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Whose war is it?

Dear Editor,

Attack Iraq now! Vice President Cheney is stating repeatedly before the public that it is folly to wait – it is flawed logic – waiting only gives Saddam more time – time that we do not have to waste. We must attack Saddam NOW! His forces will crumble – his internal enemies will rise up to join us. And, once our present allies in the campaign against terror see these results of our effort they will join with us in this and in the ensuing effort to establish a “free and fair election in Iraq. The Iraqis do not want Saddam Hussein.”

Last week President Bush visited a school in Arkansas. He was there to discuss education and he explained at great length that his first priority is to make sure that the students feel safe in their homes, their schools, and their communities. And he explained that we will follow and we will find the Al Qaeda terrorists one by one and we will “bring them to justice just as we did when we saved Afghanistan from their terrorist teachings.”

Stressing his interest in education, Bush stated, “Afghan girls can now go to school. Afghan women can now visit a beauty shop. No, it’s not perfect yet but we’re making progress. That’s because I am a patient man. And that means that the U.S. forces will not stop until we have made the world safe for you.”

On Aug. 28, Dan Rather of CBS News interviewed the minister of education in Afghanistan. She is based in Kabul. She travels with four bodyguards. Why? Because the warlords and the Al Qaeda members want only Muslim schools for boys. Parents are told to keep their daughters out of any school. A student interviewed by Rather admitted that she was afraid of the angry men who cursed her mother as they walked on the street.

With a very large area of Afghanistan still totally isolated from the government in Kabul, the education minister stated flatly that the chance of changing the Muslim school methods was an impractical dream. And the content of the teachings continues in many areas to be one of hatred of Israel and America. Asked if Afghanistan could go it alone without the U.S. armed presence, she felt that would lead to an end of the girls school program she was attempting to grow.

Last week, CNBC interviewed Ambassador Thomas Armstrong, Jr., who has worked as our global arms reduction negotiator. At one time he was chairman of the Texas Republican Party. One might expect him to loyally support a fellow Texas resident – the one at Crawford, Texas.

Responding to a question about invading Iraq, he responded that it would lead to chaos and disaster in Iraq. It would require an American military presence for at least a decade. And it would ensure that the Middle Eastern countries would hate us forever.

As for tracking down the terrorists “one by one and bringing them to justice,” we recently saw a Denver Post picture of a member of a large Al Qaeda demonstration in Trafalgar Square in London. Seems we are going to have to invade London to get those Al Qaeda members. Our present ally, Prime Minister Tony Blair, has not been able to do it.

Who won’t help us in Iraq (despite Cheney/Bush assumptions)? France, Germany, Italy, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, etc., etc. That’s the end of our war on terror and possibly the end of any support from our so-called allies.

So whose war is it? Not mine. I do not want my grandsons serving for a decade or two to try to compensate for the reasons that have been presented. The administration program resembles the guerilla quagmire of Vietnam. Warnings of exactly that probability by past senior military and administration experts are being ignored.

Faced with protests, the fallback position of the administration will be that “we have the latest intelligence so you don’t really understand.”

Before we bankrupt the country financially and bankrupt our claim of being a free and fair country, I’d welcome more, a great deal more, “intelligence” in Washington, D.C., than is presently visible west of the Potomac River.

Some of the “Sunday featured guests” on ABC, CBS, and NBC will continue to pound the drums of war.

Sincerely,

Lorenz T. Martensen

Glenwood Springs


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