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Are They War Criminals, Bullies or Prudent Leaders?

March 24, 2003

When the unprovoked armed aggression against Iraq began, the war crime was committed. Is there a legal group that can organize bringing war crimes charges against President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, British Foreign Minister Jack Straw and others? The International Criminal Court, or perhaps the war crimes tribunal at The Hague? We who have spent many hours demonstrating our opposition to war, only to be ignored by the powers that be, must now turn our attention to the legal field of battle.

Let us begin to make their lives a legal misery. Let us get international warrants of arrest. For the politicians who have claimed the right to wage war, let us give a legal response, a civilized response, but a response that will ring through history: You cannot wage unprovoked war without suffering a legal penalty -- do the crime and do the time!

Peter Hainey

Ventura

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As America returns to its early history of foreign policy by military force, let's reinstate the earlier (and now more truthful) names: Rumsfeld as secretary of War, heading the Department of War (rather than Department of Defense).

Nickolas M. Waser

Riverside

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I am in "shock and awe" at the smugness of our administration and the news media, which trumpet the might of the U.S. war machine but refuse to acknowledge that the opponent, Iraq, is a Third World country with the military capability of an impoverished nation that has been debilitated by a dozen years of severe U.N. sanctions.

How could Americans, who have always championed the underdog, who have always believed in a fair fight, stomach the arrogance of Rumsfeld as he proclaimed that we would launch the most devastating attack ever seen against a preposterously outmanned opponent?

The war on Iraq is certainly indicative of a sea change in both American values and political philosophy. What we are witnessing is the end of our beloved "America the Beautiful" and the birth of a universally despised "America the Bully."

Kenny Feuerman

Beverly Hills

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To all the antiwar, pro-appeasement critics, what do you propose as an alternative? Letting Saddam Hussein stay in power? I hope not.

Greg Givens

Redondo Beach

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I find it incredible that many in the world are supportive of a butcher who kills his own people and others in the thousands without batting an eyelash and would not hesitate to drop an atomic bomb on the U.S. if he could. Bravo to Bush and to our heroic armed forces.

Zach Samuels

Los Angeles

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I'm one of the most anti-Bush guys you'll find, as I believe he's a disaster regarding our domestic agenda and he and Cheney are as corrupt as it gets.

However, Hussein gives $10,000 or more to every family of a Palestinian suicide bomber (March 21). And Israel, our only ally and the only democracy in the region, has a mini-9/11 practically every week.

I don't care what the French or the Russians think; taking out a dictator who supports terrorism is the right thing to do, period.

Mark Lee Goldberg

Los Angeles

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Bush learned from a mistake his father made and will get rid of Hussein. But he hasn't learned from the other mistake. The elder Bush had his war a year too soon, and all the popularity from a victory will mean nothing come election time, with the economy going as badly as it is. Iraq will be defeated, but unless the economy gets better, so will George W. Bush in 2004.

Mike Kirwan

Venice

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When Hussein's army folds like a pack of cards and we see that Iraq was no threat at all, could we ask the U.N. inspectors back into Iraq to prove the existence of weapons of mass destruction? I don't trust this White House to present the truth, as its earlier justifications for going to war unraveled into embarrassing lies.

Which companies are lined up to make money in Iraq? Where is the GOP indignation? (If this were Bill Clinton, the cries of cronyism would be heard.) Will we really repair the infrastructure of the country, or just the areas around the oil fields? Will we ask other countries to take on the humanitarian aid while we reward the oil to countries that went into this war with us?

And who is next on Bush's list? There are many countries ruled by despots who abuse their citizenry. Bush will want to liberate them too.

J. Fairchild Williams

Claremont

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I was stirred by Chari Spears' March 20 letter that told, in words few could imitate, what I truly believe. Debating the wisdom of war was very American, but now that it has begun, all talk is at an end. We are in this together.

Carleton H. Ralston

Los Angeles

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