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Leaving Iraq is complicated

July 19, 2007

Re "Pullout proposal lacking a Plan B," July 18

No Plan B? It's been there all the time. The war hawks justified our Iraq invasion on United Nations resolutions -- even though few U.N. members support the Bush war. Neoconservatives say we have to stay there to prevent a bloodbath, as though there isn't one already. Solution? Tell the U.N. to send its own peacekeepers, that we've endured the burden far too long. Give the U.N. no more time to take peacekeeping responsibility than it takes to rapidly remove every last American from that beleaguered land.

Offer a Marshall Plan for reconstruction. That would be cheaper than spending another half-trillion to continue destroying Iraq. If it makes President Bush happy, let Halliburton profit from the reconstruction. At least our kids wouldn't be dying there in a futile and pointless war.

RALPH SHAFFER

Pomona

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A National Intelligence Estimate reported that a troop withdrawal would draw neighboring nations into Iraq, causing massive civilian casualties and displacement. Also, the bipartisan Iraq Study Group reported that a premature withdrawal would lead to "greater human suffering, regional destabilization and a threat to the global economy."

Still, most Democrats seem to brush that aside. Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) flippantly said, "I am convinced based on everything I have read it won't be a hell of a lot worse than it is now." Murtha must be reading papers like The Times, which basically support defeat in Iraq. Osama bin Laden has said that a little discomfort and pain causes the great U.S. military to withdraw. I hope Bush sticks to his guns.

RUSS MEEHAN

Agua Dulce

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The article's subhead reads, "Those who want troops out of Iraq acknowledge that sectarian violence will likely follow." You think? Too bad that in 2003, The Times and virtually every other media outlet in the U.S. didn't pay attention to those of us who the Bushies derided as "not knowing history."

Sectarian violence was always going to be and will remain a result of Bush's invasion. But it won't be the worst result. That would be a revitalized, stronger and more dangerous Al Qaeda. Thanks, President Bush, and thanks to all your friends in the media.

KEVIN TURLEY

Valley Glen

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