I was looking forward all week to seeing the letters to the editor in the Reader following the very excellent article on Scott Portman [“War: What It’s Good For,” March 7]. The letter by Chris Onser [March 14] is, in my view, typical of many of the antiwar people we’ve been hearing from as of late. In response to the article’s assertion that “Saddam Hussein is torturing and killing his own people,” Onser dismisses this statement as “absurd” without offering any evidence to support why it is “absurd,” although knowledgeable people, Portman included, have witnessed Saddam’s atrocities. Instead Onser, in the very next phrase, attacks George Bush and tries to make him the villain! George Bush has never killed anybody (after all, they couldn’t even hide the DUI ) and Saddam has killed hundreds of thousands. Enough said! I could probably grant that Onser is correct that our motives aren’t purely humanitarian. There are other interests at stake, but these do not invalidate the essential wisdom of getting rid of Saddam. Why doesn’t Onser mention some of the questionable motives of some of the other countries who are resisting the U.S., such as France, which does so much business with Saddam, is owed so much money by him, and continues to support him? Talk about blood for oil! Onser’s letter expresses what I think is true of a great part of the antiwar movement…it’s really about hatred for America. Many of these people (not all of them) have simply had it too good for too long, and do not grasp the magnitude of the sacrifices others before them have made in order to leave a free and great country for future generations of Americans to live in. And while these sacrifices do not justify inhumane and imperialistic wars, or even demand an end to dissent, it would seem that the least the antiwar people could do is deal in factual information and be honest about their motives.

William Preston

N. Sheridan