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Democrats must offer alternatives

January 12, 2007

Re "Democrats united against troop buildup," Jan. 11

The Democrats running Congress are afraid of confronting the president over his escalation in Iraq. It is true they cannot cut off funding for the president's adventure, lest they be accused of abandoning the troops and being soft on terrorism. However, they do not need to settle for a meaningless resolution. There must be numerous projects dear to the president's backers, say tobacco farm subsidies, that could be stripped from the budget until the administration adapts a policy more in line with the will of the people. All it takes is some imagination, but as usual that is in short supply in Washington.

LEE AYDELOTTE

Huntington Beach

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Not surprisingly, the Democratic congressional leadership wasted little time in attacking the president's plan for Iraq. What I find absolutely amazing is that the Democrats offer no alternative for Iraq except to push for immediate troop reductions. Even more amazing is the Democrats' unwillingness to address the reality of what happens if we do walk away from Iraq.

Beyond the collapse of Iraq, other countries in the area would be threatened with increased political instability as homegrown militants and religious radicals would become more aggressive in attempting to overthrow their governments. The true nightmare for the United States on a political, military and economic basis would be a major meltdown of stable governments in the region.

At some point, I hope the Democrats will come to understand that holding leadership responsibility goes beyond taking the political pulse of the public in taking positions and offering solutions on challenging issues. Sadly, the Democratic leadership currently has no grasp of this concept.

BOB FITZGERALD

Laguna Hills

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