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Sunday, April 11, 2004

More letters: 9-11 and the war on terrorism


Warnings abounded about attack using aircraft

In her testimony, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said that there was "no silver bullet that could have prevented 9/11 from happening."

What about the 1995 incident in which terrorists, on an Air France flight between Morocco and Paris, broke into the cockpit and ordered the pilots to fly into the Eiffel Tower? The captain refused and said he would fly the airliner into the ground first. That was the event when the terrorists knew the pilots would never fly their aircraft into the World Trade Center and went to Plan B - to learn to fly the aircraft themselves.

The captain reported this event to the French government who then reported it to the American government and airlines. Obviously, nothing was done. I saw this program on PBS in either 1997 or 1998. I may be stupid, but I can follow how important this event was. No one in our government can? What a crock. The government and airlines share in what happened on 9-11 totally.

Vickie C. Long, Florence

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Bush administration must not stonewall

The Sept. 11 Commission is investigating the events leading up to the tragedy in order to prevent future attacks. President George W. Bush, who initially opposed even creating the commission, has stonewalled its work at every turn.

The White House has deliberately withheld information from the Commission. It has played games with deadlines. It has tried to limit the testimony from administration officials and even the time the president himself spends with the commissioners.

It is time for President Bush to stop the games and stop the stonewall. The security of the American people is at stake. We need a new leader and we need change.

McKinzie Baker, Norwood

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Commission nothing more than witch hunt

It's time to recognize the 9-11 Commission for what it is, a political witch hunt commission. This was especially evident when the questioners express opinions in their questions and would not allow National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to respond. I know politicians like to grandstand and hear themselves talk, but this was ridiculous and rude.

No, we were not ready, nor anticipated any attack comparable to 9-11. The politics and bureaucracy of our government do not lend themselves to efficiency or swift change. It's amazingly easy to put a puzzle together when you know what the picture will look like and where all the pieces fit in.

Terry Bell, Alexandria

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Clinton should share blame for 9-11 attacks

Maybe I'm having one of my blond moments, but National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said she got a one-hour briefing from the former Bill Clinton White House. Clinton was in the White House for eight years. Do you mean to tell me that al-Qaida planned the attacks on the World Trade Towers during the nine months that President Bush was in office? I would think that Clinton, CIA Director George Tenet and former counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke would be the ones to be responsible for not taking care of business. Bush for seven months; Clinton for eight years.

Karen Brennan, Loveland

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A Marshall Plan can help Iraq recover

The Enquirer front-page headline "Iraqis exult in mutilation of U.S. civilians' bodies" (April 1) horrified and saddened me. But I disagree with the Enquirer's opinion of the feeling of the Iraqis. My view is the Iraqis are filled with rage at the American occupation of their country, and they exulted in some little power they had to show that rage to the American people.

I think people rage because they feel hopeless. They need to be given hope of reconstruction of their cities and some voice in their government and employment. I believe we need to get our troops out of the occupation and give their oil fields back to the Iraqis.

Let's make a Marshall Plan to reconstruct the Iraq we destroyed and win back the esteem and good will of the world.

E. Jean Barger, Clifton

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Now committed, Bush Cabinet can fight, too

Now that President Bush has firmly committed the U.S. Armed Forces to stay the course in Iraq, wouldn't it be nice if he would put his flight jacket on again, and instead of landing on a U.S. ship, he could join the troops in maybe Fallujah and see what it's like. He could also take Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell and maybe Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.

John Gossett, Groesbeck

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War diverts attention from pressing matters

In the article "Bush slipping in Ohio, poll says" (April 3), a local Republican leader is quoted as follows, "I think the president's message will be effective at the end of the day with independents. He's been a strong leader in these difficult times."

I hope those independents, and other thinking voters; realize that many of those difficult times are this administration's own doing, because of shortsightedness and brazenly taking advantage of our shock and grief after Sept. 11.

The war in Iraq is a difficult time that could have and should have been avoided and an invasion built on misinformation.

What about the skyrocketing national debt? You young voters will be paying this off for years. Are you willing to throw money at misguided anti-terror campaigns while President Bush's own education plan goes unfunded?

In his campaign ads, Bush tries to sound like a tough guy when he grimly says that he believes in the American people. It sounds like he's telling us to watch our backs, while he takes care of other priorities.

Chip Withrow, Springdale

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U.S. has every right to hit terrorists first

How many years have we stayed out of terrorists' affairs? How many millions have been killed or tortured because of these kinds of reigns? The United States pretty much kept its nose out of these terrorist countries. Most Americans didn't even know of these radical groups (Taliban, al-Qaida) until 9-11. When you ignore such violence, these people only become stronger, larger, and more powerful.

So if we don't stop these radical groups of terrorists now - as in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Israel, etc. - they will only grow stronger and more daring. Do you really want to live through another 9-11? Take a moment and think about it. God bless and protect our troops.

Susan Lovins, Westwood




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More letters: 9-11 and the war on terrorism