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Is the Iraq War Illegal?

September 19, 2004

According to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (Sept. 17), the U.S. decision to go to war in Iraq without the approval of the U.N. Security Council was "illegal." I would like to hear Annan explain why the U.N. failed to get Saddam Hussein to agree to surprise, unsupervised inspections throughout Iraq for more than nine years. And why the U.N. did absolutely nothing when Hussein's forces fired on coalition planes time and time again in the "no-fly zones" it had established after the Persian Gulf War.

If the U.N. hadn't been so toothless in the enforcement of its own sanctions, the Iraq war would never have happened and a thousand U.S. kids would still be alive today.

John Johnson

Encino

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In an indirect response to Annan's charge of the war's illegality, President Bush noted "the Security Council's unanimous adoption in November 2002 of a resolution warning of 'serious consequences' if Iraq did not disarm or account for missing weapons materials." Because we know now that there were no WMD in Iraq, using the U.N. resolution as an excuse is tantamount to admitting the Bush administration took us to war because of an accounting screw-up. The truth is there was never approval by the U.N. for invading Iraq -- it was invaded because of the ideology of the neoconservatives in Bush's administration who are pulling his strings. If you can think of one thing Bush has done right, in particular his "war on terror," vote for him.

David Perlman

Laguna Beach

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Re "U.S. Death Toll in Iraq at Least 52 This Month," Sept. 17: If I recall correctly, as U.S. troops were entering Baghdad, Hussein was telling the Iraqi people that victory over the enemy was at hand. We called this delusional thinking. Today, security in Iraq is deteriorating and September promises to be among the most deadly months of the war for U.S. troops. Bush tells the American people that democracy at hand for Iraq, that it will soon follow in other Middle Eastern countries and that our country is safer today from terrorism as a result. We call this optimism.

Elizabeth A. Gilpin

San Diego

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Re "Bush's Buddy Blair Favors Kerry, So the Chatter Goes," Sept. 15: Who can blame British Prime Minister Tony Blair for wanting a regime change in the U.S.? He is stuck between a go-it-alone president who has mired us in a no-win war in Iraq and an alienated world community. Even if voters do not totally agree with John Kerry's platform, they should closely evaluate Bush's record before casting their ballot.

Charles Doherty

Hermosa Beach

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The handling of the Iraq war has gone so terribly that the military is unable to describe how bad it is; some in great despair are declaring the war has been lost. How can we have forgotten our young men and women who are fighting this war in our name? If someone so incompetent messed up this badly in the workplace, he would get fired. Why aren't people holding Bush accountable?

J. Fairchild Williams

Claremont

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