The War in the Gulf

President Bush is asking the American people to make the wrong sort of sacrifice. He is asking us to sacrifice the lives of young men and women and the health of our economy. He should be asking us to sacrifice our dependence upon automobiles and upon oil in general. In response to the oil crisis of the '70s, Japan reduced its oil usage to half of what it was before. If we had done the same, we would not be on the verge of sacrificing young lives now.

Jeff Johnson, San Francisco

When the Iraqis call for a ``peace conference'' to address all problems in the Middle East, one should wonder if this includes discussion of a homeland for the Kurds who have been brutally oppressed by Iraq. Kenny Greene, North Miami Beach, Fla.

It is our right to do good and oppose evil. Our strength is the righteousness of our cause. President Bush has correctly identified America's proud heritage and has properly defined its role in history. We owe him our patriotic support through the difficult times ahead.

John Doerr, St. Louis

History will not speak kindly of George Bush for starting World War III. Paul Everett, San Diego

Our president said that the United States will not permit naked aggression by a large nation against a smaller neighbor. When I heard these words, I thanked God that finally the hour had come. The Baltic states would finally be freed from 50 years of Soviet enslavement. But hearing President Bush speak of Saddam Hussein, I realized the painful truth that not all aggressors are equally bad when they occupy smaller neighbors by force, killing, stealing, and destroying. The lesson seems to be that not all small countries are equally valuable. Soviet aggressors are not punished, but greatly rewarded. When will we get off the multiple standards of values, life, freedom, and death?

Margarita Jagminas, Bridgewater, Mass.

The UN resolution authorizing the use of force to expel Iraq from Kuwait should have had one additional clause: ``That member nation which has never used aggression against a smaller nation, and has never used military force to extend its own national boundaries, shall fire the first missile at Iraq.'' I.E. Raviart, Las Cruces, N.M.

While speaking to a colleague about how to explain to little children why we went to war with Iraq, he proposed, ``When a bully hits a little kid in a school yard, it is not surprising to see the little victim get back at the bully by hitting him with a baseball bat.'' In thinking about proportionality, I conclude this may be a more apt analogy: At school lunch a big tough kid stole a little rich kid's lunch and threw him down on the floor. The principal immediately expelled the thug, but in addition, to show others how wrong this behavior was, the principal broke into the bully's home in the middle of the night and beat him senseless with a baseball bat.

Charles Weed, Keene, N.H.

World attention is certainly focused on Middle East problems! What an opportunity for George Bush to wage war with words, not weapons. Blitz the Arab nations with the message that Americans respect them. We want to do oil business with them. Want them to have peace and prosperity and govern their own countries. We want Israel to get out of the occupied territories. We want Arabs to worship God in their own way. Yes, and we do want them to restrain a leader like Saddam Hussein who has no respect for Allah's children in the rest of the world. Most of all, we do not hate Arabs. We want to live with them, not die with them, on our small, shared planet.

Charlotte Wagner, Houston

Military aggression, whether Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait or George Bush's massive assault on Iraq, brings with it the seeds of its own eventual destruction. What is needed is a ``new world order'' based on law and nonviolent conflict resolution, not on military threats and attacks. Our government should be acting less like the biggest bully on the block, ready to smash all smaller bullies into submission. We are fortunate there is no larger superpower in a position to treat us as we are treating Iraq.

Dr. Richard Burkhart, Auburn, Wash.

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