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The left was correct in balking at Iraq

April 15, 2006

I appreciate Francis Fukuyama's ability to reevaluate a situation and change his mind on Iraq (Current, April 9). If only our leaders had this ability.

He is wrong, however, to disparage the left for opposing the war on the grounds the case for weapons of mass destruction was false. Ample evidence has come to light showing that the Bush administration knowingly used either trumped-up or outright false intelligence. The arguments about WMD were window-dressing designed to convince Americans that the U.S. was trying to follow United Nations procedure. Fukuyama needs to admit not only that he was wrong, but that the left was right.

AARON PEARL

Long Beach

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It must be therapeutic for Fukuyama to write a book and an article to deal with the horrific outcome of the preemptive attack on Iraq. Still, Fukuyama is reluctant to completely concede how wrong the charge to war was. He states that before the war, there were "competing moral goods" that partly justified supporting the war, supported by the U.N.'s declaration to protect human rights. Fukuyama should alert the people of Darfur, to name but one site of human tragedy, as to when help is coming.

Furthermore, his statement that those who claim to have known before the war that it would be a disaster speak with "retrospective wisdom to which they are not entitled" is another bump in the road along the path to recovery. What he forgets is that in early 2003, the options available were not just whether to preemptively attack or not. The correct choice was continued on-the-ground inspections and pressure from the world. It is a long road to recovery.

ERIC DAAR

Rancho Palos Verdes

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Re "Those ungrateful Iraqis!" Opinion, April 7

Rosa Brook's column is brilliant, ironic and deftly written. A nation-state created about 70 years ago by the British to mask their control of the region's oil, Iraq has no intrinsic raison d'etre. Despotism was the only way to keep its heterogeneous peoples bound together. Saddam Hussein was not an accidental dictator.

However, with ignorance of culture, Americans have destroyed Iraq. How to create a puppet state out of Iraq when there is no state at all and no apparent will among the people of that land to constitute one -- this is the United States' abiding dilemma. It is a well-deserved millstone.

MARC A. LOERA

Inglewood

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