"President Bush has perfected The Big Lie."
A sampling of readers' letters, faxes and e-mail.
Six years later, one set of footprints leads us to failure
Editor, The Times:
Another video from Osama bin Laden ["Bin Laden's new video makes no attack threat," Times page one, Sept. 8, and see "Al-Qaida promises 9/11 hijacker video," News, Sept. 10].
If somebody had told me shortly after 9/11 that bin Laden would still be walking around a free man in 2007, I would have laughed. Now it's beginning to look like he will still be on the loose when President Bush leaves office. I find this incredible.
You would think, if there were one thing Bush could have accomplished during his two terms as president, given all the money, troops and resources at his disposal, he would have caught or killed this one person who has caused so much pain and grief to the American people.
I have read Bush is very concerned about his legacy. Sadly, it looks like a free Osama bin Laden will be a part of it.
— Dave Richards, Bainbridge Island
A moment for innocents
On the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Americans should be reminded that more than 3,200 people were killed that day. Americans should also be reminded that, according to Iraq Body Count, roughly 7,000 Iraqi civilians were killed by U.S. forces in the first six weeks of the U.S. attack on Iraq.
Although the majority of civilian deaths in Iraq these days are due to sectarian violence, there is ample evidence that U.S. forces continue to kill civilians, thus the number is clearly much higher. When one considers that the population of Iraq is roughly one-tenth that of the U.S., the number of Iraqi civilians killed by U.S. tax dollars is more daunting.
When one considers that the war was based on lies, that Iraq had no connection to 9/11 or al-Qaida and was not an imminent military threat to the U.S., then our nation's actions are immoral.
As the drumbeat for an attack on Iran now picks up speed, I would remind people of the following: that Iran had no connection to 9/11, has no connection to al-Qaida and is not an imminent military threat. Furthermore, the idea that "surgical strikes" (a perverted, Orwellian term) on military targets will minimize civilian deaths is propaganda. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of civilians will be killed in even a brief three-day air attack.
How many non-American civilian deaths are acceptable so that Americans can feel "justice" and "safe"?
— Robert Colbert, Seattle
More time for foolhardy
Nobody should be surprised that, on the anniversary of 9/11, Osama bin Laden tells us to convert to Islam, and Gen. David Petraeus tells us he needs more time to make Iraq work ["Petraeus to ask for more time in Iraq," page one, Sept. 8]. This is certainly an expected convergence of events.
The people in government who got us into this mess, against all the wisdom of those who said not to go, have been unable to find bin Laden, have been unable to accomplish their goals in Iraq — they ask again for more time?
Morons all, and morons are we for allowing them to fool us yet again.
— Bryan Weinstein, Issaquah
Breathing in sand
President Bush has perfected The Big Lie. He redefines his goals to fit his failures. With each new definition, more innocents die.
When he failed to catch Osama bin Laden "dead or alive," he redefined the enemy as Saddam Hussein. When he failed to find WMD in Iraq, he redefined our goal there as democracy. When he brought chaos instead of democracy to Iraq, he redefined the goal again: "Fight them there so we don't have to fight them here."
Outstanding police work in England and Germany proves that al-Qaida doesn't come from Iraq, and isn't defeated in Iraq. This is a struggle against international crime, this is not a world war.
Bush's latest lie is the "surge." Six months ago, he clearly defined its purpose: to give "breathing space" to the government in Baghdad. In those months, the dysfunctional puppet government has utterly collapsed, proving the surge a failure. But Bush now claims the surge a success because one Iraqi province is more peaceful.
The London Times of Sept. 9 shows how Bush's cronies use taxpayer dollars to bribe Sunni sheiks in Anbar province. Of course, when the bribes stop, they may turn against us again.
Bush pours American blood in the sand just to save face. Ending this war is not a job for him, but for the American people. Will we passively accept The Big Lie for five more years, or will we cry "No more!" in the name of truth and the Constitution?
— Fred LaMotte, Steilacoom
A foot off course
Americans love to "kick ass" ["Colorful language earns McDermott an admonishment," Local News, Sept. 10]. That's why football has overtaken baseball as America's pastime — it's much more satisfyingly violent than baseball.
After 9/11, Americans wanted to kick some ass and were mad enough that they didn't care whose it was. And so the neocon men were able to sell us on the idea of invading Iraq.
But they had to act quickly. If we had concentrated solely on Afghanistan and capturing Osama bin Laden, the man actually responsible for those attacks, our thirst for blood revenge may have been slaked.
While not denying that other true causes exist, it is my opinion that the deciding factor in President Bush's decision to invade Iraq was his own personal need to kick the ass of the man who tried to assassinate his father. He was so focused on that one task that, as far as he was concerned, once that happened the mission was accomplished. His obvious lack of thought for the aftermath has resulted in a quagmire that will last far beyond his own tenure as president.
But at least he had the satisfaction of kicking Saddam's ass.
— Marshall Dunlap, Kent
A donkey kick
Osama bin Laden has finally angered Democrats with a comment on his recent videotape. His comment on taxes is what has them foaming at the mouth.
Bin Laden's encouraging Americans to convert to Islam because "There are no taxes in Islam" infuriated Democrats because it flies in the face of their convictions. Not religious convictions, mind you, unless belief in high taxes is an article of faith, which, for Democrats, goes without saying.
While they seem cavalierly willing to cede Iraq to bin Laden's al-Qaida or nonchalantly turn it into a version of the Killing Fields by pulling our troops, Democrats will change their tune now that bin Laden has been outed on taxes. Self-respecting Democrats can do nothing less than declare total war against anyone who advocates such a tax policy, so look for them to demand not just an extension of the Iraq surge effort to crush al-Qaida there, but also spare no effort to capture him in whichever Afghan or Pakistani cave he's currently hiding.
— Scott St. Clair, Kirkland
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