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Thursday, April 22, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Letters to the editor

WOODWARD AND BUSH TEAM

One more question regarding all the president's oilmen

Editor, The Times:

Bob Woodward's new book adds to the layers of cabal between the Bush family and the House of Saud ("Woodward book tells of Bush's march to war in Iraq," Times, page one, April 17).

I remember that immediately after the 9-11 attacks, the president made special arrangements for the Saudi family and their entourage to be flown out of the U.S. and back to their homes. While those special departees supposedly received proper security interviews prior to leaving, I cannot imagine those interviews were thorough. It was simply a presidential favor.

Now we find out from Woodward that the president has made a secret and personal deal to have the Saudis pump more oil to bring down gas prices prior to the election. With the president and so many of his associates deeply involved in the oil business, this relationship with the Saudis is just too cozy.

One must ask the additional question, "Has the president also an understanding with the Saudis that prices will be at record highs now so the oilmen reap profits now that will offset the lower price before our elections?
James Hauser, Vashon Island

Washington posterity

Let's see if I can get this right: President Bush can find time in his busy schedule to meet with writer Bob Woodward to talk about his war in Iraq. Conversely, he can't find time in his busy schedule to meet privately with the 9-11 commission.

One seems kind of important for this nation, while the other seems kind of important to W.

In his meeting with Woodward, Bush was undoubtedly able to talk about his interpretation of reality with Woodward without having to worry about that niggling "under oath" issue. But meeting with the 9-11 commission privately would not have allowed such conveniences.

Sounds a little like W is more interested in protecting his own legacy than in protecting the future of this nation. If the case were otherwise, he'd quit waffling about speaking privately under oath with the commission.
Tony Arvish, Seattle

Sources in the shadows

I see that you have moved your op-ed page to the front page, promoting DNC shill Bob Woodward's liberal slant on George Bush. So the question is, when will you be promoting conservative books on the front page? There are some good selections, well-documented, on how liberals helped our enemies crash airplanes into the towers; shut down oil exploration in the U.S. so we are more dependent on Middle East oil, contrary to our best national interest, and many more.

What will be your first selection to promote? I can't wait!
Ron Tuttle, Kent

No deep threat

I just heard an interview pertaining to Bob Woodward's new book about George Bush's decision to go to war with Iraq. He related that Bush feels that God's plan is for him (Bush) to use the power of the United States to bring freedom to people all over the world. That includes freedom by force. But if you bring a man freedom at the point of a gun while he's standing in the rubble of his home and amongst the bodies of his children, he's not going to thank you for it.

In his press conference, Bush again changed the reasoning for continuing this course in Iraq: We must continue the work of the fallen. That echoes the Vietnam-era notion of continuing the war so that our soldiers would not have died in vain. But last I checked, folks in the military raise their hand and pledge to protect this country against all threats, foreign and domestic. They do not sign on to be mercenaries in Bush's holy wars.

I can only hope that the majority of the people in the country do not vote for Bush again, just like they didn't vote for him last time.
Bert Schulz, Redmond

A THOUSAND WORDS

Losses exposed

I am writing to thank everyone at The Seattle Times for showing the courage to print the photograph of the flag-draped coffins returning from Iraq ("The somber task of honoring the fallen," Tami Silicio photograph, page one, April 18).

Our current leaders seem to want us to forget the sacrifice these brave young men and women are making over there, and I'm glad to see that some parts of the media will not let them.

We have to make sure we remember the 709 heroes we have lost to this conflict so far, as well as those who will go after them.
David Hogan, San Diego, Calif.

Full honors

The sting of death is part of war. This is not a shell game. The American people need the whole story, not just the numbers, but the souls behind the numbers.

We honor our dead by acknowledging their contribution in life and in death. We don't honor them by giving them only 50 percent of the story, but all of it!

I think (photographer Tami Silicio's) picture should have a permanent place in the paper every day until the war ends, and have the latest numbers of missing, wounded and dead underneath it.
Katherine Adams, West Bloomfield, Mich.

Transcendent sacrifice

As a person who has a loved one fighting in Iraq, I applaud your decision to run the picture of soldiers' coffins (leaving Iraq). I believe most Americans don't realize the sacrifices that are being made by our military and the reservists.

I'm glad to see this newspaper has not succumbed to the pressure by this administration to hide the true facts about this war.
Belinda Alcantar, Albuquerque, N.M.

Dignity in perspective

I wanted to congratulate The Times on the news story (covered) on Wednesday's "Good Morning America," regarding coverage of our fallen soldiers being sent home. I believe this photo was a dignified way to respect these soldiers, and further believe that President Bush doesn't want these photos shown because it is a disturbing sight for a distasteful war.

My belief is that "war is hell" and not the glorified "John Wayne" movie set I saw in my youth. Continue to show the public the results of this — and any — war.
Arlene Buck, Parma, Ohio

Compelling resolution

I saw a segment on "Good Morning America" about a photo published in your Sunday edition. I was moved by it. I thought of it as a somber reminder of the sacrifice of all those brave soldiers and the ones still over there serving their country honorably. It solidifies my view that we should stay the course in Iraq to complete our mission to bring peace and freedom to Iraqis so that those who have died to that end have not done so in vain.

It is a beautiful photo. Thank-you.

John Washburn, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Developing the truth

America needs to know the truth. The photo is respectful and honest, two qualities that hiding the truth lacks. I commend your decision and your courage to not bend to the bullying of this administration. If the U.S. is at war, then U.S. citizens deserve to see the costs of war.
Julian Miller, New York, N.Y.

Picture of grief

I cried standing there in a supermarket, looking down at my Sunday Times in the basket. The photograph of 21 caskets of our young men and women locked my vision and I cried for the family grief represented by the death of these young people sent to do a country's business.

All Americans need to take pause and reflect on this sacrifice, made by so few for so many. Instead of grumbling about the cost of fuel, grumble about the cost of human life.
Paul Heins, Seattle

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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