To the editor:
If there were no oil in the Middle East and if there were no Israel in the Middle East, we would not be at war there with 140,000 troops. Since there is oil in the Middle East and since Israel is in the Middle East, the Bush administration must offer the people of the United States important but secondary reasons for our vast military presence there - freedom, democracy, fighting terrorism, limiting nuclear expansion - and the list varies by the month.
The American people, especially the soldiers in Iraq, could hardly accept a declaration by the administration that we are primarily fighting to control someone else's oil or primarily to defend Israel without the involvement of Israel's soldiers.
With Bush declaring "I am a war president" and with leaders of both parties (Clinton, Pelosi, McCain, et al.) promoting change by force and war and publicly proclaiming their bias toward Israel rather than balance, the immediate future of the United States appears to be more of the same. War is a failure of diplomacy. A charismatic statesperson with a world vision is needed, but where?