U.S. Values on the Table in Iraq Showdown

It's easy to see why the Bush administration believes that the situation in Iraq is urgent. The U.S. is facing a grave and imminent threat from Iraq, and we can't wait even a few weeks to deal with it. The danger is that Saddam Hussein will actually disarm. Then how would we justify a war? Mr. President, we must attack before it becomes unnecessary.

Allen Murdock

Los Angeles


For over two centuries, Americans have willingly given up their lives to fight for the values they believed in. Now we are about to invade and occupy Iraq, not in response to an attack, nor because Iraq presents us with an immediate threat, but because of what we think Hussein might do, someday. Have we been so traumatized by 9/11 that we are now willing to give up our values because we fear for our lives?

Andrew Lewicky

Los Angeles


France, Germany and Russia keep on saying that the inspections are working.

If they are, it is only because the U.S., Britain and Spain are putting the pressure on Iraq. Whether or not we ultimately go to war, I am glad to see President Bush is courageous enough to take a hard-line stance on Iraq. He is protecting the American people and making Iraq disarm.

Jeff Jackson



Re "On Iraq, Congress Cedes All the Authority to Bush," March 9: After more than four months, the Bush administration must get another congressional authorization before it can constitutionally engage our nation in warfare. Otherwise, when we attack Iraq, send the administration's top officials directly to the new international war crimes court and sentence them to long terms in prison.

Gene Silvers

Los Angeles


I have a question regarding our elected representatives' abdicating all authority on declaring war to a president who received half a million fewer votes than his opponent: Is this the kind of democracy we're aiming to set up in Iraq?

Jill Chapin

Santa Monica


Our patriotic and intelligent leader is making me feel like an "after the rise but shortly before the fall" citizen of the Roman Empire. Two key differences: Julius Caesar didn't do his wartime hitch in the Texas Air National Guard, nor would he have said "Et tu" to Brutus to indicate he had dined twice.

Walter L. Ross



Since we all know that the only thing Hussein listens to is force, and when he does, he folds like a cheap suit, the French are blowing our only chance to resolve this peacefully. By not supporting the unconditional use of force, ironically, they will be the main reason the U.S. will be forced in the end to use it.

Now that war is imminent, Hussein must know that he will lose. If he does disarm, his own people will kill him; if he doesn't, the U.S. will kill him.

Our very last chance to try to avert bloodshed is by giving Hussein an escape route. Maybe Cuba will take him. There may be someplace he and his gang of thugs can go. If we can, we should give him the chance for one last plane flight out. We fly a jet into Baghdad, take him and as many people as it will hold and fly them to wherever they wish to go. No questions asked, no conditions.

Arno Virant

San Gabriel


As soon as we are done liberating the oppressed Iraqi people, we can get started liberating everyone from their oppressive leaders. Let's see, if we just go in alphabetical order we can start with ... Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Botswana, Brunei, Burma, Burundi, Chad, Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Iran, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Libya, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Zaire, Zambia and Zimbabwe. I'm sure we can find more, but this will do as a start.

Now, at the estimated price of liberating Iraq, that will come to

Robert Rosenblum



Michael Ramirez's March 9 cartoon on the Commentary page ("Where was the United Nations when I needed it?") must be the best cartoon I've seen lately. So soon have France and the rest of the antiwar folks forgotten that if we had stopped old Adolf when he first attacked Poland in 1939, we would have saved millions of lives, both soldiers and civilians. Instead, it took us six years longer and millions of deaths before we stopped Hitler. We now have the opportunity to stop another tyrant before he massacres millions. Have we learned nothing from history?

Bob Lewicki

Blue Jay, Calif.


How could Ramirez equate Hussein to Hitler? Yes, Hussein is oppressive. Yes, Hussein has committed genocide on his own people. Yes, Hussein defies the wishes of the international community. Yes, he invaded an independent state 13 years ago. But has he built gas chambers for the mass extermination of millions of people? Has he set about to conquer all Middle Eastern states? Does he have weapons of mass destruction? To date, the answer appears to be no on all counts.

Terance J. Wolfe

Los Angeles


It is obvious that Bush must invade Iraq with or without U.N. support. After mobilizing reserves and moving several hundred thousand troops with their equipment, ships and aircraft to the Persian Gulf -- and after talking tough for the past many months -- Bush has no choice. Either initiate a war or withdraw the American forces. Withdrawal would make Bush the laughingstock of the world and ensure his departure from Washington in 2004.

Truxton Ringe

Palm Desert


"Answers Aren't Blowin' in the Wind," by Karen Stabiner (Opinion, March 9), strikes home to those of us who wrestle with the complicated issues facing the peoples of the world and our own nation today. Life sometimes becomes too complex to know, with certainty, which road is the proper one to travel -- the one to the right, or to the left -- and we long for the middle road that offers a simpler route to the sought-after destination.

Some of Stabiner's words in the final paragraph may offer some direction, if we take the necessary time and thought to find the way: "The real test of our principles is whether we uphold them in such a complicated world. Let us not forget the fundamentals." I wonder if we are forgetting.

Marion Brundage

Chula Vista


I'd honk for peace but I can no longer afford to fill my gas tank. Bring on the fries, the booze, the ciggies. Why practice temperance in an intemperate world?

Tamara Lipson

Long Beach

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