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Letters to the Editor: America’s bellicose foreign policy is still putting us at risk after 9/11

A crowd faces George W. Bush, who stands at a podium on an aircraft carrier.
“Major combat operations in Iraq have ended,” President George W. Bush announced May 1, 2003, from the deck of an aircraft carrier near San Diego.
(K.C. Alfred / San Diego Union-Tribune)

To the editor: As awful as the response from the Bush-Cheney administration was in the aftermath of 9/11 (everything from CIA “black sites” and waterboarding to our disastrous war in Iraq), a more essential question has been deflected over the last 20 years. (“How the war on terror came to look like a culture war among ourselves,” Opinion, Sept. 7)

Our mainstream media, Beltway pundit class and political leaders have ignored the elephant in the room: Why did Al Qaeda specifically target the United States?

Historically, empires have created their own 9/11s. But for the bipartisan hubris of both the first President Bush and President Clinton, the most important cause of 9/11 would not have existed.

Our inexcusable arrogance in planting American troops in the deserts of Saudi Arabia violated every sacred notion for fanatics like Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was never a threat to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but a pretext for another U.S. base in the Middle East.

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Beware our foreign policy.

Bob Teigan, Santa Susana

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To the editor: Jonah Goldberg wonders what the response will be to the next 9/11.

I’d like to tell him that we’ve been dealing with the “next 9/11" for more than a year now. It has taken the lives of 654,000 people in the U.S.

As for the response, I suppose it depends on one’s reality regarding vaccination.

Kevin McDaniels, Santa Barbara


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