Re "Despite So Many Fans, War Is No Game," Commentary, Jan. 7: Thank you, Robert Scheer, for articulating what has been a concern of mine for two years now. I cannot believe there are not more Americans up in arms about our inevitable war with Iraq. I agree with Scheer that so many Americans are more obsessed with spectator sports and the latest craze, reality TV, than war with Iraq. Doesn't anybody care that this administration seems intent on sending thousands of young men and women into battle?
So far, the U.N. inspectors have come up with no evidence, and probably won't, but we will go to war anyway. This war is about settling old scores and oil, yet nobody seems to care. As early as the first presidential debate in 2000, I could tell that George W. Bush was intellectually deficient to run this country. (For the record, I was a John McCain supporter.) It is no secret to me that this war agenda is being set by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney (who, by the way, never served in the military). Doesn't anybody care that George W. really isn't calling the shots? Of course not. The people who voted for him are probably tuned into "Fear Factor" or "Big Brother" instead of CNN.
Scheer enlightens with the fact that this war, for some of us, "can be a heck of a show, just like the Roman circus." Perhaps The Times' Pompous Pilate might enlighten us plebeians as to the section in the Coliseum where our fellow citizens, the 3,000-odd lost souls, were "safely" seated during the "games" of 9/11. But mea culpa, mea culpa; I do protest too much!
Stuart R. Weiss
In his Jan. 6 commentary, "Nebuchadnezzar Shows the Way," Ernest Lefever suggests that the U.S. should assist in finding asylum for Saddam Hussein in another country. This might be expedient but it would be wrong. Any action that we take regarding Hussein should have a sound moral basis. The only difference between Hitler and Hussein is that Hitler was big-time and Hussein is small-time. But genocide is still genocide and can never be forgiven.
Lefever also suggests that the only other option is a massive military assault against Baghdad that would lead to heavy casualties by the U.S.-led forces. This is not necessary to neutralize Hussein. The key is to totally separate him from his petrodollars. Without any oil revenue whatsoever his government could not function and would cease to be a threat to world stability. We should put troops on the ground inside Iraq and liberate as much of the country as we can without taking heavy casualties. Let Hussein stay in his bunker in Baghdad, for now, until we can find an efficient way to deal with him.
James Pinkerton's comment (Commentary, Jan. 7) on the dip in President Bush's approval rating, "Bush could soar back up again in the wake of an attack on Iraq," is probably true but nonetheless disturbing. I've always been under the impression that war is a bad thing.
I hope any president who starts a war, especially an unnecessary one, will see his approval rating drop. I would say my opinion of Bush will go down when he attacks Iraq, except my opinion of him can't go any lower.
Iraq, from those wonderful people who brought us Vietnam. They were wrong then and they are wrong now. It is a tragedy, a shame and sad that young men and women of color must fight and die for rich, white oilmen.
If this war is so important, why haven't the Bush twins enlisted?