Re "The Congress Shares Responsibility for War," Commentary, Nov. 19: Though the Constitution provides that only Congress can issue a declaration of war, I submit that in this case Congress is completely and thoroughly irrelevant. The Republicans must all submit to the will of their neoconservative masters while the Democrats have long ago been emasculated. The real issue is where were we when the war drums were pounding?
We the people knew, long before the war began, that the yellowcake uranium from Niger was a hoax; it was in all the papers. We knew that the aluminum tubes probably could not be used to process uranium for a bomb; that too was in all the papers. We knew that Saddam Hussein had only a limited number of weapons of mass destruction; that, once again, was in all the papers long before the war began. Yet we sat by and watched as a cynical administration stampeded our great nation into a questionable war. We must take a long, hard look in the mirror as we wag the finger of shame.
Kevin B. Powell
Robert Scheer is quite right about the parallels of Iraq with Vietnam (Commentary, Nov. 18). And one of the best examples of such similarities is that cynical, carpingly anti-American pundits like Scheer are regularly getting their defeatist columns published in The Times.
Re "U.S. Flexes Its Muscle in Iraq's North," Nov. 18: Targeting "suspected staging areas" was a last-resort pretext for indiscriminate bombing in Vietnam. Now we see the same dubious rationale put forth for aerial and artillery strikes in Iraqi populated areas. The display is not unlike that of frustrated adolescent male chimpanzee chest-thumping, except that here the consequences are far more lethal and damaging to what remains of our national honor.
When I was young I was taught that the individual counted more in the United States than in any other country in the world. I guess that isn't true. I see the Italians treating their deceased soldiers with enormous respect while we sneak the bodies of our brave young people back into the country and the press isn't even supposed to photograph them.
Nancy C. Cook
As I read letter after letter in The Times concerning the lack of evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, I have a few words of advice for those concerned enough to write. Get over it. Suck it up. It's a nonissue.
We are there regardless of the reason. Politicians lie. What else is new? The real issue that needs to be addressed by our representatives and by the rest of us is where do we go from here. If you need to write a letter, address it to Washington. It may do some good.
Of course we will stay in Iraq. Bush administration members created this mess and they darn well better stay there until they have cleaned it up.