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Your report "Weapons Of Mass Disappearance" [NATION, June 9] noted that President Bush justified a pre-emptive war on Saddam by saying he possessed chemical and biological arms weapons of mass destruction (WMD). If the Bush Administration had concentrated on making public Saddam's serious human-rights abuses instead of focusing on WMD, it would not have lost credibility when no evidence of a WMD program was found. The war would have been justified by the discovery of the bodies of thousands of Saddam's victims.
Your article missed the point. The U.S. went to war to subdue a country that endorsed, encouraged and supported terrorism. As a target of terrorist acts, the U.S. has the moral and legal right to defend itself. After 9/11, the question of Iraq's WMD became secondary to the main problem of eliminating a terrorist dictator who was a danger to all.
If President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair were so devious as to manipulate the intelligence about WMD, then certainly they would go the last mile and fabricate the discovery of WMD in postwar Iraq. Had evil manipulation been at play, the troops would be holding up large caches of WMD for Americans and the rest of the world to see.
The American people and the whole world were assured that we had to go to war with Iraq because its WMD were a direct threat to us. Now we are sending an investigation team of 1,400 people over there to hunt for them. Either we were scammed or our intelligence gathering is seriously flawed. Whichever it is, the U.S. ends up with egg on its face.
A Modest Proposal
In his Commentary "Blessed Are The Poor They Don't Get Tax Cuts," Joe Klein wrote, "Families with incomes between $10,500 and $26,625 ... pay little or no income taxes" [IN THE ARENA, June 9]. This being the case, why should these families receive the proposed tax credit which could amount to $400? Why must we keep giving to the poor, the way the Democrats want to? If we do, the poor will come to expect it, which is one of the primary problems with today's welfare program: there's no incentive to better one's way of life.
St. Peters, Mo.
Klein's complaint about low-income families' not receiving the child tax credit from Bush's tax cut reflected unsound thinking. Overpopulation demands that no rational government provide economic incentives for further procreation. Six billion humans is way too many. Even if more people were needed to provide a larger labor force, we certainly should not be giving incentives to those individuals who seem to be least able to care for their children. The omission of the child tax credit from the tax-cut bill was arguably the best part of the legislation.
Great Taste, More Filling
Thank you for the article on the band Radiohead and its new album, Hail to the Thief [MUSIC, June 9]. When rock groups record music for the sole purpose of making money, much of the creativity is lost, and it all seems to sound the same. The beauty that music can possess as an art form is missing from most of mainstream pop. But it is wonderful to hear Radiohead's originality and to be moved by the group's talent and artistry. I choose the music I listen to based not on what the musicians look like but on the depth and emotion that their music provides. I thank Radiohead for satisfying my auditory appetite in a world too often filled with sonic rice cakes.
In his Commentary, James Poniewozik mused about public cynicism toward the media in the wake of the firing of New York Times reporter Jayson Blair [ESSAY, June 9]. Poniewozik was off the mark in saying the real problem is a deficit of passion in the media. Distrust exists not because reporters aren't passionate but because they are not dispassionate. Even when their reporting is "accurate," the "facts" seem selectively chosen to further the reporter's personal ideology. Trust is the public's priority not more passion.
ELIZABETH SHOWN MILLS
Go Tell Pharaoh
Re the municipal ordinance requiring any company doing business with the city of Los Angeles to disclose whether it has ever profited from slavery [NOTEBOOK, June 9]: If there is to be no statute of limitations in this regard, then the Jews should start preparing their case against Egypt.
Lake Havasu City, Ariz.