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Leaving Iraq isn't that easy

July 23, 2007

Re "Trapped by Iraq," Opinion, July 19

The future of Iraq depends on many factors. While there has been much written on the failure of planning at the onset of the war, precious little is written or said regarding management of its consequences. Americans will forget how the war began but will long remember how it ended. The Democrats have refused to push their desire for swift withdrawal because they understand this.

Americans never seek defeat, but they are exasperated with this war. They are willing to wash their hands of it, not because it is a losing proposition but because Iraqis seem to be unable or unwilling to help. The only safe course for Democrats is to pin the blame on Iraqis, not President Bush.

JOHN HANDY

San Luis Obispo

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Timothy Garton Ash eloquently states the same words that I have been saying for some years now. The only thing that I would like to add is a quote from Martin Luther King Jr.: "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." You can apply it to this administration as well as Al Qaeda and every other terrorist group in the world today.

PEGGY BASS

Upland

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Ash's obvious conclusion is that Iraq and the world were better off with Saddam Hussein's brutal and murdering dictatorship in charge of Iraq. There is a discouraging voice behind the words that emanate from Ash. I see Iraq as a war within a victory. Hussein has been toppled. This murdering madman defied the entire world community. He was a destabilizing influence in the entire region and always would have been. Ridding the planet of this brutal madman counts as a major victory, in my opinion. There were unintended consequences of the Iraq war. But that is war -- there always are unintended consequences, but they need not lead to defeat. Those willing to stand up for democracy will be better off for it.

Lacking in the Ash analysis is any mention of the global war with Islamic jihad. We must not shrink from this war; our very survival is at stake. Retreating from Iraq would demonstrate a lack of stomach for the global conflict. I say to the Americans who make up the defeatist component of the poll that Ash refers to, remain steadfast in your resolve to see this war won and examine the unintended consequences of a retreat from Iraq.

BOB JACK

North Las Vegas, Nev.

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