The Editor

The West Australian

Dear Sir or Madame

If ever there was a symbol of a great nation in decline it was your headline and picture ('Shoot to kill', 3/9). It shows an administration so physically and psychologically enmeshed in war outside its shores that it can't rescue its own citizens.

I have to wonder what might have happened if the same time, effort and resources had gone into planning for natural disasters at home as goes into creating unnatural disasters overseas.

It brings to mind the fall of the Roman Empire.

Yours faithfully

Gabrielle Dean, Yangebup

6th September 2005