Opinions Of Amateurs Could Lead To More Costly War

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Editor:

Recent letters to the editor critical of President Bush substitute speculation, opinions and conclusions for facts supported by substantial, relevant, credible evidence. An example is the repeated misuse of the word "lies." A lie is a statement made with the knowledge that it is false, for the purpose of deception. "Lies" do not include statements a speaker believed to be true when he made them.

Iraq leaders were tardy and evasive in complying with weapons inspectors' demands. This tactic served their purpose of intimidating neighboring countries when they

acted like they had something to hide. Failure to find substantial quantities of weapons of mass destruction is no indication Iraq had no such weapons. Iraq's 170,000 square miles of varied terrain offers many possibilities for hiding such weapons. At present it is not practical or economical to do a mass search for such weapons.

Major risks are involved in expressing opinions that our government is grossly incompetent and that Americans have neither the ability, nor the willingness, to defend themselves. Such opinions have resulted in our involvement in four major wars in the last century.

A pessimistic view of our Iraq position is a recruiting tool for terrorists. It increases the risk to the men and women serving in Iraq who are building stability in the Middle East. Pulling out of Iraq prematurely will give the terrorists a safe base for international operations, frustrate the building of security in the Middle East and transfer the conflict from Iraq to the United States. America will have greater casualties if the terrorists are free to concentrate their operations in the United States.

Peace advocates are in a state of denial in respect to risks similar to that of the British and French in the 1930s. In World War II, Hitler could have been stopped in 1936 at a small cost in resources. Denial and delay by Britain and France resulted in the loss of 50 million lives.

Hopefully, we have learned something from history so that public opinion polls and opinions of amateurs do not lead us into a much more costly war of weapons of mass destruction.

Jim Winter, Payson

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