Letters to the Editor: The Iraq war’s other major casualty: U.S. government budget surpluses

Then-President George W. Bush gives his "mission accomplished" speech about the Iraq war on May 1, 2003.
(J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)
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To the editor: Robin Abcarian plainly describes the ways in which the American public was taken in by the George W. Bush administration and abetted by the mainstream media in the need to start a war with Iraq.

What she doesn’t point out is that subterfuge led by Vice President Dick Cheney and his cohorts in the military industrial complex led to the indefensible squandering of the significant budget surplus (the “peace dividend”) that had arisen during the 1990s.

This led to the tremendous increase in the national debt and the continuing unnecessary wrangling over the need to raise the debt ceiling. A great opportunity was lost.


Noel Johnson, Glendale


To the editor: Abcarian is certainly right that most of the media messed up big time by carrying water for the Bush administration’s fabricated reasons for going to war in Iraq. But saying newspaper chain Knight-Ridder’s Washington bureau was the only significant exception sells short other journalism.

In January 2004, Jason Vest and Robert Dreyfus of Mother Jones magazine published “The Lie Factory,” which detailed the systematic twisting and fabrication of bogus evidence in the Bush administration about Iraq trying to obtain weapons of mass destruction.

That article is still worth a read.

Alex Murray, Altadena


To the editor: I am shocked by columnist Lorraine Ali’s description of seasoned senior editors at Newsweek, where she worked when the Iraq war started in 2003, treating the bombing of Baghdad as a legitimate target instead of the heinous and hysterical act it was.

Was the public behind it? I certainly wasn’t behind it, nor was anyone I knew. It seemed obvious that the claim of weapons of mass destruction and therefore a need to destroy Baghdad was a frenzied response by a loose cannon (President Bush). No one had threatened or attacked us.


I didn’t think Baghdad was deserted; I thought evil was raining down on mothers and babies in my name as an American citizen. It was a very, very shameful start to an unjust war.

I hope our government will have more rational leaders who do not give in to violent impulses that rock the globe.

Beth Ruben, Santa Barbara