Re "How Will Iraqis Greet Their 'Liberators'?" Commentary, Jan. 23: Please convey to Walter Bernstein that indeed he is not alone. Not long after he had ceased jeeping about Sicily and no doubt gone on to Anzio and the rest of Italy, I stood on a beach at Eniwetok Island amid the chaotic confusion of a beach assault with a gaggle of flies buzzing about my head and in and out of my mouth. I came upon a truncated palm tree to which someone had attached, for the lack of any other structure, an American flag. It was a large battleship flag, which drooped to the ground. As I observed it, my heart beat faster, a heightened beat that resonates still, 60 years later. My country, as well as others, had been attacked and we were fighting back. I was proud of my country.
Today, when I contemplate what we are proposing to do in Iraq, that heartbeat no longer resonates. We are proposing to do what in 1943 we were fighting to prevent. I am not proud.
Forgive me if I take Bernstein's foreign policy views with an Everest of salt. This is a man who persisted in supporting Stalin as a model of enlightened leadership long after the truth about his murderous rule was no longer in question. Has Bernstein ever renounced his infatuation with Soviet communism?
If President Bush thinks it's OK to go to war with Iraq and oust Saddam Hussein because he has violated U.N. resolutions, then he surely would approve of the Arab states going to war with Israel and removing Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for having violated U.N. resolutions and the Oslo peace accords. And doesn't Iran have a claim against the U.S. for the support we gave Hussein during their eight-year war that took a million lives on both sides? Where do these playground blame games end? They should end in the principal's office, the U.N., but Bush considers himself over and above the U.N.
For years Bush criticized the Iraqis for kicking weapons inspectors out of their country. Ironically, the administration is doing the same thing today by declaring the inspections unnecessary as it rushes toward war.
It used to be "For God and country." Now it's "For Bush and oil."
Bayne A. Sparks