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American Dream Turns Into a Nightmare in Iraq

September 24, 2004

Civil engineer Eugene Armstrong's pursuit of the American dream in Iraq ended in what could be argued is the worst nightmare of every American who is cashing in on the Iraq war: kidnapped and beheaded by terrorist insurgents utterly indifferent to the individual humanity of their victims (Sept. 22).

One can't help but wonder if Armstrong truly understood the risks of pursuing his work in a country that has become increasingly violent, especially toward Americans.

More disconcerting is the lack of candidness from President Bush and his administration about how things are going over there. From Bush's camp, we hear the constant drumbeat of our success in bringing freedom and liberty and democracy to Iraqis, when all evidence points to an impending civil meltdown. In light of Bush's whitewash of the truth about Iraq, I wonder if the deaths of the hostages are something that Bush can or should be able to live with.

Lisa Mohan

Los Angeles

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Re "An Ominous U.S. Model," Commentary, Sept. 22: According to writer Jonathan Clarke, the challenge in "the grim business of combating terror" is "that American choices will attract copycats."

Unfortunately, none of our Muslim enemies can deliver a 2,000-pound bomb with the precision of the U.S. Air Force. So they are left to their primitive and terrorist way. In their minds, a butcher knife to the throat is a copycat act of the 2,000-pound bomb.

Only an intellectually drained person would consider the killing of two Americans or potentially one Briton a "heinous crime," no matter what the method, yet the dropping of bombs on cities like Baghdad or Fallouja, where children play, go to school and sleep, as just a "routine act" that perchance might kill the one hated terrorist, Abu Musab Zarqawi.

Basim Zakaria

Las Vegas

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What better proof is there that our foreign policy had gone badly awry than our fear that other nations will soon copy it?

Andrew Lewicky

Los Angeles

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Every person who dies in Iraq dies because Bush lied. Bush is no hero. He is a coward. A hero fights only when necessary. This war is unnecessary. These deaths are unnecessary.

David Zasloff

Los Angeles

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How do you spell Iraq now?

... IRAQUAGMIRE!

Samuel S. Walker

Lakewood

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