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No Banned Weapons Found as Chaos Continues in Iraq

June 03, 2003

The Sunday, June 1, front page of The Times tells us that Al Qaeda is alive and well, and that large numbers of Iraqi Shiite militants oppose American plans for a secular democracy. Meanwhile, no weapons of mass destruction have been found, Iraq is a chaotic mess and the war-damaged and ill-equipped Iraqi hospitals are full of children who have lost limbs to our bombs. Our soldiers are being fired upon, dysentery and cholera are rampant and crime and looting are out of control.

Isn't it time that the people of this country ask why and to what purpose we waged war against Iraq?

Ann Edelman

Los Angeles

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Walter Russell Mead, in "One Exit Strategy: Just Leave" (Opinion, June 1), assumes a very supportive public for whatever the president wishes to do in his war on terrorism, and for the most part, he may be right. It doesn't seem to matter that the administration lied to us on the reasons for war in Iraq, it's all in the marketing of the product, and the public bought it hook, line and sinker. During an era where reality TV and 24/7 shock and awe hold sway over a public that no longer wishes to think for itself ... yes, Mr. Mead, I can see how this president will be able to spin himself out of any atrocity.

Peter Hughes

Los Alamitos

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Please. William M. Arkin can spare us his pipeline to the Defense Department's propaganda machine ("Fliers Rose to Occasion," Opinion, June 1). The "lesson demonstrated in this war" is that if the country that devotes the greatest proportion of its tax dollars to its military (the U.S.) chooses an opponent that's been "softened" by years of economic sanctions (Iraq), it's sure to claim a victory. We look like the schoolyard bully who just beat up some weakling and now crows about its might and prowess.

Peg Quinn

Santa Barbara

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Re "Analysis of Iraqi Weapons 'Wrong,' " May 31: President Bush claimed in Poland, "We've so far discovered two" biological laboratories. "And we'll find more weapons as time goes on." He said, "But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them." What exactly is he saying we have found? He refers to biological laboratories, weapons, banned manufacturing devices and banned weapons all in one statement.

Does the president know that his CIA agents believe the two trailers he refers to were weapons production facilities but acknowledge that "there is no evidence the trailers were ever used to produce any illegal agents"? I don't want to accuse the president of lying, heaven forfend; but he and his CIA agents need to avoid adding to our growing suspicions that the war on Iraq was waged under false pretenses.

Tom Robischon

Los Angeles

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