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Do liberals have a war strategy?

Re “Can you believe that they believe that?” Column, Aug. 20

Jonathan Chait seems horrified that Republicans believe their stereotype of the liberal approach to the war on terror. But, per the U.S. Army’s new field manual on counterinsurgency warfare, the stereotypical liberal approach is the right approach: “Successful ... operations require soldiers and Marines at every echelon to possess

Meanwhile, for lack of an understanding of the Iraqi culture, President Bush still doesn’t see that democracy in that 60% Shiite nation means Shiite dominance and an alliance with Iran. Wars go so much better when you understand your enemy.

TOM PAYNE

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Riverside

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Although I agree that Americans (not just Republicans) are getting the message that Democrats are not security conscious and do not have specific plans for fighting terrorism, the fault lies not just with Republican cluelessness. If Democrats are being perceived as not having an antiterror agenda, of being soft on terrorism, it is the Democrats’ own fault.

Yes, they do lack power and platform, but whenever they do command the public forum, be it on TV or especially progressive talk-radio stations, the emphasis is constantly being placed on how wrong it was for us to go to war in Iraq in the first place. If I hear one more time about how the Bush administration “cherry-picked intelligence,” “lied about WMD in Iraq” and “falsely linked Iraq with Al Qaeda” to lead us to war, I believe I will scream.

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Yes, all these things are true, but let history render the criticism. Instead of endlessly reiterating the Bush administration’s faulty basis for the war in Iraq whenever they have the spotlight, Democrats and liberals need to focus on specific recommendations in a clear, forceful way. They have spent three years whining about spilled milk. Now they’ve got to suck it up and move on.

LAVINIA WOHLFERT

Riverside


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