Letters from the Readers - Detroit Free Press

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Posted by Jeff from bgp01107368bgs.wbrmfd01.mi.comcast.net ( on Saturday, February 23, 2002 at 7:38PM :

See Fred... ALL Americans aren't stupid and mindless.

Attack Iraq?

February 23, 2002

After an initially favorable reaction to President George W. Bush's plan to forcibly oust Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, a lot of people in this country, myself included, are going to be asking why.

Why didn't we topple the megalomaniac when we had him in our sights in 1991? Why have we played games with him over the past decade with sanctions, cat-and-mouse maneuvers in the no-fly zone, and token inspections of his weapons-making facilities, knowing full well what he is up to and providing him with a leisurely timetable in which to do it?

Why are we now prepared to accept even greater casualties for this operation than those we incurred in Afghanistan or the Persian Gulf War? Why burden U.S. taxpayers with the huge cost of what amounts to a face-saving second try at something that should have been accomplished the first time around? Why did it take an act of wholesale terror for this country finally to mount the resolve necessary to go after Hussein?

I don't disagree that Hussein should be removed from power, but if we are truly going after him this time, let us not pull our punches, as we did previously. Who is to say that all of our nice-guy tactics in dealing with him didn't play a part in emboldening Osama bin Laden?

Kenneth E. Kilpatrick Northville
Bully U.S.

I agree with your Feb. 14 editorial "Down Hussein? Bush owes stronger justification for threats on Iraq." I think this administration is entirely too bellicose in its policies. Labeling those three countries, which are not even friendly to each other, as an "axis of evil" is ridiculous.

Who elected the United States to police the world, especially small, poor countries we hope to bully?

C.A. Canavan Northville
Simplistic thinking

The Free Press is right to raise a flag of warning over George W. Bush's intentions toward Iraq.

We have a president whose limited intelligence naturally leads him to favor simplistic solutions, intent on avenging what many perceive as his father's mistake in not finishing off Saddam Hussein at the end of the Gulf War. Couple that with a coterie of advisers similarly unable to entertain seriously any other option than the use of military force and you have a combination likely to lead the United States into a conflagration that will make both world wars look like Sunday school picnics.

Joseph R. Neall West Bloomfield

It appears that President George W. Bush wants to keep the nation's attention on the war on terrorism. His recent remarks expanded the scope of his anti-terrorism campaign while downplaying the role of diplomacy. He named Iraq as a nation that "continues to flaunt its hostility toward America." But U.S. intelligence officials state there is no evidence that Iraq played a role in the Sept. 11 attacks or that it has been active in sponsoring national terrorism in recent years.

This is Bush's way of keeping his high rating.

Sally A. Albright Grand Rapids
Sitting ducks

Millions of Iranians demonstrated against the United States and avowed our destruction. Shortly after, we learned that there is a confirmed Islamic threat that is likely to occur.

With all our might and power, why do we fail, as a nation, to preempt the anticipated attacks? The threats are real, as evidenced by Sept. 11. We know who and where our enemies are, and we know the countries that support and encourage them. I can't understand why we insist on remaining sitting ducks.

David Buckfire Farmington Hills
Fire will likely grow

I applaud the Free Press for its balanced look at President George W. Bush's plans to attack Iraq and others he doesn't like. As with Americans everywhere, I totally agree with his actions in Afghanistan.

Bush seems to have forgotten that before Sept. 11, he indicated to the world that we didn't need help from anyone. We were perfectly capable of handling every situation ourselves. After Sept. 11, he found he needed a coalition. Every government intelligence agency has told Bush that Iraq had no connection with what happened.

I am afraid he will turn the Bush fire in Afghanistan into a Mideast inferno that will engulf everyone, including Israel.

John J. McGinty Detroit
Check Chaucer

President George W. Bush has promised us that he will root out evil and destroy it. This is a futile task at best.

Some 600 years ago, the great poet Chaucer, in his "Canterbury Tales," had a despicable cleric tell a tale of three youths who make a compact to seek out death with the intention of destroying it. These three indeed find and destroy death, but with catastrophic results.

Chaucer's is a cautionary fable with modern implications. Our president would be wise to familiarize himself with the story.

Theodore D. Kazanis Birmingham
Oil enemies

President George W. Bush issued a warning to the nations of Iran, Iraq and North Korea for their alleged sponsorship of terror. He forgot to include our oil friends in Saudi Arabia, many who have been known to redirect some of the billions of dollars we give them annually for their oil to terrorist groups.

Were not most of the terrorists of Sept. 11 Saudi citizens? Shouldn't the Saudis also be warned, or is the president afraid of upsetting them in any way that may threaten the supply of cheap oil coming to us?

The president, in his State of the Union address, mentioned briefly the need to conserve energy and to find more efficient technologies in order to become more energy self-sufficient. He needs to translate this idea into an energy policy that emphasizes clean alternative sources and more efficient technologies. He could start by increasing the fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks by several miles per gallon.

The American people should demand this, as well as make personal efforts to conserve energy. The sooner we overcome our addiction to fossil fuels the more secure we will all be. Take a strike against terrorism and pollution at the same time by conserving.

Thaddeus J. Hejka Canton

-- Jeff
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