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LET'S USE RESOURCES TO HELP THE WORLD, NOT DESTROY IT

The war in Iraq has been banished to the inside pages. We seem to be satisfied sporting magnetic stickers on our cars, in spite of the fact that we are losing one or two military personnel each day. It's a price President Bush is willing to pay.

As of this writing, the "body count" for Americans is 1,542 and climbing. Allies count their dead in the hundreds. You don't hear figures on the wounded, some with profound injuries. That number now stands at 11,664. If we count the dead Iraqi civilians, estimates run as high as 19,696. This is truly a massive tragedy.

That's the cost in lives. What about dollars? Today the bill is $160 billion and climbing fast. With that money, 21.2 million kids could attend Head Start, 95.9 million children could have health insurance for a year, 2.7 million teachers could be hired for one year and AIDS programs worldwide could be funded for 16 years.

We could ensure that every child in the world would be given basic immunizations for 53 years. The resources that could help people live better lives are being used to kill, maim and destroy lives. It is time we brought the troops home.

Joseph Spina

Amherst