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Letter to the Editor: Senators urged to keep control on Iraq policy

Friday, September 27, 2002

To the editor:

This is an open letter to U.S. senators Kit Bond and Jean Carnahan.

I am writing to urge you to make good use of the constitutional separation of powers by exercising congressional control over the foreign policy of the United States. President Bush and his advisers seem to be set on obtaining authorization to attack Iraq unilaterally, and it is vital that the Senate fulfill its role as the voice of reason in this matter.

While no one can deny that Saddam Hussein is a threat to world and U.S. security, the evidence that immediate armed intervention is necessary has not yet been provided. More important, unilateral action by the United States will earn us the enmity of many countries that should be our allies, and will foment anti-American feeling among Islamic peoples throughout the world. We need to convince the majority of Muslims that we are acting from a genuine desire for peace and security in the Middle East, not from selfish or political motives. Otherwise, unilateral invasion may ultimately result in a recruitment windfall for al-Qaida and its ilk.

Please work for revisions to President Bush's resolution that would insist on U.N. approval and cooperation for any armed action against Iraq. There is a fine line between being the world's policeman and the world's bully, and we will cross it if we disregard international law.

ALLEN GATHMAN

Pocahontas, Mo.