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The 9/11 world

September 16, 2007

Re "What we've lost," editorial, Sept. 11

What freedoms do we, as Americans, give up to gain a measure of security? The editorial seems rather wistful that we are not fighting a traditional enemy. No one expects the 5th Al Qaeda Armored Division to land on the beach at Atlantic City, but we do expect individual fanatics to slip unobserved into our country to do what damage they can. We have our homegrown fanatics with the same goal. The best defense against terrorists is a coordinated offense. That means the branches of government need the tools to proactively ferret out those who would do us harm. This is war. I will give the government a lease on certain freedoms for the duration. I expect them back when the enemy is defeated.

David Strauss

Arcadia

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I agree that President Bush has defamed American democracy. However, the assertion that the lack of post-9/11 attacks on American soil is an achievement of his administration is illogical, if not downright disingenuous. It took only the one attack to achieve the damage to American democracy you so rightly decry; Bush's self-destructive response made further attacks unnecessary. Enemy commanders would be foolish to mount additional attacks knowing that they would almost certainly arouse languishing public support for our discredited president's war. Fear of an attack can create as much or more havoc than an actual one. The enemy and Bush have played upon this fear, each to his own advantage.

David Dart

Los Angeles

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Re "Out of troops," Opinion, Sept. 11

Do we still have about 50,000 troops in Germany? Why? To honor some long-since-obsolete commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization? Or perhaps to stem the Russian hordes who are poised to overrun Europe?

Do we still have 50,000 troops stationed in Asia? Why? To defend Taiwan if the Chinese choose to invade? To defend South Korea from the Chinese or North Koreans?

Our military doesn't need more troops. It may instead need some fresh thinking about future missions rather than continuing to implement strategies that have been out of date for years.

Wilbert B. Buchman

Redondo Beach

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