Somewhat disappointed

Posted: Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Forgive my delay, but I wanted to respond to a comment by Juneau peace activist Judith Maier (Empire, Feb. 14) who suggested she was ignored by her congressional delegation and felt that she did not have a means to voice to elected officials her opposition to the potential conflict with Iraq.

I was somewhat disappointed by that comment because I personally met with Ms. Maier in Washington, D.C., and listened intently to her concerns about the Middle East. She also presented me with a copy of a petition signed by other Alaskans. While it is true that the entire Alaska congressional delegation has been unable to coordinate their schedules to participate in a teleconference with her, both I and my staff in Juneau, Anchorage and Washington have spoken to her and many other Alaskans about their concerns.

While I happen to believe the world community should stand up and require Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to comply with numerous United Nations resolutions - following his unprovoked invasion of Kuwait in 1990 - and fully dismantle his weapons of mass destruction, I understand the concern over the potential consequences of such actions.

I believe for the peace of the Middle East and to help the fight against international terrorism that Saddam must truly live up to his commitments and fully dismantle his offensive weapons - weapons he has already used against the Kurdish minority of his own country. But I clearly have not shied away from receiving the views of those who might disagree.

Lisa Murkowski

U.S. senator

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