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Why Are GIs Dying for a Land Where They're Hated?

November 26, 2003

Re "Iraq's Model City Starts to Get Ugly," Nov. 24: I read with great interest the remarks made by two U.S. Army spokesmen trying to maintain order in the Mosul area of Iraq. "They don't understand being nice," said one. "We spent so long here working with kid gloves, but the average Iraqi guy will tell you, 'The only thing people respect here is violence ... that's the culture.' Nice guys do finish last here." Exactly. Which explains why U.S. troop morale is so low. They aren't allowed to do the job. The U.S. Army is fighting this war on politically correct terms. The enemy is fighting on its own cultural terms.

"All these guys we rounded up, they're saying in the interrogation, if we don't torture them, we're not going to get the information," another soldier said. He also stated that Iraqi security officials have told him the same thing: "If you don't rough these guys up, you're not going to get the information you need." The solution is simple. Turn the suspects over to Iraqi security forces. They will guarantee results. Or your money back.

Joseph A. Lea

Mission Viejo

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According to published reports, Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt refused to tell us how two soldiers died in Mosul because he would not "get ghoulish." But would it be "ghoulish" to give us the truth about the dangers our soldiers face, information needed to help us decide whether President Bush's anti-U.N., unilateral attempt to make Iraq into a secular democracy is worth what it will cost us in both men and money? Moreover, concealment of the truth denies our brave soldiers the admiration and respect they would receive if the horrors they face were honestly disclosed.

Richard E. Tuttle

Mokelumne Hill, Calif.

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As I sadly read the latest reports about Americans being so savagely murdered in Iraq, I ask myself why are we fighting to give a people democracy who seem to hate us so much, who drag Americans from cars and murder them, who shoot our helicopters out of the sky and who blow our trucks up on the streets and roads in Iraq? Are we out of our minds?

If the Iraqi people wanted democracy so much, would they not be in the streets fighting for us against terrorists who are constantly lining us up in their sights?

If the Iraqi people don't want us there, then what are we dying there for?

Ken Harrell

Marina del Rey

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After seeing your photo of the donkey-cart rocket launcher in Baghdad (Nov. 22), I wondered if we would be more secure if we spent our money on a donkey-cart defense system rather than the more expensive "Star Wars" antimissile defense system.

Richard H. Smith

Cerritos

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