Bush’s strategy: casualty of war?
Re “Bush Open to Shift in Iraq War ‘Tactics,’ ” Oct. 21
President Bush asserts that the goals haven’t changed in Iraq but that tactics may have to change. If we are going to “win” what is the most ambitious exercise in nation building in recent memory, it will require a much larger effort -- and new taxes to pay for it.
If Bush believes that success in Iraq is crucial to American interests, then he should clearly state that to the American people and ask for sacrifice. Merely tinkering with tactics is a recipe for a permanent war.
Discussing the need to change course in Iraq, a senior U.S. official quoted in the article maintains that the Bush administration is considering a “more authoritarian approach” to U.S. woes. Allowing a strongman to come to power, in other words, may be the only way to reduce American casualties and keep Iraq from collapsing into ethnic and religious factions.
Saddam Hussein, anyone?
ZAAHIRA SUHAIL WYNE
The Bush administration states that a U.S. departure from Iraq would be waving the white flag. To me, this is an attempt to manipulate. We did not enter Iraq to “stay the course.” We cannot let the Iraqis dictate how long the U.S. remains in Iraq. Iraq has a duly elected government, which, according to the president, reflects the will of the majority of the Iraqi people. We have done our job, and it is time to redirect our resources to better protect ourselves against terrorism.
This president likely has come to believe his own hype, which has no semblance of reality. The American people and Congress must impose their collective will to best protect the interests of our nation and bring this absurd situation to an end.
In September 2004, when the number of American troops killed in Iraq was approaching 1,000, my letter published in The Times asked how many more years of two a day we were willing to accept. Now, more than two years later, I have my answer. Troop fatalities -- currently at a rate of nearly four a day -- have risen to about 2,800 and will soon top 3,000. That will be more American lives lost than on 9/11.
Apparently we have a strong stomach for needless casualties, provided they come in dribs and drabs, not all at once.