Scott Portman gives moving, though unsurprising, personal testimony regarding Saddam Hussein’s well-known genocidal actions toward Iraqi Kurds [“War: What It’s Good For,” March 7]. As in the best Reader cover stories, this firsthand detail provides an alternative to common knowledge which manages to be progressive without toeing any party lines. Still, I see little connection between his focused, informed analysis and the shifting and conflicting rationales and proposals which have come out of Washington in the last few months, other than that neither of them contain convincing assessments of the spillover effects of an invasion, and both suggest that moral obligation trumps this uncertainty. While better argued, I find little more justification in Mr. Portman’s preemptive politics than in Mr. Bush’s.

Bill Colson

Morgan Park