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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Bombing Iraqi Civilians Won't Win Many Friends

September 29, 2004

Re "Heady U.S. Goals for Iraq Fall by Wayside," Sept. 27: With the Bush administration's motto "Stay the Course," remember the Titanic? Apparently not!

Roy Richardson

Huntington Beach

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I was unsure whether to put the "international terrorist" bumper sticker bearing George W. Bush's portrait on my car, until I had seen one too many photos of U.S. warplanes pounding an Iraqi city. Our armed forces are conducting this activity in the country they "conquered" more than 18 months ago.

Much to the chagrin of the entire civilized world, the U.S. continues to apply jet fighter-bombers to urban targets with the consequent "collateral damage" of eviscerated civilians. I'm not sure exactly how supporters of this war's self-delusional mechanisms work, but anyone who could condone this sort of activity in the name of fighting terrorism is overdue for a major reality check.

R. Lawrence Tripp

Los Angeles

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As I understand Sen. John Kerry's position on Iraq, Bush did everything wrong but Kerry would do the same thing but better.

Gary A. Robb

Los Feliz

Re "Costs Whittle Funds to Iraqis," Sept. 26: The $18.4-billion package that the administration claims is allocated for postwar reconstruction in Iraq appears to be splurged in other ways.

The program's ultimate goal "was to provide Iraqis with a highly advanced utility and oil infrastructure." In other words, corporate America will capitalize on Iraq's precious resource, oil.

It is rather disturbing that the American public is being misled by false claims that billions are being spent to improve the lives of Iraqis with the hopes of forming amity between the United States and Iraq, when in reality only $1 billion has been utilized toward reconstruction, with the majority being disbursed toward security.

Perhaps Iraqis wouldn't be so hostile if the U.S. weren't occupying their home with the intention of exploiting it.

Nicole Ocariz

Los Angeles

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It's truly amazing how many 5-year-olds are among the "militants" killed by our "precision" airstrikes on densely populated residential areas in cities such as Fallouja.

Since our ground intelligence in insurgent-controlled regions of Iraq would call for such attacks only on the basis of solid data, we must not lose sight of one important distinction. We kill civilians, and it's collateral damage. They kill civilians, and it's terrorism.

Alan Benson

Newbury Park

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It boils down to this. Multilateralism makes for healthier globalization. Unilateralism makes for barbaric terrorism. We're going the wrong way!

Eric Bolton

Burbank

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