Here's my response to Mr. Leazenby's attack on my character yesterday. The editor at the Nonpareil says she's getting a ton of letters at the moment, so it may not run for a few days, but she does intend to run it.
I've recently had several letters printed here expressing opposition to Bush's invasion, and Robert Leazenby has responded.
Mr. Leazenby begins with broad slurs against Chicagoans. I'm actually from the Bluffs, a graduate of AL. He then repeats an assertion concerning UN Resolution 1441 that I had already refuted in the letter to which he was responding. Anyone who's interested can read Resolutions 678, 687, and 1441 and make up their own mind on that subject. I've spoken my piece already.
However, Mr. Leazenby goes on to accuse me of defending Saddam, and even of "aligning [myself] with the enemy by helping to spread Saddam's propaganda," and I will not let that slander stand.
I have not written one word in defense of Saddam Hussein. He's a butcher and a tyrant. But liberals have always been against Saddam, even during the 1980's when Reagan and the first Bush were funding and arming Saddam's tyranny.
Yes, Mr. Leazenby, Saddam gassed the Kurds. He gassed the Kurds in September 1988, but Bush continued writing him huge checks until the day in August 1990 when Saddam did the truly unforgivable and threatened our Kuwaiti oil supply. Only then did it belatedly cross Bush's mind, or the mind of any conservative I know of, that Saddam was "worse than Hitler." Suddenly, Bush was outraged for the poor, long dead Kurds.
And, as you say, Saddam has killed more than 100,000 Muslims -- in a war Reagan encouraged and supplied, with Donald Rumsfeld his special envoy to Saddam in Baghdad. That's when Reagan gave Saddam the weaponized anthrax, bubonic plague, and gas we're now afraid he'll use on us, to help Saddam kill those Iranians. If Saddam is a monster, then what's Reagan? How about you? Did you mourn then the Iranians whose deaths now conveniently outrage you, Mr. Leazenby? Or did you chuckle that it served them right for taking our embassy hostage?
So don't you dare accuse me of aligning myself with Saddam. I'm not the one here with a history of doing just that.
I object to this invasion because I love my country. I love it enough to care about its honor and its safety.
Our honor is diminished because Bush's invasion is illegal under international law and unjustified under the ethics of "just war."
Our safety is diminished because Bush's invasion does not actually address any real threat against the US and will exacerbate the threat that does exist. As Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said a few days ago, "Instead of one bin Laden, this will create one hundred bin Ladens." This invasion is a strategic blunder that will cost us for a generation.
Believing that, as I do, is it treason for me to speak out, or is it my duty? Which of those two Americas do you live in, Mr. Leazenby?
James E. Thorn II