To the editor: Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush claims that President Obama and Democratic candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former secretary of State, are responsible for the rise of Islamic State because of the administration's troop withdrawal from Iraq. ("Jeb Bush says Hillary Clinton played crucial role in Iraq's decline," Aug. 11)
I'm sure Bush knows that it was his brother, George W. Bush, who negotiated the troop withdrawal. He should also know that the Obama administration could not negotiate an extension because the Iraqi prime minister wanted us to leave.
Bush, who took four days to decide that he would have acted differently from his brother with regard to the invasion of Iraq, also fails to assess the actions of L. Paul Bremer, the top American administrator in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. He disbanded the Iraqi military, security and intelligence infrastructure. Many of Hussein's military officers would go on to ally with the militant group now known as Islamic State, which under their guidance has achieved much success.
If Bush really wants to identify the one person to blame for the rise of Islamic State, he can talk to that man when he visits his brother.
Gilbert H. Skopp, Calabasas
To the editor: Bush's call for soldiers in Iraq should remind everyone that having "boots on the ground" means putting the lives of young Americans at risk.
If we are going to live in a state of perpetual war, then we need a perpetual growth in the number of soldiers. Our wars should no longer be fought only by those who have bravely volunteered to protect our country but by all able-bodied young men and women whose freedoms are equally at stake.
If the hawks insist on more wars, then perhaps it's time to give them ample troops to play out their schemes. Why not discuss reinstating a draft? It's very easy to push for more wars if yours are not the feet in those boots.
Pamela Bobit, Anaheim Hills
To the editor: Jeb Bush said, "It is not true, and was wishful thinking by the administration to claim, that 'the tide of war is receding.'"
I think he is confused. It was his brother who on May 1, 2003, swaggered up to the podium on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln and declared the end of major combat operations in Iraq. Above him was a banner that read "Mission Accomplished." We all know how that turned out.
Do we really want another Bush escalating the war in the Middle East?
Ina Mozer, La Mesa