Re "Afghanistan war nears 'tipping point,' " Dec. 9
Your excellent article brings home an obvious point: We are in the process of losing two wars, not just Iraq. We have many more troops in Iraq, yet it was the guys in Afghanistan who really attacked us on 9/11. We should transfer most of the troops from Iraq to Afghanistan.
What will happen in Iraq will be the same whether we pull out now or later. Staying in Iraq at this point is mainly to save face for the neocons, who hope that if somebody else pulls out after 2008, the blame for the mess can be shifted to the new administration for not staying the course. In contrast, it's important to really build a nation in Afghanistan.
DONALD S. BURNETT
Americans and Westerners will be hated and targeted as long as their presence is felt in Afghanistan. They'll also be hated if they leave. Instead of trying to establish democracy, why don't we show them some tangible Western values?
I propose we buy every insurgent, Taliban fighter, militant Islamist and freedom fighter a Barcalounger, satellite television and central heating and air conditioning. That should take the fire out of their bellies. Terrorist training in the searing heat or bitter cold would lose its appeal to those squirreled away under a toasty blanket watching the latest Hollywood blockbuster.