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Division Could Bring Stability to Iraq

August 08, 2003

Re "Democracy in Iraq? It's a Fairy Tale," Commentary, Aug. 5: I read with great interest the cogent commentary by Edward N. Luttwak concerning the impossibility of creating democracy in Iraq. Luttwak believes such a task cannot be achieved in 60 years.

His salient observation is that the educated Iraqi elite may embrace democracy in theory but will fiercely oppose it in practice. Why? Because of the three main demographic components in Iraq: Shiites in the south, Sunnis in the middle, Kurds in the north. Three separate entities. None wishes to be ruled by the other.

What Luttwak and others overlook is the obvious solution. Why keep Iraq intact? After the fall of the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires in 1918, the face of Europe and the Middle East changed significantly. Why not do the same after the fall of Saddam Hussein's Iraq? Give the north to the Kurds. The central geographic region goes to the dominant Sunni population. Give the south to the Shiite population. What form of government each wishes to have becomes their responsibility. Maybe the simplest solutions are sometimes the hardest to see.

Joseph A. Lea

Mission Viejo


Maybe the troops are not frightened by the sporadic attacks against them -- "total casualties remain too small for that" -- but we parents and grandparents are scared to death. If Luttwak would but look at the photo of Kim Hitzges (front page, Aug. 2) he would know that even one death in this Godforsaken quest for the weapons of mass destruction and the Iraqi-Al Qaeda ties is too much. The American flag from her son's coffin, Sgt. Chad Keith, is no consolation whatsoever.

Robert R. Silvers

Palm Springs


What a shame. After reading "Saving What Hussein Destroyed" (Aug. 5), about the efforts of an American couple to restore the Iraqi wetlands ruined by Hussein, I thought for sure it would be a propaganda coup for our side when Iraqis heard the news. But now I read "U.S.-Backed Iraqi TV's Chief Quits" (Aug. 6), due to inadequate funding, and that his station can't compete with anti-coalition networks.

Good public relations is more effective and cheaper than armed forces. I guess our government disagrees.

Kurt Sipolski

Palm Desert


It's nice that President Bush can go home for a vacation. It would be even better if our troops in Iraq could do the same thing.

Ron Salmons

Pacific Palisades

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