the long road to war
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Discussion: What does this FRONTLINE report on the history of America's confrontation with Iraq say to you about the endgame the U.S. now is approaching with Saddam Hussein?


Dear FRONTLINE,

I thoght the program was excellent and very informative. Surprizingly enough it swayed my opinion more toward the war then away from it. It is amazing all of the things that go on and really gives alot of meaning to the saying Hindsight is 20/20. I am sure all those involved wish this had been taken care of 10 years ago. Thank you for always doing an excellent job. Frontline is always through and thought provoking. I think everyone should see this show. It is so informing.

Brin Gribben
mechanicsville, va


Dear FRONTLINE,

This program needs to be seem by all Americans. It provided a large amount of information in a format that was easy to understand and answered many questions I had about our involvement in the Middle East. Thank you and please air it again SOON.

Tina Salazar
belton, mo


Dear FRONTLINE,

Thank you for putting together the long line of facts that now make it so clear why our president is on the right coarse to protect the freedom of the people of Irack, the freedom from fear of the use of wepons of mass destruction against inocent people of the free world. How could we stand by and let a mad man murder his own peole who we had encoraged to revolt against him. I imagine that Gen. Swartkoff regrets letting them fly anything let alone hellicopter gun ships.

I wish this could have aired months ago. I support the president 100% in this action against Sadam Hussein and pray that he completes the job this time no mater how long it takes.

Delbert Phelps
florence, or.


Dear FRONTLINE,

Please show the Long Road to War again and again for the next several weeks. Though there are some who chose to take bits and peices of information and try to paint a different picture, I think that if enough people see this documentary it will gain a lot of support for the U.S. around the world. This can only lead to good.

I think the world has too many people who for some crazy reason are satisfied and content at having a gun pointing them in the face, thinking "IT WON'T SHOOT ME!". When I see this I realize that too many people don't understand that the word "GUARD" in guard your freedom, is an action word. Here in the U.S. we have had security for so long that they assume that freedom is a given.

John David
las vegas, nevada


Dear FRONTLINE,

This evening's Frontline Report was consistent with the reputation for provocative perspective and thorough reporting that has long been the standard of this program as a document of contemporary history. Other news services tend to offer an endless parade of random pundits assembled to fill allotted airtime with "news programming".

Every staff member associated with this series has reason to be proud. Keep up the great work.

Roy Edenson
richardson, tx


Dear FRONTLINE,

Your two part program tonight was misleading and unbalanced. How you could have shown clips of Scott Ritter's frustrations with Iraqi co-operations but not even hint at the fact that he is now one of the most outspoken critics of the war and has said on the record in many forums that Iraq presents NO immediate threat and that the earlier inspections resulted in a 90% + destruction of Iraq's weapons - that just 'speaks' volumes against any semblance of objectivity you might have been hoping to achieve.

Over and over again we hear that there is a connection between Sadaam and 9-11 or 'terrorists', yet we never get any proof. Your reports did not even touch on the controversy over this or why it is that the Bush administration has no credibility on this in the court of world opinion. Remove this 'argument' for pre-emptive invasion and the world sees nothing but a naked grab for control of the areas' resources: the 'O' word. . . on everyone's mind except the people who put together your reports. Could it be PBS corporate sponsors including big oil, may not have taken kindly to a discussion of the obvious. . .

george pursley
pinole, ca


Dear FRONTLINE,

I was anti-war with Iraq until I watched the frontline program tonight. It was an eye opener for me in a sense that it gave me the information I needed to know that, although unfortunate, a war may be the ONLY way to get rid of Saddam or else the world might have to face another dictator like Hitler or Estalin!

I do believe that Saddam has been modleing his leadership after Stalin. I am a Middle Eastern myself, an Immigrant to U.S. since 1985. I have lived under dictroship of Shah of Iran and Khomeini and his regime. I was there when Saddam attacked Iran and I know that this man has killed his own people. Saddam is a heartless person, perhaps a psychopath...

So, this program tonight just confirmed what I already knew and like I said I am convinced that the President is doing the right thing. I am also glad to hear that the U.S. government does have a plan to democratize the courntries in Middle East. It's about time!! in the past the U.S. government had always supported the dictators for his own interest, and I think after 9-11 it has opened their eyes that in order to protect the U.S. they need to support democracy! and this is a good news even though it may mean going to war.

east lansing, mi


Dear FRONTLINE,

Thank you for a comprehensive program about Iraq. My opinion is that Paul Wolfowitz is right. We should have listened to him during the first Gulf War. Saddam should have been removed from power. President George W. Bush is right. I disagree with Colin Powell; his diplomacy I regard as weak. France, Russia, and China have supplied Iraq and thus have an economic interest in not going to war, and no interest in preserving our safety. I find that quite appalling.

