Reality Check: We're No Safer Now

Excellent letter to the editor in the New York Times on these opeds:

Both Bob Herbert ("Bush Upbeat as Iraq Burns," column, Sept. 24) and Paul Krugman ("Let's Get Real," column, Sept. 24) refuse to join their fellow journalists as President Bush leads them through the looking glass.

In defiance of evidence and logic, Mr. Bush sticks with the declaration that we are safer because we went to war with Iraq. Who is safer? The more than 1,000 Americans who are dead? The 150,000 troops who are now in harm's way?

Mr. Bush implies that Saddam Hussein might have killed and threatened more Americans than those now dead and now threatened because of this war. This from a country on its knees from 10 years of harsh sanctions, with neither weapons of mass destruction nor the means to deliver them; a country antagonistic to Al Qaeda and overrun with United Nations inspectors, overflown by British and American fighters and overseen by countless spy planes and military satellites.

I can't decide whether it is scarier that Mr. Bush believes this, or that he doesn't.

Richard M. Hendrick
Orford, N.H., Sept. 24, 2004

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