To the editor:
Just over a year ago, the Bush administration convinced Congress of the moral and political justification for a pre-emptive strike against Iraq based on flawed evidence of that regime's possession of weapons of mass destruction. Today, we again find ourselves mired in an ill-conceived military operation with no end in sight.
The body count for the United States is approaching 700, nearly 100 in the last two weeks alone. Iraqi fatalities are presumably in the thousands. The cost in terms of those permanently maimed and crippled is higher still. In a vivid replay of my worst memories of the Vietnam era, the first news I hear upon waking is the daily tally of the dead and injured. And there were and are no weapons of mass destruction.
Nonetheless, in his recent news conference Mr. Bush absolved himself of both blame and error in committing the United States to war in Iraq. Furthermore, he made the absence of WMD the subject of a joke at a recent meeting of the Radio and Television Correspondents Assn. I am sure the families of those who have died in this war are laughing, too "all the way to the funerals."
That Mr. Bush can take so lightly the lives he has so blithely sacrificed is the most flagrant demonstration to date of the fundamental arrogance of this administration and of its overt cynicism regarding the intelligence of the American people. I cannot recall ever feeling so great a sense of betrayal and outrage.