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Iraq Situation Begins to Resemble Vietnam

June 27, 2003

Re "Fears of Iraqi Warfare Grow as 6 Britons Die," June 25: After a brilliant military campaign, we find ourselves in an Iraqi quagmire. Formation of a successor government lags. The Iraqi infrastructure is a shambles. Each day guerrilla warfare escalates and precious American and British lives are lost. Our present situation raises questions about the planning that was done before the button was pushed to go to war.

Shouldn't we have realized that demographics would be overwhelmingly against us: that in a nation of over 20 million there would be many, many Baath Party activists determined to expel us? Are we surprised that they now attack us and that we find ourselves vulnerable to these attacks? Is history about to repeat itself? Remember the Viet Cong?

Larry Kaufman

Los Angeles

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It is time we pulled out of Iraq. The reason is the same reason that we should have pulled out of Vietnam much earlier than we did: We have lost the hearts and minds of the citizens. If we pull out now we can be seen as liberators who gave the country back to the people. All we have to do is announce that the U.N. will conduct an impartial election in 60 days and that we will withdraw immediately thereafter. As it is now, we are transforming from liberators into imperialists. Even worse, the resistance is transforming from terrorists to freedom fighters. The wise thing to do is withdraw before the transformation is complete.

Robert Ericson

Concord, Calif.

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Re "U.S. Troops Crossed Syrian Border in Hunt for Hussein," June 24: Has Congress approved a war with Syria? No? Then why did our troops cross its border? Hunting for Saddam Hussein is a weak excuse. The Bush administration and its actions are a constant threat to our Constitution, and I am increasingly frustrated that the Democrats are not even attempting to stop these abuses. The balance of power in this country is very off-kilter, with President Bush acting like a dictator. Wake up, Democrats, before it is too late.

Joanne Abney

Northridge

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Our troops pursue a group of suspected vehicles into Syria. They bomb and kill unknown and unidentified people, including Syrian border guards. Now we are going to use DNA to determine if we killed the right people. Another example of the Bush administration's "the end justifies the means" philosophy.

Don Shaw

Los Angeles

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