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To be or not to be Churchillian

In John Hughes's piece ("A Churchillian moment," Opinion, Sept. 11), he suggests that there are legitimate comparisons between George Bush and Winston Churchill, such as the uphill climb each experienced in trying to convince government officials and the populace of the seriousness of the foreign menace, and the need to intervene sooner rather than later.

But the nature of the threats are different in these two situations. I am troubled by the current rationale and justification of war as merely being the "potentiality of threat," which is like saying we must chop a tree down because there is a potential that its may topple all by itself. Such rationale could be used to wage war against many countries, including Russia, because they also have weapons of mass destruction.

I wonder if Churchill might be chiding us to think through all the ramifications of our choices, and to look to the "second front," where a more protracted and prolonged conflict may emerge that lasts for decades.
Dean Reschke
Naperville, Ill.

I very much enjoyed reading John Hughes's Sept. 11 commentary comparing President Bush's stance towards Iraq to that of Winston Churchill toward the Nazis. I am usually a dove in response to decisions of going to war or not. However, with regard to Iraq, I have had the nagging feeling that Mr. Bush would not be pushing for a campaign against Saddam Hussein unless he had a very good reason to do so.

I, too, have been reminded of history, including Churchill's rally of the British to fight the Nazis versus Neville Chamberlain's insistence on appeasement, as well as the US reluctance to get involved with World War II.

Mr. Hughes's commentary reinforced the gut feelings I've had to date. Although he did not say whether he felt Bush is accurate in his assessment of Saddam Hussein's threat, he certainly made the case for consideration of that possibility.
Susan E. Heard
San Francisco


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