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Sizing up the new strategy on Iraq

January 12, 2007

Re "Bush commits 21,500 more troops," Jan. 11

The old strategy was to send money and troops to Iraq to secure a new democracy there. The new strategy is to send more money and troops to Iraq ... to do what, again?

President Bush, if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten: failure.

Your handpicked politicos in Iraq and Vice President Dick Cheney's no-bid buddies are all rich enough. Bring the troops home.

JIM KELLY

Silver City, N.M.

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Bush would have us believe that we were attacked on 9/11 by Al Qaeda terrorists who found haven in Afghanistan, after which we retaliated against them there and they sought haven in Iraq. He says we now must fight them in Iraq, the center of the war on terror, to prevent them from attacking us again on our own soil.

Does Bush really think anyone will still fall for this? Al Qaeda represents a tiny minority of the Iraqi insurgency, but the president is still trying to tie Iraq and this war to 9/11. This is not a war on terror; it is a war on the people of Iraq who simply want us to end the occupation of their country.

MICHAEL CHILDERS

Westminster

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"Surge" replaces "escalation," a word that brings painful but appropriate memories of the Vietnam War.

As an opponent of Bush's ill-conceived invasion of Iraq, I would suggest that "splurge" is a more apt description, as he will surely spend yet more money and lives, which our country cannot possibly afford.

I also would suggest that the word "surge" does not by itself portray the winning policy Bush desperately needs. The winning combo is, "Surge, purge and merge." Surge with additional troops. Purge the country of insurgents and militias. Merge the warring factions into one unified government.

Bingo! Forget understanding complex ethnic, religious and national issues. It is so much easier to go in with a nice catchy slogan.

MARK JOHNSON

Vista, Calif.

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Bush owned up to several devastating things in his speech Wednesday. He admitted that he has made mistakes in Iraq, that we are on the verge of a terrible disaster there and that the responsibility for all of this lies with him.

Given the terrible consequences of these mistakes and his acknowledged responsibility for them, shouldn't he do the morally proper thing and resign?

JOHN CRAWFORD

Sierra Madre

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I have a plan for Iraq. Don't send any more troops. Bring Iraqi soldiers to the United States for training. They will feel safe and see how to be soldiers. Have intense training in the military for three months. Use our great propaganda influence to show how peace can work between Shiites and Sunnis. You start with 2,000 Iraqi men. At the end of the training, send them home to Iraq and bring back 1,000 U.S. soldiers.

LILLIAN JENKINS

Culver City

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If Bush would pick up a sword and, like Napoleon, Julius Caesar and Teddy Roosevelt, personally lead the surge, I would embrace his brave plan.

SID FLEISCHMAN

Santa Monica

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Four words: too little, too late.

LOUIS TRIPODES

Pasadena

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