Letters to the Editor

Up to the task?

The Bush-Cheney preemptive war in Iraq destabilizes the Middle East and makes Americans less safe. The war's constantly changing rationale, from weapons of mass destruction, to toppling Saddam Hussein with its "Mission Accomplished" banner, to the requirement of establishing a democratically elected government and a constitution, makes defining victory impossible.

Now we're told the mission is to protect the oil supply and prevent Iran and Syria from creating more turmoil in the region.

Normally the military examines the task handed to it, assesses what is needed and then completes it. But President Bush's changing goals make it impossible to evaluate what is required to "win." "Staying the course" is difficult when the goal keeps changing.

It's a bit like the emperor having been without his clothes for so long that he is incapable of realizing that winter is approaching. But hope is on the way with loyal knights from his daddy's administration to find the emperor's winter coats, and like a good valet dress him well again. I hope Bob Gates and Jim Baker are up to the task. It could require a straight-jacket.

Robert Merrill

Fresno

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