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Debate on Iraq Should Transcend Partisanship

November 11, 2003

David Gelernter's "Don't Quit as We Did in Vietnam" (Opinion, Nov. 9) is a slap in the face of U.S. Vietnam War veterans living and dead. I'm one of them, having served with the U.S. Marines in the former Republic of South Vietnam from December 1966 to March 1968. There are many Vietnam War veterans like myself who believe the U.S. military should never have been in Vietnam in the first place.

We risked our lives and survived. That in itself gives us the right to say the Vietnam War, as waged by the U.S. military, was morally and ethically wrong. It also gives us the right to say to the Bush administration: Bring U.S. troops home from Iraq now, and turn over peacekeeping operations to the United Nations.

Herman E. Seiser

Los Angeles

*

Gelernter may be sorry he marched against the war in Vietnam, but I marched against it and I am most definitely not sorry. The "noisy

Gelernter's memory of how President Bush sold us on the war in Iraq appears to be a little hazy also. The American public would never have supported the war if the main reason given for it was regime change. It was the weapons of mass destruction that sold the war -- the weapons that appear not to exist.

Iraq is better off without Saddam Hussein, but couldn't we have found another way besides war? Can we never find another way besides war? I think civilization depends on it.

Betsy Estrada

Mission Viejo

*

Two excellent pieces, by Gelernter and Nicholas Goldberg ("Place the Fate of Iraq Above U.S. Politics," Opinion, Nov. 9). It is possible, though seemingly unlikely, for intelligent debate on the wisdom and methodology of military intervention in Iraq. Much, if not most, of current opinion stems from either attack or defense of the current administration. Partisan political utterances are without value and only obscure the essential issues. These two essays are a step toward understanding the big picture.

Ken Gates

Ventura

*

My reaction after reading the Goldberg-Gelernter articles: Move over, Rush Limbaugh, you've got some wannabe company.

Willard Hanzlik

Seal Beach

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