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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

An Iraqi Insurgent Threatens the U.S.

October 11, 2003

Re "Iraqi Guerrilla Gives U.S. a Dire Warning," Oct. 7: I had to check twice to make sure it was The Times and not Al Jazeera I was looking at when I saw your front-page propaganda piece on the "self-proclaimed" and "insurgent leader" Commander A and his supposed feats and plans.

Your reporter met with two men who claimed to be leaders of anti-American guerrillas, a meeting brokered by a former Saddam Hussein-era Information Ministry employee "whose sympathies lie with the resistance." The men interviewed were "boastful and prone to exaggerated assertions of their effectiveness," engaged in probable "self-delusion" and made allegations that appear "to have no basis in reality." How could you possibly go with a story based upon such obviously unreliable sources? Is this the kind of alleged journalism that belongs on the front page, or anywhere?

John Kubeck

Huntington Beach

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Reading about Commander A's complaint that U.S. forces degrade Iraqis made me think about the young U.S. Marine I met last Sunday in the lobby of the Palm Springs Hilton Hotel. He said that he had just arrived from Iraq three days earlier, and with surprising enthusiasm told me: "I can't wait to get back!" I could sense the rush of adrenaline flowing throughout his body as he demonstrated for me the new language he had learned.

After blurting out a phrase in Arabic, he translated it: "Get down on the ground, [expletive]!" Another burst, then, "Get up, [expletive]!" I couldn't help but wonder how many "terrorists" we are creating ourselves. God bless and watch over our troops.

Jon Dosa

Palm Springs

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In this modern era it is suicidal to be a pacifist. Any country can get its hands on weapons of mass destruction. The Russians will be glad to sell them. As in the Iraq war, something had to be done, and we did it. However, I feel that restructuring Iraq's society is going too far. Most of the Iraqis hate our guts. As a matter of fact, setting foot in the place is objectionable. With sufficient warning, use sophisticated weapons to do the job. If they continue to be a threat to us, keep hitting them until they get the message. World opinion is a trap. The countries in the United Nations only have themselves in mind, not the world. The U.N. Human Rights Commission is headed by Moammar Kadafi's Libya. What kind of decisions can come out of that?

Arthur Koutras

Rancho Mirage

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How commendable that the House unanimously passed a bill to stop charging $8.10 a day for food for the men and women hospitalized while recovering from combat-related injuries (Oct. 9). Under what rules could this shameful affront against our military have been previously approved?

Eva L. Barcia

Los Angeles

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