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Chaotic, Deadly Day for Charlie Company

August 29, 2003

Re "A Deadly Day for Charlie Company," Aug. 26: I last wore the uniform nearly 40 years ago, but I got really mad when I read the poignant story told by the guys who survived the first few days in Iraq, about what President Bush, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, et al, are doing to my Marine Corps. They not only lied to us about the real reason for invading Iraq; they tried to do it on the cheap. No armor for the "tracks." Fuel-short tanks diverted on a rescue mission. Weak batteries. Lousy communications. Pictures of 18 good Marines killed -- for what?

In the same edition, it is reported that some people think that [former Vermont Gov.] Howard Dean can't beat George W. Bush because Dean spoke out early and often that the invasion of Iraq was the wrong war at the wrong time. I fail to see how any reasonable person can read about Charlie Company, think about the troops who are dying in Iraq every day and still conclude that Dean is wrong.

Mike Lawrence

San Diego

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Kudos to Rich Connell and Robert J. Lopez for a realistic and touching report of the March 23 battle at Nasiryah, Iraq, in which Charlie Company of the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, lost 18 brave young men. Although Bush may be aware of the U.S. Central Command's investigation of the "friendly fire" episode, it is doubtful that he knows any other details of the battle. To me, reading the entire report was heartbreaking.

Bush's advisors should be required to read this report, then strongly advise Bush to also read it in its entirety. This might make him belatedly see one of the early signs of the fallacy of this war, which from the start should have been labeled "Bush's Folly." Might this have been a harbinger of things to come?

George Palacio

Carson

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Re Charlie Company: These enlisted men's integrity, honor, devotion to duty, leadership and concern for their buddies exemplify the young men who are willing to stand up and be counted when the need arises. These Marines speak for those before them in all the Charlie Companies in all the wars, as we as citizens are asked to endure.

My hope is that these brave men's actions will be remembered as an example of why we as a country must find other ways to bring peace to all.

Harold Wilcox

Charlie Company

USMC, WWII

Long Beach

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