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Bush Is Seen as Backtracking on WMD Claim

June 12, 2003

Re "Bush Tempers Talk of Weapons," June 10: There is an enormous difference between a threat posed by weapons of mass destruction so clear and imminent that an attack on Iraq was urgent and a "weapons program." To paraphrase the Watergate question: What didn't he know, and when didn't he know it? There is a moral obligation to find out.

Virginia Classick

Woodland Hills

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The controversy over discredited intelligence data leading to the possibly mistaken belief that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction will die out because it fails to address the larger question of how we should alter our present policies toward Iraq. It could be argued, for example, that we should abort the entire misadventure and withdraw to allow the Iraqis to determine their own future without our perceived interference in their affairs.

Charles De V. Conyers II

Gardena

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Re "Bad Iraq Data From Start to Finish," Commentary, June 10: The weekly rants by Robert Scheer are getting tiresome. I suppose I just don't see his main premise. What is it, peace at any cost? My premise: The U.S. was attacked on 9/11, our way of life is good and we had better defend it. All Americans have been declared targets by an enemy with very disturbing values. That makes us all soldiers, even my kids.

I believe that President Bush is doing his best. With the heavy responsibility of leadership in the heat of battle goes unquestioned respect. Not necessarily agreement, but respect ... and the will to execute a battle plan. Scheer is a liability in the foxhole.

Gene A. Blinde

Crestline

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In listening to Bush's latest statement that "I am absolutely convinced, with time, we'll find out that they did have a weapons program," it seems that he is playing with language syntax by substituting the word "program" for "WMD." We all are aware that Hussein has had a weapons program for many years, but we weren't coerced into the Iraq war because of any existing weapons program.

We were repeatedly bombarded with the "undeniable" facts that Hussein was about to unleash horrific WMD on the rest of the world if we didn't stop him.

The American people can't let Bush try to pull a "bait and switch" and allow him to end up justifying his actions with a weapons program that we already knew existed and divert us from the mostly confirmed fact that there are no WMD in Iraq.

Joseph Brummell

Long Beach

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Re WMD: Please explain what the word "mass" means. The execution of 1,000 Iraqis? Maybe 10,000? How about adding another 100 executed and just dug up this week? Let's face it, Hussein was a genocidal maniac and he's now gone. If we hadn't removed him, would the word "mass" take on a different meaning a few days, months or years from now?

Don Ruh

La Quinta

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Hey, dude, where's Osama bin Laden? Where's Hussein? Where's the WMD? Where's our jobs?

Jerry Bradley

Santa Barbara

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