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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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Iraq and a Hard Place

To the Editor:

Senator John McCain recently made an appeal for anti-war demonstrations to end now that the war has begun, saying that no one can support our troops without supporting the war. That's ironic. I find it hard to believe that anyone could claim to support our troops while sending them to their deaths.

In any case, I do not need a senator to tell me what my heart believes. I am praying for the safety of our troops and a withdrawal from the war which threatens them at the same time. This thinly veiled attempt at shaming protesters into silence is in conflict with the American right to freedom of speech and expression. After listening to the president say that he would not listen to protesters, I am detecting a growing theme in the current administration toward ignoring the population to which it is wholly accountable. Rest assured, though, that as long as this ill-conceived war is waged and as long as Americans are put in harm's way in order to secure Iraqi oil fields, there will be good people raising their voices against it in the United States. It's the American thing to do.

Jon Devin

Memphis

To the Editor:

I am not a warmonger, nor do I like to witness undue loss of life. That said, what the thousands of war protesters are doing is exactly what they are protesting against. They are viciously destroying property and lobbing tear gas into McDonald's, a restaurant that serves mostly children. They are mobbing embassies around the globe.

All of this is unnecessary violence aimed at innocent people. I sympathize with their anti-war sentiment, but how can they oppose violence with the use of violence?

Now that there is no turning back, shouldn't they redirect their energies into something more productive -- like prayer for the troops on both sides of the war? How can they expect to change the opinions of their peers by acting like violent extremists? Wouldn't it make more sense to ask for peace with peace?

Thia Torelli

Memphis

To the Editor:

The war has started and will soon be over. The dictator Saddam will be gone. Bush said that the war is to disarm Iraq and remove any chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. Once Iraq is subdued, he will have achieved this end.

But in the process, Bush has made billions of people mad at him. Like battling the sorcerer's apprentice, smashing one danger may only create millions more angry Muslims and Arabs. The most important resource terrorists have is anger, and anger can only be created by their enemy. Without anger, terrorists do nothing.

If Bush is truthful that his aim is to avoid future terrorism, he must stop when he has won and completely turn over Iraq to the U.N. or other neutral body to help the country become a democracy. Bush should support Iraq's recovery with money only, not troops or administration.

Once the world sees that Bush was honest, that he leaves Iraq after achieving his stated goal, only then will the world grudgingly begin to believe again in U.S. morality.

But if the U.S. stays in Iraq and takes all the contracts for U.S. companies, then the world will realize that Bush's ideal is not democracy but oil and that his God is not Jesus Christ but Mammon.

Tom Trottier

Ottawa, Canada

Preemptive Strike?

To the Editor:

CBS has announced it will preempt the NCAA basketball tournament to cover the invasion of Iraq, which means the local CBS affiliate, WREG Channel 3, will have to follow suit. That is, of course, unless there's a thunderstorm over West Memphis.

Joe Mercer

Memphis

Thanks to Tim

To the Editor:

If your paper weren't free, I'd buy it just to read Tim Sampson's column. Thanks to him for putting my feelings into articulate words.

Pat Isham

Memphis

The Memphis Flyer encourages reader response. Send mail to: Letters to the Editor, POB 1738, Memphis, TN 38101. Or call Back Talk at 575-9405. Or send us e-mail at letters@memphisflyer.com. All responses must include name, address, and daytime phone number. Letters should be no longer than 250 words.

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