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Commentary | LETTER TO THE TIMES

Al Qaeda's Roots in the Cold War

June 26, 2004

Re "Al Qaeda Link Exists, Despite the Fog," Commentary, June 22: Poor Steve Hayes. His book, "The Connection: How al Qaeda's Collaboration With Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America," comes out as the fantasy of his premise is dismissed by the 9/11 commission. Now he has to justify his preposterous book by joining the Bush/Cheney choir of denial.

It's sad to see The Times help promote his fictional partisan terror tale. What a waste of newsprint. The fact is, there has been more collaboration between the Bush family and Al Qaeda; after all, it was the Reagan and Bush administrations that supported and trained Al Qaeda.

Bob Lowe

Lake Isabella

Re "Two Panelists Detail Allies' Al Qaeda Ties," June 21: Compliments for informing us that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan let terrorists flourish before 9/11. If you continue to look, you will find out that there is another party with complicity in 9/11: the United States.

The history of U.S. support for Islamism starts with President Roosevelt and ends with the first President Bush. Space will permit me to quote only two examples: the Afghan jihad (1980-1992) and Balkan jihads (Bosnia and Kosovo, from 1992 onward). The children of the proxy war against the Soviet Union have been Al Qaeda, 35,000 Afghan Arabs and the Taliban. Al Qaeda was the Clinton administration's partner in the Balkan jihads. U.S. planes transported mujahedin to Bosnia, which became the hub of terrorist operations extending into Western Europe and North America, including 9/11. The Hamburg Al Qaeda cell, which played a pivotal part in 9/11, was recruited from Bosnia.

Vojin Joksimovich

Escondido

As the saying goes, with friends like these, who needs enemies? It is obvious that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are not friends of America. The Saudis give money to terrorists and the Pakistanis hide them. It is time for a diplomatic change. Instead of a relationship with either country, why not drop the Saudis and replace the Pakistanis with the Indians?

The U.S. has sided with Pakistan because India was an ally of the U.S.S.R. during the Cold War. The Cold War is over and the U.S.S.R. is no more. India is a large Asian democracy that cooperates with American business and handles everything from billing to engineering. Pakistan is a smaller military dictatorship. India elects its government and the people vote for their choices. Pakistan just replaces one colonel with another when they change governments.

If we supported India, it could probably move its armies into Afghanistan with ease, search the caves and find the desert rat Osama bin Laden.

The only reason for supporting Saudi Arabia is the oil. The Saudi monarchy is a feudal dictatorship that barely tolerates the Western infidels. They "respect us" because our armies keep the other Arab wolves from their royal palace doors.

Tom Novinson

Ventura

Now we know why those in the Bush administration opposed the creation of the panel to investigate the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. They feared that the panel would give the lie to the claim that Saddam Hussein was involved with Al Qaeda or had anything to do with the attacks. They also feared that the commission would expose the connections between Al Qaeda and our supposed allies, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

What the administration greatly feared has come to pass. The response of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney is to redouble their lies. I hope and pray that the response of the American people will be to throw out these neo-warmongers come November.

Robert E. Park

Los Angeles

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