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Iraq Is Not Post-WWII Germany

August 12, 2003

Re "Rice Likens Iraq to Postwar Germany," Aug. 8: While I have great respect for national security advisor Condoleezza Rice, she is completely out of sync when using post-World War II Germany to predict the outcome of our occupation of Iraq. According to your article, Rice said that "postwar Germany had been as messy as postwar Iraq, and yet Germany eventually became the 'linchpin' of a fully democratic Europe." Rice went on to say that we faced so-called werewolves, Nazi remnants who attacked Allied troops and engaged in sabotage, "much like today's Baathist and Fedayeen remnants" in Iraq.

I was a Counter Intelligence Corps officer during the occupation of Germany. Sender Werewolf (radio station Werewolf) did try to broadcast all kinds of exhortations to attack Americans, who they claimed were raping their women and children and killing civilians. But it wasn't very long before we rounded up the Werewolf announcers and put the transmitter out of business. As to serious attacks on our troops, there were sporadic attempts to harm our men, but we caught the perpetrators in short order.

Yes, we used informants to help us catch war criminals and Nazis who qualified for incarceration. Much information was given to us voluntarily by the disillusioned Germans.

Albert G. Silverton

Upland

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No! Postwar Iraq is not analogous to postwar Germany.

Germany had a homogenous society that had a substantially democratic form of government (before Hitler). Iraq didn't exist until the British drew arbitrary lines in the sand to create it, without regard for the disparate, distinct tribes whose history -- and legacy -- is tribal wars and, often, a nomadic, theocratic culture.

The absence of this fundamental understanding of the people and history of the region has led this administration on a path of destruction and self-destruction. President Bush and company need to read a few history books.

Stephany Yablow

North Hollywood

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