I am responding to Rhoda McComb's letter in the Sept. 23 issue of the Valley Sun regarding the war in Iraq.
In defending the war in Iraq, Ms. McComb states that "September 11th [was] the start of this war."
This is the big lie that the Bush Administration is pushing on the American public, and seemingly much of the public is buying. September 11th was a terrible event, one I'm sure that none of us will ever forget. We must do everything in our power to ensure that such an event is never allowed to recur. That's why attacking Al Qaeda at their bases and the regime that sheltered them in Afghanistan was the right thing to do. But where is the end to that operation? Where is Bin Laden? Why have we not brought him to justice?
More importantly, how are Sept. 11th and the war in Iraq connected? A recent report on the events of 9-11 said that there was "[no] evidence indicating that Iraq cooperated with Al Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States." This report was not from some left wing rag, or even from Michael Moore. This is the report of the 9-11 Commission, a bipartisan committee chaired by Thomas H. Kean, a Republican, and co-chaired by Lee Hamilton, a Democrat. The commission was evenly split among Republican and Democrat members, and so cannot in any way be viewed as partisan. The commission goes on to say in its final report that there is no evidence of any "operational relationship" between Iraq and Al Qaeda. Its findings have not been refuted by any reputable organization or by the White House itself. Yet the Bush Administration and some wings of the Republican Party continue to try to draw a direct line between 9-11 and Iraq. In listening to the speeches given at the Republican National Con-vention, I was struck by how many times speakers used 9-11 and Iraq in the same sentence. Yet, listening closely, the speakers did not directly say that Hussein/Iraq had anything to do with 9-11. Dick Cheney, the #2 man in this administration, continues to try to draw a link between 9-11 and the war in Iraq, as noted in an article in the Los Angeles Times on Monday, Sept. 27, 2004. The administration seems to believe that if you tell a lie often enough, the public will believe it. I hope that we, the American people, are smarter than that.
The Bush Administration needs to stop trying to use the terrible events of 9/11 to further their own agenda, and the American public needs to open their eyes to the truth. The Bush Administration and Dick Cheney in particular need to stop trying to lead the public into believing there is a direct link between Al Qaeda and Iraq. We, the American people, need leaders who won't intentionally mislead us. We deserve better.
Edward Castro, MD