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Show More Democracy and Less Capitalism Now we know...

March 30, 2003

Show More Democracy and Less Capitalism

Now we know why the Bush administration did not want diplomacy to work in its rush to war with Iraq ("Cronyism and Rebuilding," editorial, March 26). Apparently, war is business, and a no-war situation would have thwarted President Bush and the big corporations that have partly bankrolled his presidential campaign. Salivating over fat reconstruction contracts to rebuild Baghdad, these corporations and the people behind them are no better than the Northern carpetbaggers who swooped down on the South after its defeat in the American Civil War. Only this time, they are profiting from a hapless foreign country.

Danny Petilla

West Hills

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"Ask Not What Your Country Can Do for You, Ask ... How Much Exactly?" (Commentary, March 26) presents defense advisor Richard Perle as an example of one peddling his access and influence in return for personal gain. Well, I would also like to nominate Vice President Dick Cheney. Now we hear that Halliburton, the firm he once headed, is one of the first in line for one of those lucrative contracts to rebuild Iraq. There's nothing like a government contract for making the big bucks.

Joan Klotz

Venice

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While I have been and remain firmly against Bush's war on Iraq, I find irresponsible and shortsighted the opposition movement's call to bring our troops home as soon as possible. Having been committed by this administration to the war, we now have a long-term responsibility to the people of Iraq. Our feeble presence in Afghanistan has made President Hamid Karzai no more than the mayor of Kabul and has handed over the rest of the country to warlords. And then we "forget" to include aid to Afghanistan in the 2004 budget proposal.

The U.S. cannot simply drop bombs and clear out. In order to continue to make the dubious "democracy domino" claim about Iraq and the Middle East, we must rebuild what we destroy. Otherwise, we will continue to be viewed, quite rightly, as imperialists hungry for oil, with no care for the countries whose resources we are sucking out of the ground. Just so long as Bush's cronies don't reap all the profit.

Sarah Rich

Claremont

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