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How We See Terror War and How Others See Us

May 18, 2003

Re "Al Qaeda May Be Back, and Stronger," May 14: As usual, you guys have it all wrong. Al Qaeda pulled off an attack in Saudi Arabia because it is one of the few places it can. Any group of L.A. gangbangers or high school thugs could have pulled off this attack. Little security; practically a "Welcome Terrorists" sign at the gate.

Al Qaeda is a pathetic, dying pseudo-organization. These are criminals, plain and simple. The Times seems to hope this attack means that our fight to rid the world of them is a bust. It's not. We're winning. The war is not over but we're winning.

Patricia McCarthy

Burbank

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So, at least nine people in Saudi Arabia hated Americans and other foreigners so much that they were willing to blow themselves up to kill some of them. Thanks to our new foreign policy, Americans are now hated almost everywhere in the world.

Why shouldn't people of the Islamic faith hate us? The Bush-Blair-Sharon triumvirate has launched a Judeo-Christian crusade against Muslims. If it is a criminal act for terrorists to kill innocent civilians, then it is a criminal act for President Bush, Prime Minister Tony Blair and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to kill innocent civilians in order to conduct their crusade. They should all be impeached immediately and tried as war criminals.

Randy Hill

La Verne

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The headline on Sebastian Rotella's May 14 news analysis, "The War's European Casualties," recalls a famous British one: "Fog on Channel. Continent Isolated." No doubt the administration can cause some damage to our European allies, but not without simultaneously harming ourselves.

A quick glance at international markets reveals that since the Bush war began, the dollar has plummeted against the euro. Of course, it would be difficult to distinguish the effects on currency of a misguided and arrogant foreign policy from those of incessant and irresponsible tax cuts. In an age when the U.S. carries huge overseas debts, we are perhaps acting rashly to suppose that military might alone can make us invulnerable.

Theodore Porter

Irvine

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