To the Editor:

   Let's look at the Bush administration's record, not its rhetoric. After September 11, it committed American troops worldwide to a perpetual no-win war on terrorism, promised our military to the UN to enforce "international law," and tightened control of American air travel. President Bush signed the USA Patriot Act, attacking constitutional checks and balances. The National Guard may enforce internal order (national police). The Homeland Security Agency moves toward consolidating internal control. Also, the Bush Administration wants secret military tribunals, involving the US military in domestic law enforcement. More recently, a dual justice system was proposed. Under it, the president alone could designate Americans and others as enemy combatants who then could be held indefinitely without access to lawyers or family members.
   Additionally, the Administration and the major media have campaigned against Saddam Hussein. The government/media hype about Hussein began before Desert Storm. It was imperative to paint Hussein as a "monster" so the US government could justify choosing Hussein rather than the equally-noxious Kuwaiti tyrant to attack. President Bush and the media continue to label Hussein the world's most dangerous tyrant. Strangely, Saddam's Iraq is considered worse than Saudi Arabia, which funds anti-Israeli terrorism and the persecution of Sudanese Christians (a million men crucified and their wives and children sold into sex slavery). Saudi Arabia, unlike Iraq, treats women like subhumans and practices zero religious tolerance. According to US pronouncements, Iraq is also worse than China, which has brutalized its citizens for 55 years, fought against us in Korea and Vietnam, supported biological warfare in Cambodia, and murdered one-seventh of Tibet's population. Our government treats Iraq as if more dangerous than Russia, with its 90-year history of internal, external, and exported terrorism. As if rewarding them for their abominable human rights records, the Administration has invited China and Russia to invade Iraq with us!
   What is the real reason for the present war? The UN, which favors "people's democracies" (China, North Korea), already has expressed interest in postwar Iraq's "democratization" process. So, is this war, like our involvement in Somalia and Serbia, to forward UN world domination? Is the war a splendid way to distract the American public from the erosion of our liberties at home? Or are both reasons involved?
   My admiration for those heroic men and women who suffer, bleed and die to protect me and my fellow American is boundless. I hate to think that our military is being exploited. But, I fear that this war is about Bush's and his cohorts' personal ambitions and about facilitating UN world domination, not about justice. As I weep and pray daily for wounded, dead and captured Americans, I also pray that I am wrong.
   Mary Ann Lakin
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