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Troops Sent to War After an Alleged Bid for Uranium

July 23, 2003

Thank you for Andrew Bacevich's "The Long Battle Ahead" (Commentary, July 21). His analysis of our current situation in Iraq reminded me of a little ditty that anti-Vietnam demonstrators used to sing about President Lyndon Johnson. I update it here: "Ho, ho, Bush and Blair's way. How many soldiers have died today?" How long will it take before Gen. John Abizaid begins to sound like Gen. William Westmoreland?

I believe it is time for President Bush to pull a Nixon on us. He should declare victory and bring our servicemen and servicewomen home now. The lives of our sons and daughters are more important than Bush's and Vice President Dick Cheney's oil.

Alex Britton

Long Beach

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Seeing, in disgust, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi being welcomed as a good friend at the ranch in Crawford, Texas, by Bush on Sunday, I recalled the proverb, "Show me your friends and I'll tell you who you are." And now we learn that it was one of Berlusconi's own papers that passed along the bogus "intelligence" about uranium from Niger to this administration, even though the reporter herself doubted it was true ("Italian Says She Gave Iraq Papers to U.S.," July 20).

If Bush thought his intelligence was "darn good," why then did he rely on British intelligence to cover his claims of an Iraqi nuclear program?

No more George Tenets to take the heat. At what point do we all finally say, "Mr. Bush, you deceived us"?

Don Litton

Chatsworth

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I am going to disagree with the White House. I think those 16 words about Iraq seeking uranium should have been in his State of the Union address. I want all the intelligence information I can legally possess before deciding if I will support a decision for war.

I'm astounded that so many people would rather have important intelligence hidden from them simply because the CIA was unable to confirm it -- the same CIA that completely missed 9/11 and still cannot find Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

Eric Dykeman

Long Beach

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Re "Classified Iraq Data Released," July 19: So neither the president nor the national security advisor entirely read a 90-page document, heavily annotated to aid them, that was the fundamental basis of the case for the war in Iraq and the subsequent deaths of American and British troops.

This is apparently an acceptable explanation and not an admission of incompetence and definitely not an abdication of responsibility.

Note to the IRS: Honest, I never read my tax return. The accountant prepared it; I didn't realize he was making all those absurd claims. Oh, you mean that allowance wasn't true?

Jon Phillips

Torrance

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Comforting information for all of us: "The president was comfortable at the time [of his State of the Union address] based on the information that had been provided.... I don't think he sat down over a long weekend and read every word of it. The president of the United States is not a fact-checker."

John Mays

Malibu

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