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Dear Editor:
I am surprised that ILW.COM's editorial of March 18, 2003 takes such a strong position in support of the war against Iraq, even if it is from the perspective of immigration. Most of the world does not support the war; particularly the Bush administration's handling of the situation and its unwillingness to work with other countries in giving the inspectors the extra time that they needed to get the job done. While it is perceived that the war may be quick and easy (even though it will kill many Iraqi civilians), this administration's action will in the long run damage America's credibility and international standing. Most people outside America see President Bush as a greater threat to world peace than anyone else. Most Americans do not realize it. This will ultimately result in a weaker country, which in turn, would be less attractive to immigrants. Indeed, the Bush administration's tendency to undermine international institutions, which it did even prior to September 11 (such as backing out of the International Criminal Court) is akin to Mr. Ashcroft's attempts to undermine the US constitution through the Patriot Act, I and now II, as well as the promulgation of regulations that resulted in the targeting of non-citizens solely because of their nationality and without regard to individualized guilt and suspicion. Furthermore, whether America is safe or not is an extremely relative concept and all depends on how the administration deals with foreign policy, which till now has been handled extremely poorly. America was clearly safer before Mr. Bush started threatening Iraq. Even if one is of the opinion that Iraq should be threatened and invaded, America would have been safer if Mr. Bush would have been able to rally all the nations around him and act in conformity with Resolution 1441 that stressed on disarmament rather than regime change. Finally, since the prospect of war has resulted in higher security alerts, and since it also causes Congress to rally around the President, it will be easier for this administration to pass more legislation through Congress, such as Patriot II, which will not just abrogate the liberties of non-citizens but even citizens.

Cyrus Mehta



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