August 13, 2006
Re "It's time to get radical," Opinion, Aug. 9 I am a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who served twice in Vietnam, during the troop buildup and the drawdown. The war in Vietnam is similar to the war in Iraq. Max Boot seems to think that more troops will bring an end to the Iraq war. President Johnson thought the same incorrect way. When I went to Vietnam in 1965 we had about 35,000 U.S. troops there and we ended up with about 500,000 and still lost the war. CHARLES R. MCNAUGHTON Calvary, Ga. Let's face it, U.S. prestige has already been deeply wounded in the world community.
November 27, 2006
Re "As an ally, we're our own worst enemy," Opinion, Nov. 22 Max Boot's argument that Iraqis are unwilling to fight for the U.S.-backed government because of our history of abandoning friends is a ludicrous misinterpretation. He falsely states that we did nothing about the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia and Poland. The truth is that we started selling arms. Boot is wrong on Vietnam. We lost that conflict when we stabbed Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh (our World War II ally) in the back and supported France's efforts to recolonize Indochina.
June 26, 2005
Re "Why the Rebels Will Lose," Commentary, June 23: Max Boot concedes that pacifying Iraq will be "a long, hard slog," but counsels "patience." There's light at the end of the tunnel. As Defense Secretary Robert McNamara said of Vietnam in 1963, all the indicators are that we're winning. Comfortably ensconced in his office, Boot may have patience to spare, but the real story is that the U.S. is running out of troops. Even Boot knows this -- why else would he propose hiring mercenaries and making them citizens (June 16)
September 15, 2006
Re "No substitute for democracy," Opinion, Sept. 13 Max Boot, neoconservatives and many Republicans don't seem to understand that democracy unto itself is nothing but mob rule. The Shiites in Iraq, however, understand this all too well, and they see their chance to exact revenge upon the Sunnis, align themselves with Iran and ultimately establish a theocracy in Iraq like Iran already has. If the end result of the Bush administration's effort in Iraq is two of the world's largest sources of oil being controlled by Shiite theocracies, it will be a political failure on a historic scale.
February 18, 2007
Re "The louse that roared," Opinion, Feb. 14 In contrast to Max Boot's nastiness, Russian President Vladimir V. Putin's speech in Munich offered an invitation to non-confrontationally think in what will hopefully be a worldwide debate about the roles of various countries in this young century. The speech was an appeal for a world in which different interests work together on global issues. It was not a threat but rather an exploration into why Russia feels threatened by the recent moves of certain countries.
July 10, 2006
Re "Our enemies aren't drinking lattes," Opinion, July 5 Max Boot paints a distorted image of life for U.S. soldiers in Iraq. Far from dormitory-style housing, a containerized housing unit is 160 square feet, with two or more soldiers sharing a unit. While we do have good gym facilities, exercise is needed to maintain sanity and fitness when we're confined to a one-square mile or smaller base. The food is pretty good, but the menus rarely change and repeat every few days. The fast-food restaurants are located in trailers and are on only the largest bases.
August 2, 2004
Re "Deep Down, They Love the Guy," Commentary, July 29: Max Boot may be right that we liberals have all been made exquisitely wealthy by the Bush years, but he inadvertently makes a convincing pitch for divided government. As he says, governing should involve compromises and trade-offs that Republicans, controlling all branches of government, have had precious little need of. Bringing a little balance to our government this November would give the people the benefits of division, liberals a taste of the access they crave while preserving the fun of protest, and Boot some of the prosperity he seems to assume we've been hoarding the last four years.
March 26, 2006
Re "No shortcuts," Opinion, March 22 Max Boot is wrong. We cannot win this war. No matter how much patience we have, we cannot "outlast [those] who want to drive us out." He suggests more troops be sent, "perhaps another division or two." That was one of our continual mistakes in Vietnam: It was unwinnable, and we kept increasing the troop strength. There is no scenario in which continued military occupation will yield results that we will like. When we leave, Iraq will be a disaster, whether it's this month, next year or in 20 years.
November 2, 2003
OK, so let me get this straight. The U.S. is experiencing increased hostilities and a higher body count because our mission in Iraq is so successful. Well, I guess everyone in the U.S. will be thrilled to witness an increase in attacks on and killings of U.S. soldiers, Iraqi civilians and United Nations and volunteer personnel as a sign of our continued success in the reconstruction and democratization of Iraq. I think the political spin doctors and George W. Bush had better take a second look at this brainteaser.
January 20, 2007
Re "No better idea," Opinion, Jan. 17 Perhaps the silliest part of Max Boot's ridiculous argument is that he thinks the president's new strategy in Iraq is either new or a strategy at all. We have previously had more troops in the country than the surge will put there this year. Simply overstretching our armed forces will do nothing to help the situation as long as we keep ignoring the fact that the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has no legitimacy or power with its own people.