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How Big a Threat Was Saddam Hussein?

June 23, 2004

Re "Fighting a War in Name Only," Commentary, June 21: Andrew Bacevich misses the whole point. The lesson that we should have learned from World War II is that you deal with a dictator before he develops the power to dominate his neighbors and control the rest of the region. If the world community had been more aggressive in dealing with Hitler in the early 1930s, when Germany trashed the Versailles Treaty, took over Austria and invaded the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia, it is possible that 45 million people might not have died in WWII.

My family gave several lives in WWII because many in the U.S. and the world said, "Hitler is not our problem." It does not take a wild imagination to see Saddam Hussein and his two sons sitting astride the Middle East in future years if he had not been deposed. He would have been able to get weapons of mass destruction with the oil money that was soon to be flowing again when the embargo was lifted because of the pressure of France and other countries. Wake up, Mr. Bacevich. Heed the lessons of the past.

Larry Zini

La Quinta

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Bacevich tells us, "Bush has asked nothing and required nothing of Americans. And nothing pretty much describes what we've anted up to support the cause." The last I heard, we had sacrificed the lives of more than 800 American solders, as well as the health and limbs of thousands more. I, as an American citizen, consider this one hell of a sacrifice. And any attempts to discount that price are at once purely political and immoral.

Mark Tarnowski

Minneapolis

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Regarding the White House argument that deposing Hussein was necessary to protect the U.S. from future terrorist attacks: Why is our government continually telling us to stay off bridges, out of malls and tall buildings, away from holiday parades and sporting events and basically that we'd better get used to living in a constant state of Code Orange? We thought all future attacks were averted by the removal of Hussein. Judging by the length of his beard, that occurred a while ago ... and many lives ago.

Are we safe yet? Our rebuttal to the White House argument is that you can't have it both ways.

Eliza and Eric Roberts

Studio City

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It now seems that we have two truths as a result of the 9/11 commission findings. The first is the one the administration would have you believe based on its word, and the second is the result of the evidence the bipartisan 9/11 commission has uncovered. Take your choice.

Bernard Rapkin

Los Angeles

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