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George W. Bush is no FDR

November 18, 2005

Jonah Goldberg's comparison of President Bush to FDR (Opinion, Nov. 17) would be more apt if, in the wake of Pearl Harbor, FDR had declared war on Mexico. If Goldberg's case is that FDR secretly planned for war, then the comparison is even more invidious for Bush: His administration's ideology-driven refusal to plan for the war's aftermath is the reason for this terrible mess. Millions have suffered the consequences, none of them in the Bush administration.

Those of us who believe that our president has to be accountable are not all "deranged moonbats." Some of us are parents who are worried that, if politicians see there are no consequences for lying us into wars, they will do it again and again, and our children will be the ones to fight.

Politicians should be at least as afraid of deceiving us into wars as they are of raising taxes.

PETER GOULD

Studio City

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The question we ask ourselves should not be whether the Bush administration lied about the Iraqi threat; it reeks of politics and deflects from what's more important. Most of us agree that the removal of Saddam Hussein was a positive step and, as Goldberg points out, our leaders have lied before. The issue is Bush's overall execution of the U.S. response to 9/11.

The questions should be: Did we catch Osama bin Laden? Is our country more secure? Is our position in the international community better or worse? Has the taking and rebuilding of Iraq been worth the deaths and injuries to thousands of American young people and the grief to their families?

FRANK SHAPIRO

Northridge

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Nice try comparing World War II to Iraq. Goldberg writes: "The Bush Doctrine is not chiefly about WMD and never was. Like FDR's vision, it balances democracy, security and morality." The invasion was exclusively about WMD, or doesn't Goldberg recall? There has been no morality, security, and the jury is out on democracy.

Do Goldberg and the Bush administration think that, as in "Animal Farm," if they repeat the rewritten reasons for invading Iraq enough times and with enough indignant bluster, they'll permanently change our memories?

KATIE CAROTHERS

North Hills

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Goldberg tries to rationalize the current administration's prevaricating through a defensive posture (FDR lied, so it's OK for Bush to lie). He didn't mention that President Nixon (and a few other world leaders, famous and infamous) lied as well -- with disastrous consequences.

A rather flaccid first effort for Goldberg. If The Times is intent on bringing fresh perspective to the Op-Ed pages, childish finger-pointing doesn't cut it.

BRUCE BRESLAU

Northridge

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