This is in response to Mr. Paul Olson's letter, "Now is not the time to begin war with Iraq" published in the Open Forum on Feb. 15. I agree with Mr. Olson's points a, b, c and d as stated in the first paragraph of his letter. Now let's take a look at the other side of the information contained in the rest of his letter. For clarity I will use capital letters to address information in his "limited list"

A. Precise timing of the use of biological and chemical weapons is better than a surprise attack because countries and troops can and will be prepared to take protective action. A surprise attack would lead to far more destruction and casualties. Mr. Olson already confirms that Saddam Hussein has these weapons of mass destruction.

B. The invasion is channeling financial, military and first-response resources that will be used against the real threat to our security posed by al Qaeda and North Korea. We are sending additional military support to Southeast Asia and al Qaeda is already in bed with Saddam Hussein (sorry for the visual).

C. Sleeper cells of al Qaeda will attempt to "sow terror" whenever and wherever their sick minds and hearts find an opportunity. Did they need an invasion and a catalyst to attack on 9-11-01? No.

D. The Iraqi civilian population already live in terror 24/7. The terror of an invasion will be short term. The terror they live in now continues with no end in sight. What food distribution system do they have now and, if they have a food distribution system, one can bet that it's being distributed to Saddam, his inner circle and his Republican Guards.

E. Any current distraction from domestic issues will continue unless we eliminate the distraction of Saddam Hussein and the global terror network that he supports.

F. If there is no definitive action taken against Saddam Hussein and his terror mongers, your children and grandchildren may end up living in fear and a world filled with even more terror than we do now. I would rather future generations had to deal with a domestic monetary issue than to worry about a global threat with a domestic target of weapons of mass destruction.

G. World Opinion is just that, opinion. The threat and existence of global terrorism and weapons of mass destruction in the hands of an insane dictator is real. Opinion can't kill us and our freedom, the latter can.



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