Americans Are Rattled as Bush Beats Drums for War

Two headlines on Saturday's front page chilled my bones: "Prepare for War With Iraq, Bush to Tell America" and "U.S. Weighs Tactical Nuclear Strike on Iraq." The first shows me the foolhardiness of Congress in giving one man the power of war. Unfortunately, this man grew up being coddled by family and society. He is again determined to get his way.

The second shows the danger of having advisors who listen to no one and who have the Machiavellian, CEO mentality. The end, they feel -- bringing the superior American way of life to all and profit in the process -- justifies the means.

Jim Hoover

Huntington Beach


After months of denials, this last week the Bush administration has finally sidelined the "freedom-lovin' people" ploy and started talking about Iraqi oil ("U.S. Would Move to Safeguard Oil," Jan. 25). Secretary of State Colin Powell and the Defense Department are now talking about safeguarding oil, not safeguarding freedom. The truth is that America is going to war over access to fossil fuel, which I find both immoral and embarrassing.

Jonathan F. Hays

Manhattan Beach


It just gets more absurd by the day. First, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld willfully antagonizes France and Germany with his idiotic "Old Europe" comments (Jan. 24), then we hear that the Pentagon is preparing for a nuclear strike against Iraq, a move that would effectively give other nuke-owning nations an excuse to settle their own conflicts with weapons of mass destruction. Meanwhile, the president continues to pound the war drums like a petulant toddler banging on his toy chest.

Our fearless leaders seem to have forgotten that America did not attain its current level of international power and prestige by throwing diplomacy in the trash can, taunting our allies and wielding our warheads whenever someone so much as "looked at us funny." But then again, somehow I don't think U.S. history was ever George W. Bush's strongest subject.

Daniel Epstein

Los Angeles


Does anyone in his or her right mind really care what France and Germany think? Twice in the last century, America had to save these two countries because they didn't recognize evil in its early stages and now we're supposed to care what they say? I am tired of America putting its soldiers in places where they are so obviously not wanted -- from Germany to South Korea. Bring our men and women home and let's put them on the borders to keep Muslim terrorists out of our country.

President Bush, the minority antiwar movement might make the most noise, but the majority of Americans stand tall with you in our war against Iraq.

George Lyson

Anaheim Hills


Winston Churchill once said that democracy is a horrible form of government but it's the best we've come up with so far. Bush may well receive the support of a majority once he engages the country in war, but that would be more out of loyalty and not because a majority of Americans necessarily believe that facts exist to justify war against Iraq.

Americans will have the opportunity to grade President Bush's respect for our democracy come the first Tuesday of November 2004. May God bless this great nation of ours.

Barry Naiditch

El Cajon


Is the Constitution of the United States a written document to be changed at will? I was under the impression that it stated that Congress declared war, not the president, and as yet I don't recall any such action.

Ed Redhead

Port Hueneme


So, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) finds herself deeply disturbed by Bush's rush to war (Jan. 23). I have to ask, when you voted to direct Bush to seek United Nations approval for war, didn't you know that he was going to do so only as a formality? Didn't you know that he was going to bully the Security Council, ignore the work of the inspectors and begin his war no matter what anyone else said?

If you didn't understand that, then you should move back to your home district and open up a flower shop, because you don't belong in the Senate.

Brian Williamson



You ask in "Tells Us Why War Is Needed" (editorial, Jan. 26), "What exactly compels U.S. military action against Iraq now?" The question is the same one France and Britain asked before World War II when Hitler invaded and seized the Rhineland and began rearming Germany to conquer Europe. The answer to war then was in the negative and we lost the opportunity to stop Hitler.

The reason for war now, absent a voluntary regime change in Iraq, is if that country has weapons of mass destruction and there is no proof to the contrary, it should not be allowed to dominate 60% of the world's oil supply and use terrorists as its proxies for the delivery of those weapons against the U.S. and other Western countries. The decision to wage war is a judgment and, as opposed to the standard you suggest, it will always be inexact, but after the lessons of World War II, and the 9/11 attack, the question is: If not now, when?

Robert C. Gusman



United we stand against the rest of the world, pushed to the brink of unnecessary war with Iraq by the oil men, arms merchants and cynical politicians who stand to profit. Saddam Hussein is a murderous thug -- one we helped to create. But how in good conscience can we slaughter an estimated half-million Iraqis in an attempt to capture or kill him? Now there's talk of using nuclear weapons to ferret him out. Just think of the fallout, radioactive and otherwise. United we stand, but we stand alone, and at this rate, we may not be standing much longer.

Jim Little



If a NATO member is a rogue, aggressor nation, does the treaty authorize collective action against it?

Arthur M. Cohen

Los Angeles


As I drove along on the 405 Freeway recently, my wife and I looked up to see troop transport helicopters flying overhead. We were both overwhelmed with the oppressive feeling of living under a "benevolent" military dictatorship. Are we the only ones who think that Bush is showing classic symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder?

It could, of course, just be a ruse. After all, if one thinks about it objectively, what would George have to talk about, if not for war? I submit that it would be the economy, a topic on which Bush seems to have little of substance to offer.

Doug Markell

Laguna Beach

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