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The Display of Iraq News Is Out of Balance

September 29, 2003

Is the glass one-tenth full or nine-tenths empty? The Times continues to take the one-tenth-full approach with "Bush, Schroeder End Feud; Germany Offers Aid in Iraq," Sept. 25. Meanwhile, you bury the "no WMDs" story on A6.

The idea that by calling German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder by his first name and eliciting German crumbs President Bush "helped isolate France" is worse than clueless. Every day, France is being proved right and will continue to be proved right, and everybody in the world, including Schroeder, knows it -- except the Bushies and the mainstream U.S. media. Tactical nice-nice by Germany, Russia or even France will not change this.

Because of the Iraq debacle, the world situation is changing fundamentally for the U.S. We are becoming an object not just of international dislike but of contempt and ridicule. Iraq is Bush's Waterloo, Watergate and "Waterworld" all in one. On the other hand, when you have Israel, the Marshall Islands and Micronesia on your side, maybe it means never having to say you're sorry....

Jonathan Aurthur

Santa Monica


A recent survey of the people in Baghdad shows that two out of three are glad we came and got rid of Saddam Hussein, and that things are either better than they were before or respondents feel they soon will be. Why is it that the only news printed about Iraq is the negative news?

Yes, it is tragic when one of our service personnel is killed or injured, but this is a continuing guerrilla war in both Iraq and in Afghanistan, and as in any guerrilla war, there will be casualties. Let us see articles about the hospitals, schools, electricity, water and all that we are providing for these people -- and not in the back pages, either. Most of the troubles are around Baghdad and Tikrit; the rest of the country is making good progress. Give our troops credit for the good things that are taking place.

Gordon Walker



"U.N. to Slash Its Staff in Iraq," Sept. 26, quotes a major statement by Secretary of State Colin Powell [about a timeline for ending the occupation of Iraq] that came from his appearance on the "Late Show With David Letterman." I don't know which is worse -- a high government official announcing policy on Letterman or that Times reporters get their front-page information from there.

Granted, there is some precedent with Arnold Schwarzeneggar's candidacy announcement on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno." But, either way, we're doomed.

Billy Sottile


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