoric Said to Heighten Dangers" (Jan. 21). But I do take exception to the description of "axis of evil" as a "clever piece of rhetoric." It's no cleverer than the pompous and self-righteous choice of the words "Infinite Justice" to describe our operation against the Taliban following 9/11. Those words had to be retracted; too bad "axis of evil" wasn't as well.

Let's hope that the president's speech writers have learned their lesson. Otherwise, the continued use of rash and intemperate language will further threaten world peace and our nation's security.

John Stevens

Huntington Beach

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Re "WWII Generation Asks What This War Would Be Good For," Jan. 18: Not surprising, the surveys. At 18, I and my young fellow GIs thought that defeating Hitler and Hirohito would bring world peace for many decades. Now, in my old age, I have uncontrollable tears when I think back to the useless deaths even then, and now again possible. I wonder now -- as I did not then -- why we had to capture that tiny German village at the cost of three 18-year-olds.

Tom Lubisich

Malibu

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The U.S. probably won't start a war with the inspectors still in Iraq. The inspectors have said that Iraq probably can't proceed with any plans for weapons of mass destruction as long as the inspections continue. So if the inspectors simply refuse to leave Iraq, they can stand as a peace shield between the house of Bush and the house of Saddam Hussein and perhaps keep both sides on their best behavior.

Gary Davis

Culver City

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Bush says Hussein has weapons of mass destruction that threaten us. The inspectors have not found them. We are 9,000 miles away. About 200,000 of our soldiers and a better part of our Navy are targets a few miles from Baghdad. If Iraq has them and intends to harm America, now is their time. Why not? Because this war is about oil and power. War is not the answer.

Haskell Wexler

Santa Monica

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