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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Bush's Iraq Fantasy Is a Nightmare for the U.S.

September 04, 2004

Re "Sovereign Iraq Just as Deadly to U.S. Forces," Aug. 31: We conquered Baghdad, crowing "mission accomplished," and they kept on killing us. We captured Saddam Hussein, put him on display, and they kept on killing us. We handed over power to a friendly regime, and they keep on killing us.

Our troops are dying two a day, nearly 1,000 in total, and for what? A war based on lies and imaginary threats. Yet we still don't get it; they don't want us occupying their country.

How many more years of two a day, never mind the thousands and thousands of Iraqi civilians killed, are we willing to accept for President Bush's fantasy of being "a war president"?

Tim Paine

North Hollywood

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Re "Military Must Squarely Face New 'My Lai,' " Commentary, Aug. 31: Andrew Bacevich uses his article to say, in effect, that former secretaries of Defense James Schlesinger and Harold Brown are somehow dishonest shills for the military in their report on the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, and in one breathtaking sentence claims, without any supporting data, that beyond that disgrace there has been an "erosion of soldierly standards in the U.S. armed forces." This is indecent.

Our armed services are made up of volunteers; they choose to stand between us and those who seek to harm us. Military leaders, and historians, tell us this is the most professional, competent army ever assembled. Bacevich offered no evidence to support his charge. This smear is not worthy of even The Times.

Kent Schmidt

La Canada

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