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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Sen. Kennedy's Call for a Phased Pullout

January 31, 2005

Re "Kennedy Calls for a Phased Withdrawal From Iraq," Jan. 28: Using Sen. Edward Kennedy's (D-Mass.) rules for engagement in Iraq, we never would have fought against Hitler in World War II. The United States was never directly attacked by the Wehrmacht, just as it was never directly attacked by Iraq.

Now, in a recent speech at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, Kennedy says he wants to begin a pullout from Iraq before our mission is completed, sort of like stopping the Allies' advance into Germany at the Rhine. How can freedom and democracy flourish under Kennedy's desire to get out at any cost?

Ken C. Arnold

Santa Monica

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Re your Jan. 27 editorial, "Which Way Out?": The key phrase that I noticed was "U.S. officials say American troops will stay until Iraq can protect itself." I wonder who these U.S. officials are and who they think Iraq needs protecting from. Turkey? Iran? Syria? Israel? The American occupiers? What we Americans have done to Iraq is shameful, even criminal, and we really should stop doing it.

In my opinion, our work over there is done. Sen. Kennedy recently proposed, "We need a new plan that sets fair and realistic goals for self-government in Iraq, and works with the Iraqi government on a specific timetable for the honorable homecoming of our forces." In other words, bring the troops home -- now!

Edward Tripp

Santa Cruz

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There seems to be a great deal of consternation about the administration not having a clear exit strategy. I think the public is not seeing the forest for the trees. The neocon strategy is to not exit. The United States now has what it has never had before: a strong military presence in an Arab country, and one next door to Iran. Previously, we had to rely upon the largess of Turkey, which we now know cannot be counted upon, and certainly not while it seeks admission to the European Union.

So, having reelected the Bush administration, accept that we are not leaving Iraq for many years, at least "four more years."

Bruce N. Miller

Venice

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I'm having difficulty understanding the budget-busting requests for more funds to destroy/rebuild Iraq. Weren't we promised by the Bush administration that gushing Iraqi oil revenues would pay for this?

Stephen C. Lee

La Habra

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