Misleading war propaganda

Your Sept. 6 article "In war, some facts less than factual" should be read by every American. The use of false evidence by the first Bush administration in order to sway Congress to vote for war is shocking. And now, as President Bush is trying to "make a case" for war, we should be very concerned. As former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D) of Indiana said, "the intelligence is being driven by the policy" rather than "the policy being driven by the intelligence."

Bush's advisers are obsessed with Iraq beyond any logic. Congress and the public must insist on the use of patience and diplomacy as we did throughout the long cold war with the Soviets.

A preemptive strike against Iraq would make the world less safe for everyone because we would constantly be vulnerable to retaliation from any Arab nation or terrorist in retribution for our attack.
Shirley and Richard Rosseau
Lyme, Conn.

I was pleased to read your Sept. 6 article "In war, some facts less than factual" and see that it made mention of the Reagan administration's White Propaganda campaign. This campaign and the Office of Public Diplomacy's other illegal activities became the subject of my undergraduate history thesis.

Few people today seem to be aware of the direct connections that can be drawn between officials serving at that time and officials who serve in senior government positions now. The Office of Public Diplomacy was headed by Otto Reich from 1983 to 1986. While he gave a lengthy deposition to Congress concerning his role in the production of misinformation during the Contra war, key portions of his testimony remain classified, and he never faced any disciplinary action despite the suspicions of those that interviewed him.

Today, Mr. Reich serves as the assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs – an appointment he received during a Senate recess from President Bush in the face of widespread opposition.

There is no reason to believe that our administration will not engage in the same covert, misleading activities that it has in the past. Conditions and personnel are strikingly similar, and the American public will be wise to keep a close, skeptical eye on its government's activities.
Emily Ades

Questioning Bush's motives

Your Aug. 30 editorial "Bush the Crusader" which states President Bush's motive for invading Iraq is to introduce democracy to the Middle East, raises serious questions. Is it legitimate to accomplish this by destroying Iraq's major city of Baghdad, as the US can certainly do, and killing thousands of civilians in the process? Where is the moral justification for the most powerful nation in the world to violently overthrow even a cruel regime in a much weaker country?

The Middle Age Crusaders attempted to convert nonbelievers to Christianity by means of the sword. Is a similar approach needed to instill democracy?
Jon Tiede
Wilmington, N.C.

Musical talent beyond Juilliard

Your Aug. 30 article "Playing Mahler in an Eminem world" about young classical musicians cited Juilliard as the most competitive school to get into for music. There is actually a more selective school: The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Our school contains a student body of approximately 120 to 140 students and is an all-scholarship school. Its graduates occupy the highest percentage of principal chairs in major US orchestras and the list of soloists with active careers is long (not to mention the composers of note: Barber, Menotti, Rochberg, Rorem, Bernstein).
Jennifer Higdon PhiladelphiaFaculty, The Curtis Institute of Music

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