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Dear Editor

First off, as someone who lived in Singapore many years ago, I’m dubious that the authorities actually allow a publication such as yours to be printed there. I’ve heard Singapore has changed, but I doubt they’ve strayed from support of the US enough to allow what I read on your website. I refer to an article in Think Magazine #10 (Three Smoking Guns) that sounds like extreme leftist talking points created in order to breed hatred of President Bush and all he has done to stop terrorism from creating more 9/11s.

Without an oasis of freedom in the heart of the Middle East, we would have had no place to fight the civilian terrorist thugs who want to kill all infidels. They would be in our countries doing their damage and carnage.

Remember, it’s still easy for civilians to cross borders. Remember, too, that we are not fighting a military, a uniformed army; we are trying to stop criminal gangs who gather from many countries to murder us. They would prefer to do this not on a battlefield, but in our restaurants, our theaters, our stadiums and our schools. Is it not better that we fight them on their turf, rather than in the bombed out ruins of our cities as our enemies trod roughshod over the dead bodies of innocent men, women and children?

The writer feels sorry for American’s reputation and psyche because of the war. Well, my psyche could not process Saddam’s rape and torture rooms, the cut off hands and tongues, the mutilated bodies, the graves of the hundreds of thousands of dead bodies that he had buried in the desert, some of them alive. Many were killed by poison gas attacks from a weapon of mass destruction.

My psyche was healed by the eight million Iraqi men and women who braved death threats to march through the bomb-shattered streets to vote for freedom – their smiles and ink-stained fingers held up proudly as they returned home.

President Bush never lied to us; he rightly repeated what international intelligence and national European leaders had learned. He was also wise to establish a “listening post” in the center of the Middle East, since the Church Committee and earlier Democrat administrations had succeeded in decimating our CIA by dropping most overseas human intelligence. President Bush was also smart in choosing Iraq as the shoehorn to gain a presence in the Middle East.

Just as Harry Truman saved lives by dropping the atomic bomb; George W. Bush has saved lives by going into Iraq and maintaining his doctrine of strength. – Lee Elliott in India

Lee, your letter demonstrates the ongoing naïvete and gullibility among American right-wingers still trying to justify George Bush’s debacle in Iraq by labelling the loss of thousands of lives in Iraq, as “extreme left-wing talking points.”

To the informed reader, Mr. Shea’s eloquent feature had less to do with partisan politics than the actual, horrible results of war. He was questioning whether those results – death for thousands of young American soldiers – was truly justified, given that Bush’s reasons for going to war were based on dubious or downright false diplomatic and military intelligence.

Demanding that a president answer to the American people for his actions is hardly a liberal political ploy; it’s been a president’s first responsibility of the office since George Washington.

Your comments, on the other hand, are disingenuous at best. By calling Bush “smart in choosing Iraq as a shoehorn to gain a presence in the Middle East” you seem unaware that the US has had a presence in the Middle East for decades through alliances with Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and Qatar. To state that Iraq is an “oasis of freedom” where we can fight “civilian thugs” who want to kill us, the “infidels” suggests that we’ve overrun and occupied Iraq to create a general killing field for any and all terrorists, regardless of whether they’re in Iraq or not.

Like many Bush supporters, you confuse Iraqi insurgents with al-Qaida terrorists. Their interests and purposes are very different – a nuance of foreign policy lost on the Bush administration. And likening of Bush’s invasion to Harry Truman’s use of the atomic bomb is simply ludicrous; the two contexts could not be more dissimilar and incomparable. Besides, Truman lived by the “buck stops here.” Bush admits no mistakes nor takes any responsibility for the Iraqi tragedy.

And the claim that Bush “never lied to us.” is laughable. Prior to the invasion Bush made innumerable “mis-statements” claiming existence of Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction with only false intelligence to back him up.

Why is it so hard to accept the fact that the nonpartisan Sept. 11 Commission found no linkage between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida’s actions on Sept. 11, and that Bush had no solid reason in March 2003 to believe there was such a connection when he ordered the invasion?

Al-Qaida and other terrorists are everywhere, not just in Iraq. In fact, Iraq has never been about rooting out terrorists; it’s been about Bush’s personal vendetta against Saddam Hussein and about oil.

No one disputes the brutality of Saddam or that the world is better off without him. But does anyone truly believe that we would still be at war in Iraq if that country weren’t key to continuing Middle East oil production? Apparently, most Americans don’t. Current polls by CNN, NBC, and even the conservative Wall Street Journal show Bush’s approval rating well below 50 percent and a majority of Americans believing that “taking out Saddam” was not worth the staggering cost in hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars and more than 1,725 young soldiers’ lives.

That war is still costing lives every day. Hostages are still kidnapped, car bombs are routine, American prestige overseas remains at an all-time low and the rickety Iraqi “democratic” government has little hope of achieving respect in the Muslim world as a U.S. puppet.

But the most tragic part of all this is that so many patriotic, but misguided, young soldiers think they’re “fighting for freedom.” What they’re really doing is advancing a president’s personal agenda – covering for his impatience, lack of diplomatic skills and sound foreign policy – all while strengthening the interests of big corporate oil to whom Bush owes so much. And this is the real tragedy about this war of errors. – The Editors

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