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Honoring Pfc. Lynch, and Other Brave Soldiers

November 17, 2003

Was it less than six months ago that Robert Scheer debunked the "heroic" rescue of Pfc. Jessica Lynch (Commentary, May 20), citing the BBC report confirming that the story we were fed was a veritable "Wag the Dog"? This caused a figurative "lynching" of Scheer, including a scathing indictment of him from then-assistant secretary of Defense for public affairs Victoria Clarke (letter, May 26) and media folks like those at Fox News, calling for his firing if not his head.

Surprise, surprise. Scheer did not lie to us; the administration, the military and much of the gung-ho media did. How wonderful to finally hear this beautiful young woman tell her own story in her television interview Wednesday and in "I Am a Soldier, Too" (written with Rick Bragg), with no resemblance to the hype we were subjected to. How wonderful also, to have Scheer, in his review of the Bragg book (Calendar, Nov. 12), giving Jessica honest support and admiration for the courage and bravery she exemplified, while poignantly quoting her saying, "I wish we hadn't been there, none of us" and "I wish it had never happened." Let's support our troops now: Bring them all home.

Marlene Share

Sherman Oaks

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Re "A Vietnam Vet's Message for Iraq War Returnees: Organize," Nov. 13: As a person who does not believe in this war, I have to say that I have never heard of any person opposed to the Iraq war spitting on or expressing personal animosity toward soldiers or veterans. No soldier should be ashamed to wear his or her uniform. They were sent there, and they have to believe what they are told.

The issue for us in the antiwar movement is the exposure of the lies and misinformation cited by the Bush administration as evidence of an imminent threat to national security, as reasoning for the invasion. The inconceivable costs of this war and the daily human toll of American and Iraqi casualties demand our opposition. Veterans' activist Russell Terry is right about the returning Iraq war veterans needing help in fighting for their benefits. When the smoke finally clears from all the rhetoric and flag waving, what emerges is that people are dying every day because of lies and corporate and political motives, and veterans' benefits are being cut.

Laura Fanning

Whittier

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Regarding your Nov. 13 story about Army Pfc. Karina Lau, killed Nov. 2 in Iraq when her helicopter was shot down. She was on her way to a home visit. Datelined Livingston, Calif., the story begins: "This grief-stricken San Joaquin Valley farm town Wednesday added a new name and a new conflict to the old stone memorial that honors its dead sons from two World Wars, Korea and Vietnam."

The key word is "sons." When a nation is reduced to sending its daughters off to war, that nation is sacrificing its future.

Robert Wilkins

Apple Valley

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We could win the war on the ground in Iraq but lose it on the home front here in the U.S. It saddens me to see the letters describing only the negatives of our war in Iraq. Do people believe that Saddam Hussein would not have eventually welcomed Al Qaeda to further his dreams of dominating and controlling the Mideast? He hated us for thwarting his plans by stopping him in Kuwait. It took courage, action and, sadly, lives to stop him.

James P. Kite

Studio City

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