Readers React: War with Iran, so soon after invading Iraq on false pretenses?

The U.S. aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, shown on May 8, is part of a group of ships being sent to the Persian Gulf, ratcheting up pressure on Iran.
(Jason Waite / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: With drumbeats for war against Iran coming from Washington, those of us who recall how we entered two fraudulently and tragically failed wars during the past 55 years cannot help being concerned by alarming echoes of past disasters.

The bogus Gulf of Tonkin attack set off a full-scale war in Vietnam in 1964, and contrived evidence of Iraqi nuclear weapons development resulted in the 2003 invasion. We must not repeat this by launching an attack on the Iranians based on suspicious claims of the danger they pose to the United States and its allies.

President Trump could well benefit by starting a conflict and diverting our attention from the investigations into his administration, the failure of his trade war with China, and the declining prospects for his reelection in 2020. He has a willing accomplice in national security advisor John Bolton, who downplays the value of diplomacy and has rarely seen an adversary he didn’t want to go to war against.

For the sake of our young men and women, our nation’s integrity and our international credibility, we must say no to the hawks in Washington who threaten other people’s lives to achieve their own political goals.

Bill Hessell, Culver City



To the editor: I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Iran in the 1970s, earned a master’s in Islamic Studies from UCLA in 1979 and have returned to Iran for visits in 1979, 2014, 2016 and 2019. My admiration for the generous people, amazing culture, ancient history, inspiring architecture and beautiful poetry of Iran runs deep.

Every week the Trump administration is taking a yet more confrontational posture that could easily lead to armed conflict with Iran. Bolton, the hawk closest to Trump, remains supportive of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Before Bolton leads the U.S. into yet another disastrous war, our lawmakers must repeal the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force and secure the passage of the Prevention of Unconstitutional War with Iran Act. The U.S. can ill afford to stumble into yet another forever war in the Mideast.

Paul Barker, Junction City, Ore.


To the editor: As President George W. Bush sat at his desk in the Oval Office in 2003, it is was Vice President Dick Cheney who fanned the flames of war with manufactured tales of weapons of mass destruction.

John Bolton is the new Dick Cheney. He is a threat world peace and another reason to send Trump packing in 2020.

Doug Jones, Los Feliz


To the editor: Trump excoriated Bush relentlessly for starting the Iraq War. He has said he cannot start another war, and Americans certainly don’t want another war — so much so that it could decide the election.

It’s obvious how Iran could take advantage of this.

Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are chomping at the bit. They want regime change. All Iran has to do is make the slightest “apparent” provocation.

This is a high-stakes chess game. Bolton and Pompeo are chess masters. Iran’s pretty good too. But it seems that only Trump does not want war, so let’s hope his chess playing is better than his negotiating.

John Harduvel, Huntington Beach

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