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Taking peace for granted

March 12, 2007

Re "If L.A. were Baghdad," Opinion, March 8

Patt Morrison describes a fictional scenario in which the suicide bombings, roadside bombings, kidnappings and group executions that have become a daily occurrence in Baghdad instead occur in Los Angeles. Today it may be fictional, but tomorrow it may be reality. There have been ample news reports that many security experts believe that cells of Al Qaeda and Hezbollah are already here, just waiting for orders to attack.

Should Morrison's fiction turn into reality, and given the fact that both our police departments and the National Guard are stretched way too thin to protect the city under such circumstances, it may be time to start thinking outside the box.

Community groups may have to form expanded versions of neighborhood watch programs, with the right to carry arms and to intensely patrol their areas 24/7. Laws would have to be enacted to authorize such groups. Such groups would have to be properly trained and carefully vetted. Best to start thinking about such concepts now, rather than waiting until the suicide bombs start going off here.

DON FENMORE

Los Angeles

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Morrison's article is a perfect analogy to the terrorists' ultimate goal. They probably dream of that scenario every night. Fortunately for us and cities around the world, their movement is getting squashed, albeit slowly, in Iraq and Afghanistan.

JOHN ARNDT

Redondo Beach

*

Heartfelt thanks to Morrison for bringing the Iraq catastrophe home to us. How would we feel if we were afraid to send our children to school or even out to play? If we were afraid to leave our houses to go to the market or to visit friends? And what about living with garbage in the streets, erratic electricity and ill-equipped and filthy hospitals? And the constant fear of being killed or maimed?

Please, Americans, forget Britney Spears and Anna Nicole Smith and think about what life is like in Iraq, our terrible responsibility for what is going on there and the tragic number of people who have been killed and maimed.

ANN EDELMAN

Los Angeles

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