To the editor:

The letter by Clovis Shipp in response to my letter on the president agrees with most of the points I made except for my evaluation of President Bush’s handling of the war in Iraq. He mentions that Saddam Hussein kept Iraq under control. I want to mention that Adolf Hitler had Germany under control and Joseph Stalin had Russia under control.

Hussein had torture chambers. He did not hesitate to kill anyone who disagreed with him, even to executing two of is sons-in-law who had taken their families to Jordan. He assured them that there would be no punishment if they returned. He then killed them. Hundreds of thousands of Kurds were gassed. Chemical Aly has just been sentenced to hang for this. Burial grounds abound all over Iraq.

During Saddam’s reign, very few cities other than Baghdad had electric service, and most people did not have water or sewer service. The oil money he received was not used for the general public. Newspapers could not report anything contrary to the administration.

People now feel free to voice their opinions. Most of the strife is starting to wear heavy on the populace. Both Sunni’s and Shi’s are turning against the terrorists. They are starting to take an interest in an independent country.

To abandon them at this stage would be a waste of all we have done to date. There will have to be an end at sometime, but we have a moral obligation to continue our support until the Iraqis can control it on their own.

For a comparison we must compare it with Kosovo where we still have troops many years after the fighting died down. In that case, we helped the Moslem population keep from being wiped out by non-Moslems.

The world is a complicated situation. But the guts to take actions is better than watching wholesale killing while calmly sitting by and dismissing it as “none of our business.” We cannot hide behind a shield of oceans on both sides. Sept. 11, 2001, proved that we must protect ourselves at the source rather than wait until we are attacked again.

Bob Hickey