More American Deaths in Iraq: For What?
Re “Missile Downs U.S. Copter in Iraq, Killing 16 Soldiers,” Nov. 3: It’s time to get out of Iraq, today. This war isn’t worth the death of another American citizen. Sixteen more young Americans killed on Sunday in the downing of the Chinook helicopter, and President Bush and his administration don’t even know exactly who the enemy is. I see another Vietnam written all over this war, and the U.S. will be forced out.
Let part of the $87 billion in Iraq funds go toward rebuilding the ravaged fire areas in Southern California -- helping Americans who need it -- and the remainder go to helping the states out of their debt situation caused by the Bush administration. American dollars should be spent on American needs.
The administration is loath to see any parallel between the developments in Iraq and those that evolved in Vietnam. Recalling that the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan has often been attributed to the use of CIA-supplied shoulder-launched, surface-to-air missiles against their helicopters, perhaps the administration would find that ironic example a more instructive paradigm.
Re “Challenging Bush’s Scorekeeping System for Iraq,” by James Traub, Commentary, Nov. 3: One of the most prominent features of the Bush administration’s case for going to war has been its evasiveness. We’ve been given several different reasons for going to war: violation of United Nations sanctions, alleged weapons of mass destruction, alleged connections to terrorists, bringing peace to the region and freeing the Iraqi people. When any one of these was revealed as insufficient or unfounded, the administration simply retreated to the next, a musical chairs of bad reasons rather than an honest look at the whole package.
It was clear before the war that the administration’s strongest arguments -- those regarding U.S. national security -- were dubious. Now that every passing week makes this even clearer, we tend to hear more about the good we’re doing for the Iraqis, as if this war were just a mission of charity. I am grateful to Traub for insisting that we take a broader view when assessing the success of this war.
Re “Less Bravado, More Frank Talk,” news analysis, Nov. 3: Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz’s absurd assertion that election campaign debate about the war “sends a very unsettling message to Iraqis that our elections might decide their future” sends the even more unsettling message to Americans that these neoconservative hawks are, once again, utterly clueless. Not that we needed reminding. If they were truly trying to bring Iraqis into the age of democratic enlightenment, you’d think Wolfowitz would be praising America’s example of the free exchange of ideas, not expressing disdain for it. We can only hope that our elections decide the future of this misguided administration.
With “And on the sixth day, God created the Democratic presidential candidate ...” (editorial cartoon, Commentary, Nov. 2), Michael Ramirez outdid himself and summed up the entire right-wing mantra in a single cartoon: “The Bush administration is God. Shut up and obey!”
It’s no wonder the rest of the world thinks America has gone insane. If Ramirez thinks dissent is such a bad thing, he might be happier in Cuba or North Korea -- it’s prohibited there.