Letters to the editor for Jan.29

One man has caused

a lot of problems

How is it that one man can do so much harm to our country? What harm you say?

Let's start with bankrupting our treasury. Our national debt is now approaching $9 trillion. The interest on this debt is over $400 billion per year. Put another way this is over one billion dollars a day.

My second concern is with the increase in serious crimes in our major cities over the past two years. Money for putting more police on the streets which began in the '90s has now been withdrawn. The result has been an increase in murders and other serious felonies.

Third, the No Child Left Behind initiative has been seriously underfunded. When students in the United States are compared with children in the rest of the industrialized world, we are woefully behind in math and science. Is this how intelligent design works?

I am concerned about our standing in the world when even the Prime Minister of Iraq can stand up the president. The arrogance of this administration has done more to undermine the good will of our proud nation than any leader in our entire history.

Finally, this ill conceived war in Iraq has cost over 3,000 American lives and over 22,000 injuries to our troops. The result has been neither to bring democracy to this part of the world nor to broker a permanent peace settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians.

I am saddened by the actions of this one man on future generations of Americans.

Terry Bullock, Tumwater

Steer our country

onto responsible path

Most Americans believe it is time to leave Iraq. The huge quantities of blood, sweat, tears and money will be better spent preparing to fight more important adversaries: climate change, poverty and emerging strategic threats.

The administration knew Iraq lacked weapons of mass destruction, democratic traditions and hospitality for foreign soldiers but possessed oil and proximity to Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran. If American troops police the neighborhood, major oil companies can control the supply. In light of climate change and dwindling oil, the costs of this strategy are ludicrous.

But if you are an oilman or a defense contractor, you want to sell people oil or defense. Selling it as terrorism prevention was the best pitch the oilman-turned-president ever made.

For each of the billion who enjoy our industrial wealth, there is another who lives on one dollar a day or less. America could stabilize and make inroads in impoverished regions by funding humanitarian projects at a much lower cost than war. But Halliburton doesn't do humanitarian projects.

And where is resolve to capture Osama bin Laden? Will China police Asia and dominate economically while we are mired in Iraq, borrowing from China? How long before other nations are torturing Americans? As long as oilmen avoid swearing under oath before Congress, crises have been averted.

It's time to sober up and do some nation-building here instead of empire building abroad. It's time to impeach Bush and Cheney, get out of Iraq and steer our country onto a responsible path.

Rory Henneck, Olympia

President hinting about

a new war in Iran

Ominous sounds are coming from the White House - again. They are very much like the rhetoric we heard in the summer and fall of 2002, just before it became clear that the president was planning an invasion of Iraq.

In his speech to the nation, which outlined his latest plan for victory in Iraq, the president said the following: "Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We'll interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq."

All this sounds like the president has Iran in his sights. And his underlings are out en masse reinforcing the same theme. Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates are all out on the hustings giving the same message that Iran is a major source of problems and the United States will not tolerate its interference.

Like the lead up to the Iraq invasion, the talk coming out of the White House sounds very much like a precursor to opening a new front in Iran.

Rather than taking the advice of the Iraq Study Group headed by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Congressman Lee Hamilton and trying to negotiate with Iran and Syria, this administration, as usual, wants to solve whatever problems might exist by military confrontation.

James L. Boone, Olympia