Re "The Lies We Are Told About Iraq," by Victor Marshall, Opinion, Jan. 5: There it is in black and white: the truth about Iraq. How we were lied to about the first war on Iraq, and how we are being lied to about the upcoming war. Anybody can find out that Vice President Dick Cheney, while chief executive of Halliburton Co., outfoxed sanctions while overseeing business dealings with Iraq through two Halliburton subsidiaries. And how Halliburton was awarded the contract to build cells for Al Qaeda prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Halliburton provides barracks and food for U.S. troops stationed overseas -- a very profitable enterprise. Who do you think will be at the head of the line when the U.S., through whatever shell game it devises, divides the spoils of war in Iraq?
It's not just Halliburton. The key players in this administration are in the war business and the energy business, big-time. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice even has an oil tanker named for her. The true motives for war on Iraq are there if we want to see them. Or maybe we don't.
One of Marshall's primary contentions is that it would be folly to equate Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait with Adolf Hitler's territorial acquisitions on the eve of World War II. Marshall states that Hussein's move stemmed from "specific historical grievances," that is, "borders drawn by Britain after World War I that virtually cut Iraq off from the Gulf." He also states that Kuwait's insistence on the repayment of outstanding loans played a part in precipitating the war.
This is extremely ironic -- these grievances are virtually identical to those used by Hitler to rationalize his acts of aggression. Do we forget the Polish Corridor, which split Germany in two, or demands that Germany repay the war debt incurred as a result of the World War I? For Marshall to claim that the two had different motivations for going to war is ludicrous.
Re "Bush Braces Troops for War," Jan. 4: President Bush stated that a war with Iraq would be fought "not to conquer anybody but to liberate people." This type of jingoistic propaganda resulted in the deaths of more than 55,000 young Americans in Vietnam. I wonder how many of those cheering soldiers at Ft. Hood will die in a war with Iraq. And how many innocent Iraqi citizens will die in this glorious liberation effort? I don't know what's more frightening: the Bush administration's rush to war or the apathy and gullibility of the American people for allowing it to happen.
It is clear that Hussein is a bad guy who is a menace to his own people and possibly to others in the Middle East region. That said, has anyone else noticed that the only time he threatens the U.S. is when we threaten him first? The 11-year pattern, beginning with the Gulf War, has been quite consistent. Hussein shows no particular interest in the U.S., then we decide he's doing something bad and either threaten or attack him -- and then and only then he makes threats against the U.S. Given this pattern, it is obvious that we, not Hussein, are the instigators in our "conflict."
The U.S. has two centrist political parties. Despite this lack of diversity, our system usually works well because the party out of power scrutinizes and challenges the party in power. Bush has fabricated a crisis with Iraq. Our European allies (except our lap dog, Britain) are baffled. Attempts to link Iraq to Al Qaeda and 9/11 have failed. And now Bush is going after North Korea as well. South Korea is appalled by his recklessness.
The troubling question: Where are the Democrats? When the "out" party shirks its duty and fails to criticize the "in" party, our political system doesn't work very well at all.
John T. Luoma