Let us not forget that it is a solemn duty to defend our country and our people.

Ruth Zabor
cupertino, ca


Dear FRONTLINE,

Thank you for your usual incisive and informative reporting. I

What I find so troubling about our present predicament you clearly explain, and that is how responsible we are for Saddam and will we learn the lessons of our own history with him. Although I would wish for a peaceful resolution to this conflict, I believe the ships of state have sailed right past that safe harbor, and now will take us into much darker waters. I hope that when we have the perspective of time, and whatever will be, is, we will not be looking back with bitter hearts. God bless all our men and women in military service, and God bless the United States.

Michelan Sisti
glendale, ca


Dear FRONTLINE,

Anybody that claims to have an opinion on the war with Iraq issue should watch this program before speaking out. The program showed me how complicated the issue is and how difficult it is to make good political decisions. Thank you for an excellent program.

Roar Berg-Johansen
salem, or


Dear FRONTLINE,

Was not the world told by George H. W. Bush that the reason the allied forces didn't go all the way to Bagdad & get Saddam was it wasn't part of the UN resolution and we would not be able to keep the military coalition together if we pursued Saddam?

Now George W. Bush is following the Paul Wolfowitz doctrine which says we must get Saddam even if we have to go it alone, coalition be damned, and forget how the UN feels. Doesn't this clearly conflict with his father's thinking when ending Desert Storm before getting Saddam?

Hank Schmitz
hemet, california


Dear FRONTLINE,

Thank you. The Long Road to War was thoughful and illuminating. It is very important to witness so many first-person interviews and be able to weigh them together, against the backdrop of events. That really cuts through the rhetoric and the fear that are spread so broadly these days.

Watching your program made me feel like a citizen in a thinking community--an unfortunately rare occurence these days. I understand the war(s) better now and agree with some of the reasons to fight. However, it clearly has little to with Sept 11th and has everything to do with the unfinished business of politics. It is just very sad that Americans and Iraqis who have nothing to do with the legacy of military half steps and selfish political decisions in Washington will be the ones who pay the ultimate price. I hope that we will not turn our backs on the men and women dragged into this mess, once we have stirred it up. If we do that then we will have betrayed rather than liberated.

Kurt Lavenson
oakland, ca


Dear FRONTLINE,

I congratulate you on a excellent,well-balanced, exhaustive summary of the events that have lead us to the eve of war.

It is evident that we can no longer turn a blind eye to the threat that Saddam Hussein poses to the world. It is clear that it was a grave mistake to leave him in power after the Gulf War. Since then he has shrewdly manipulated world opinion in his favor while avidly pursuing a program to develop weapons of mass destruction - all of this at the expense of the Iraqi people's welfare. Enough is enough.

Cherie Singer
lake arrowhead, calif.


Dear FRONTLINE,

Overall, I would say the program tonight reached a level of objectivity not often seen in the media these days.

What shouldn't be underscored (which I think to some degree was in the program) is past U.S. involvement in supporting Saddam. U.S. support of his regime, which included helping him to develop WMD during the war with Iran, is reprehensible. I also believe that the program glazed over the reasons why the U.S. backed down from promises to support internal revolts by the Shiite and Kurds after the Gulf War. Much of this had to do with the fear in the Saudi monarchy of a post Saddam goverment that would be majority Shiite.

Finally, let's not forget about the role of oil in all of this. It is extremely naive to think that this war is really about protecting ordinary Americans, especially when the supposed Iraq connections to anything having to do with 9/11 are terribly tenuous.

Ryan Schenk
baltimore, md


Dear FRONTLINE,

Your frontline progam was for the most part a very balanced account of the last 12 years of policies and actions by three US administrations to contain and disarm Saddam Hussein.

The title of your program, in fact, stands in stark contrast to the anti-war movement who criticize Bush's "rush" to war.

My only complaint is that your program stopped short (sep 12 2002) of recounting the fact that president Bush did indeed go back to UN one more time to obtain, and achieve, another sanction against Iraq only to have the rug pulled out from under him by the security council when it came time to back up words with actions. It's interesting to note that while the security council refused to support one more resolution against Iraq, they never took action to revoke any of the 17 previous resolutions that sanctioned tough action against Saddam.

I pray for the US servicemen and women and those of our allies who must excise this cancer Saddam.

Bill Fruland
colorado springs, co

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