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Fog of war fosters different perspectives

October 13, 2005

Re "A Central Pillar of Iraq Policy Crumbling," Oct. 9

This article assumes there is a unified insurgency and that it is somehow directly connected to Sunni political participation. In fact, there are various faces of the insurgency in Iraq, including that of the Islamists with Abu Musab Zarqawi. Meanwhile, Iraqi Sunnis in a larger sense realize that they have to participate to make progress within their country. The real fight will be between the Sunni tribal structure and the Islamists.

Some tribes are beginning to realize this and are creating coalitions against Islamists.

Even if democracy succeeds in Iraq, there is a violent and potent part of the insurgency that abhors and attacks this very process, and it can only be defeated by those closest to it -- the Sunnis who are also anti-coalition but realize the fight hurts them.

GREG D. ROWE

Centreville, Va.

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Re "My brother, the warrior, died for ... ?" Opinion, Oct. 9

My only thoughts are "Duh" when I think of the families losing their loved ones in the same or similar scenarios as Paul Vandeventer. In view of so much of what is happening in our political environs, America must question who is minding the store and concretely demand change. Many have questioned for some time, but it is time to come out strongly and insist on prioritizing our homeland first and foremost. The problems accumulating domestically confound and arrestingly disturb sensible minds.

RONALD L. WALLACE

Sherman Oaks

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I'm very curious as to how the Oct. 11 letter writer arrived at the conclusion that the majority of Iraqis want the U.S. out. I served for two tours in Iraq and two in Afghanistan. I can state unequivocally that 90% to 95% of all Iraqis and Afghanis with whom I came into contact were, and are, extremely appreciative for what the U.S. has done for them and for the sacrifices we have made for them.

I will shortly be returning for a third tour in Iraq, and I will go armed with the conviction that America is doing the right thing, that our efforts are helping Iraq and the Iraqi people and that our efforts are appreciated.

LT. COL. DAVID M. MCCARTHY

Marine Corps Reserve

Culver City

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