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IF THERE WERE NO OIL IN MIDDLE EAST, OUR TROOPS WOULD NOT BE OVER THERE

Sometimes I worry about the future. I think about what the next 50 or so years have in store for me. I must admit I get scared. I contemplate college, grad school, military service, marriage, children and death. I then realize how little I have lived until now.

The one thing that really terrifies me is the thought of going to fight for oil in the Middle East. I am not a coward, and I will give my life for my country if need be. I am loyal to the United States, but I must question our reasons for war. Will we truly be fighting for a noble cause? Are our armies there to protect democracy, or is oil the motivation behind our presence?

Our goals are, in fact, economic. I'm sure that George Bush would not be putting 200,000 more American lives on the line if Kuwait were a country with no oil or other resources that we could manipulate.

Some will argue that Saddam Hussein is a wicked tyrant who gases his own people. For those who use this argument for war, I will ask: Was Saddam Hussein as evil in the 1980s when the United States was supplying arms for his senseless war against Iran? The answer is yes. However, Hussein was seen by many in the Reagan administration as the lesser of two evils. Now that we are on friendlier terms with Iran and Hussein has threatened our gluttonous way of life, he is the next Hitler.

To me, this is a sickening hypocrisy on the part of the United States. War is not the answer. Eventually, economic sanctions will work. We just need patience.

ALBERT PAUL
Buffalo

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