Why does Richard Cohen {op-ed, Sept. 7} refer to U.S. military action in Panama as an "invasion" rather than using some less pejorative term like "intervention"? This journalistic practice gives aid and comfort to Saddam Hussein and his apologists, who compare Iraq's "invasion" of Kuwait to the U.S. actions in Panama.

Several factors show that U.S. forces did not "invade" Panama: 1) in May 1989 Panama held democratic elections in which government leaders were chosen, and Gen. Noriega was ousted from power; 2) Noriega extralegally set the election results aside; 3) simultaneously with the arrival of the U.S. forces, the legitimate government leaders took the oath of office and invited the U.S. forces to continue action on Panamanian soil; and 4) the legitimacy of the democratically elected government subsequently was recognized by the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States.

If it had been proper journalistic practice in 1945, any more than it is today, to describe as an "invasion" an entry upon foreign soil by a nation that is pursuing its legitimate self-defense, then your paper would have had to have termed as an "invasion" the entry of U.S. and Allied troops upon German soil during the final months of World War II. -- Karl S. Landstrom