- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 23, 2003

Democrat-induced dyspepsia

I had thought French President Jacques Chirac was the most reprehensible personality in this Iraqi wartime setting, until my eyes and ears were assaulted by three Democratic senators a fuming Hillary Rodham Clinton, a maniacal Tom Daschle and a "weeping" Robert C. Byrd. I believe they are the most reprehensible people in American history. They are the sort of grandstanding rotten fiends who make decent people despise their entire political party.
They'll have great amounts of egg on their smirky faces when the goods are finally dug out of the Iraqi sand, but with their serpentine ways, their cocky brass and rapport-with-the-brainless, they will, as usual, find a way to deny any culpability, and place all blame on the honorable people they hate so badly.
Lord, I'm sick of these people. Why in the world do voters elect and re-elect their sorry carcasses?

RAYMOND W. ENGLAND
Florence, Ala.

Constitutionally speaking

For what it matters, I would like to remind my fellow Americans that Article VI of the Constitution declares that international treaties to which the United States is a party are to be treated as supreme law. Therefore, if the Constitution were paid heed, Congress would not have passed any resolution that violates the U.N. Charter, of which the United States is a signatory, such as supporting an invasion of a sovereign nation.
This war of aggression, ironically named Operation Iraqi Freedom, is a violation of international law. According to the Nuremberg Tribunal, such wars of aggression are supreme criminal acts. As I am a law-abiding citizen, I do not support this unconstitutional, illegal war.

EUGENE A. SCHUBERT
Green Bay, Wis.

Reckless endangerment

In his column, "Clear danger … or reckless path" (Commentary, Thursday), Paul Craig Roberts relates how President Bush has allowed a small cadre of neoconservatives to isolate him from world opinion, putting him at odds with both the United Nations and America's traditional allies, such as France and Germany. He argues, and rightfully so, that the Bush administration's reckless path on Iraq is similar to Nikita Khrushchev's nuclear brinkmanship in Cuba, which just provides our detractors with further evidence that Mr. Bush intends to project a worldwide American hegemony.
Those in the administration who believe it makes no difference whether we have the support of France and Germany, which they dismissively refer to as "Old Europe," should carefully examine Omer Taspinar's "Europe's Muslim Street" (March/April edition of Foreign Policy magazine).
According to Mr. Taspinar, the European Union's 15 million Muslims (three times as many as live in the United States and about two-thirds of whom reside in France) constitute a "growing … political ascendance that threatens to exacerbate existing strains within the trans-Atlantic relationship."
He further notes that nearly half of the Muslims in France are French citizens and that new German citizenship laws (based on place of birth, not national origin) have added 160,000 new Muslim citizens this year and might total 3 million within the next decade. It is a virtual certainty that from this burgeoning Euro-Muslim population there will arise additional Mohammed Attas who will hatch their plans against America in places such as Hamburg, Paris and Marseille.
With the war on al Qaeda and terrorism requiring the closest international cooperation in such areas as money laundering, intelligence gathering and the apprehension of terrorist operatives before they strike the war on Iraq will only serve to inflame Muslim sensibilities and have the most serious consequences for America's ability to function in an increasingly interdependent world.

ROBERT BERRY
Montgomery Village

Where blame is due

It is wrong for Democrats to criticize President Bush for failing diplomaticallyand for not building a bigger coalition. Diplomacy has failed for the past 12 years, not just this week. Diplomacy had more than a decade to disarm Saddam Hussein, and failed in its mission.Diplomats do not measure success by concrete results, but rather by the process of dialogue and negotiation. The real world cannot afford to do so.
Many people forget that the reason we were able to put together such a large coalitionduring the1991 Gulf War was precisely because we were not seeking to topple the Iraqi government.Had we stated the objective of removing Saddam from power back in 1991, it is clear that most of the nations then contributing to the effort would have backed out.It is no surprise that many countries do not now support the United States and our "Coalition of the Willing," but the restrictions placed on the first President Bush by the shaky coalition in 1991 left his son to deal with the mess.
Now is notime for Democrats or diplomats to be playing the blame game.

JAMES TERPENING
Washington



The war in Iraq easily could have been avoided, if not for one group of people. This group is directly responsible for forcing America to attack Iraq. It's not Saddam Hussein and his sons. It's not President Bush and the U.S. military. It's not even the now-irrelevant United Nations. The group most responsible for starting the war in Iraq consists of the thousands of American war protesters.
Saddam had ignored the United Nations for years, and only re-commenced destroying his weapons after the United States had threatened to attack. Despite his rhetoric, Saddam was terrified of the United States. He was slowly starting to comply. The inspections were beginning to work. Then the protests started. Saddam saw that he was not alone, and had many supporters. He saw that America was divided, and understandably assumed that Mr. Bush was bluffing.
The protesters convinced Saddam that there was no need to capitulate to threats from America if America's citizens supported him. Saddam even congratulated the protesters. He stopped cooperating with inspectors, because he knew that America would never attack, despite Mr. Bush's threats.
If the world had supported Mr. Bush, Saddam would have been forced to comply with the U.N. resolutions. He would have been disarmed without a shot ever being fired. The war never would have happened.

MICHAEL HOEBEL
Reston

A shockingly old strategy

In the column "A very different war" (Op-Ed, Wednesday), Harlan Ullman claims that he and an unnamed group, after years of work, developed a war strategy called "shock and awe," which he says is guiding the United States in its war against Iraq. This accomplishment was memorialized in a book (also called "Shock and Awe") co-written by Mr. Ullman. According to Mr. Ullman, "the object of shock and awe is to compel the enemy to do our will through the precise, intense and selective application of all forms of power and coercive force."
Actually, such a strategy is anything but novel or new. Mr. Ullman and his confreres could have saved years of effort by consulting German military genius Karl von Clausewitz's book "On War," which was written in the 1830s. The first seven or eight pages of the first chapter, "What Is War?" provide the basis of the shock-and-awe strategy.

L. LAWRENCE DE NICOLA
Alexandria

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