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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Bush's Delusion of Iraqi Democracy

August 27, 2004

Re "Iraqi Olympic Soccer Players Kick the Stuffing Out of Bush's Fantasy," Commentary, Aug. 24: I suppose nothing President Bush says should amaze me, but for him to declare Iraq a "new democracy" when Iraqis are dying every day and live under martial law, when their so-called leaders are chosen by us and their country is in utter chaos with no end in sight, is a huge delusion even for him.

To support this position, he points to the Iraqi Olympic team. Were it not for Robert Scheer's commentary, we would not have known what the Iraqi soccer team members said about our occupation, a.k.a. liberation. So much for the flowers and hugs Bush promised us, just one of the big lies he told us about Iraq.

What I'd like to know is why these statements from these athletes have not been printed on the front page of every newspaper in the U.S. Certainly we have a right to know directly from Iraqis how they feel and not have this information filtered and dry-cleaned by the media before we ever see it.

Marlene Share

Sherman Oaks

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Scheer discusses the comments of the Iraqi soccer coach: "The American Army has killed so many people in Iraq." And Saddam Hussein was a benevolent dictator; he never killed anyone? What the man said just goes to prove that no good deed goes unpunished.

If it were not for the U.S. being in Iraq, the Iraqis could not be in the Olympics without worrying about being tortured when they got home.

Judy Herbst

Beverly Hills

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Re Michael Ramirez's Aug. 24 cartoon (a rat labeled Sadr hides under the shield of a Koran): This precisely exemplifies our disproportionate focus on Iraq, our intractable and misguided war against ordinary Iraqis and the loss of attention to real problems in American society. Muqtada Sadr is a local personage, not a world player. He is not a cruel and dominating tyrant, nor is he a supporter of Hussein, Baath remnants or Al Qaeda. All his power derives from the moral support of a significant portion of the Iraqi Shiites.

If the U.S. [forces in Iraq] were to be defeated by Sadr's Mahdi militia, we would suffer no serious consequences. The struggle for power in Iraq is a local affair. To the British rulers of India, Gandhi too was a dangerous counter-Christian oddball. We see him today in a better light.

Leon Roth

Corona del Mar

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The continuing siege at the Imam Ali Mosque more and more resembles the Alamo, where overwhelming force defeated an armed militia. Bush probably skipped that part of Texas history.

Keith Price

Los Angeles

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