Letters for May 6, 2004

The truth about Iraq
Re “Punish Bush” (RN&R, Letters, April 29):

I found the letter from Brad MacKenzie typical of the ignorance so rampant this election year. Before condemning anyone of intentional fabrication or distortion of the truth (lying), the author should make an attempt to ascertain the truth. Although most liberals, Democrats and Kerry supporters wish to bury the facts, many of them advocated action in Iraq and were just as misinformed as any of their opposite numbers.

If you are one of those who believe Bush lied, I supply the following quotations, (all have been substantiated and most are sourced from the Congressional Record), for your enlightenment:

“If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program."—President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

“Iraq is a long way from [the USA], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."—Madeline Albright, Feb. 18, 1998

“We urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."—Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry and others, Oct. 9, 1998

“We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."—Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

“I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force—if necessary—to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."—Sen. John F. Kerry, Oct. 9, 2002

I know that all of this will stick in your craw and that you will never print any of it lest you be forced to re-evaluate your self righteous, hatred-spawned opinions. Whether you can accept it or not, here is truth.

J. Pohlman

Ensign did good
On April 29, Sen. John Ensign did the right thing for Nevada. He once again voted no on the controversial Energy Bill that has been debated in Congress for months. It is very refreshing to see an elected official stand up for his constituents. It is not often that we see these attributes, and he is to be publicly commended.

I presume Sen. Ensign voted no on the slimmed down Energy Bill for numerous reasons. The Nevada Wildlife Federation took issue with the bill because it threatened Nevada’s fragile and scarce resources. It took the public out of public lands and didn’t successfully utilize Nevada’s renewable resources that do not pollute our air, land and water.

There is no doubt that Nevada and the nation need a comprehensive energy plan that meets our needs and concerns; however, this energy bill was not the answer.

Michelle Kennedy
Nevada Wildlife Federation

“Fables” didn’t tell the whole story
Re “Fables of the Reconstruction” (RN&R, News, April 22):

Jason Vest’s story illustrates the danger of relying on third-hand reports. In particular, it recites incorrect claims about Bechtel’s work in Iraq. It quotes an article by two other journalists, who in turn quoted an Iraqi plant manager’s claim that Bechtel had failed to supply needed parts to fix a steam generator.

The fact is, as we told the original reporters, Bechtel specified what parts were needed, but the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) was responsible for the purchase and delivery of those parts. Vest’s story also recycles a quote from the earlier story speculating that work in the power sector was being held up because Russian, German and French companies could not participate in the rebuilding of Iraq. As we and USAID have stated publicly, Bechtel is free to choose subcontractors from those countries. Indeed, our current list of subcontractors includes two German firms: Siemens and Standard Aggregatebau AG.

Francis Canavan
Public Affairs Manager
Bechtel Iraq Infrastructure Reconstruction Program

In “Inking out an existence” (RN&R, Art of the State, April 29), the incorrect phone number was listed for Café Tat2. The correct phone number is 337-0909.