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A faulty comparison between Afghanistan and World War II

To the editor: For Max Boot to compare the ceremony to "end" the war in Afghanistan to Franklin Roosevelt declaring World War II over after the liberation of France in 1944 is a pathetic deception. ("Rebrand it however you want, but Afghanistan is still at war," Op-Ed, Nov. 29)

We were attacked by Japanese warplanes and German U-boats prior to their declarations of war. From then on the ruling principle was total and unconditional surrender, and almost every one of us who lived through that war knew it and approved.

Boot would have us stay in Afghanistan 13 more years to fight a war that will never be won on the battlefield. There are no ideal solutions when dealing with pure evil, but I prefer President Obama's methods to those of a hawk like Boot.

Bob Murtha, Santa Maria

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To the editor: Boot complains that "the 'end' of our war effort imperils the Afghans' ability to control their country." Yet Charles Freeman, ambassador to Saudi Arabia under George H.W. Bush, said:

"We invaded not Iraq but the Iraq of our dreams, a country that didn't exist, that we didn't understand. And it is therefore not surprising that we knocked the kaleidoscope into a new pattern that we find surprising. The ignorant are always surprised."

The same can be said about Afghanistan. Our ability to influence the desires and actions of other countries has its limits.

George C. Shahinian, Huntington Beach

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To the editor: Boot compares the drawdown in Afghanistan to ending World War II too early. Boot needs to bear in mind that World War II lasted less than four years for the U.S., whereas the war in Afghanistan has gone on for more than 13.

As the great Kenny Rogers said, "You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em." The time has come to fold 'em.

Dan Gilvezan, Sherman Oaks

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