The Progress Report
You asked "How Much Longer?" for the war in Iraq [Sept. 17]. My question is, How do you get out of quicksand when you are in it up to your waist? It doesn't take a four-star general to see that the fanatical enemy simply has to sit back and wait. When we withdraw soldiers, the counterinsurgents and terrorists can resume their attacks. And if we ever completely pull out of Iraq, corruption and civil war will continue until the country inevitably becomes another Iran. Let's declare victory now and get the hell out.
John J. Grimes Watertown, Mass.
President George W. Bush rightfully invoked the fiasco that ensued after the U.S. pulled out of Vietnam. If we leave Iraq within the next year, there will be a civil war. If we leave Iraq in four years, there will be a civil war. The difference will be in the number of U.S. troops who will die delaying the inevitable. Staying in Iraq will not achieve an outcome that is worth American lives. We need to face reality and extricate ourselves from Iraq. Most important, we need to turn our attention to al-Qaeda and fight terrorism, our true enemy.
Joseph A. Rihn Jr., Lititz, PA.
During WW II we didn't see the media asking stupid questions like "How much longer?" If the U.S. had called it quits back then, we would all be living in a much different world today, one with far less freedom. Likewise, why the hell should we quit the war in Iraq now? We have at least as much to lose there, maybe more, given Islamic militants' goal of world dominance. If the media and Congress force a withdrawal, they will cost millions of American lives.
Robert M. Moon Fort Worth, Texas
I appreciated Jeffrey Kluger's article about commemorating 9/11 [Sept. 17]. We should never forget what happened that day. But in a country that celebrates its birth with discount sales, gives passing recognition to Pearl Harbor Day and virtually ignores the ending dates of the two World Wars, the sixth anniversary of the terrorist attacks needs to be put into perspective. People who lost loved ones will have grieved and marked the occasion in their own way, as they should. For the rest of the nation, Sept. 11 should have been a day to look at the calendar, reflect for a moment--and then go to work.
Mike Cook, Wayne, N.J.
I can't believe that Americans would consider not giving some formal recognition to 9/11. We should support the courage and patriotism that our fellow Americans showed that day six years ago. Thousands of people died in the biggest attack on our soil. Passengers on one of the planes were courageous enough to crash the plane, killing themselves but preventing even more deaths. As a proud American, I will always remember the people who died that day, and I will continue to wear red, white and blue every Sept. 11 for the rest of my life.
Andrew Plague, Sterling Heights, Mich.
So Whoopi Goldberg defended Michael Vick's sick sadism as "part of his cultural upbringing" in the South [Sept. 17]? Is she really that stupid, or is she just trying to be controversial? One could offer the same pathetic defense of spousal abuse or even of racists lynching black people, which was definitely a part of many Southern white people's "cultural upbringing." Whether abuse is directed at animals or humans, we should not dignify it with euphemisms.
John Schauer, Evanston, Ill.
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