Real Courage in Setting an Iraq Strategy

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Post applauded President Bush's courage in continuing an open-ended commitment to an American military presence in Iraq and disparaged what it termed political expediency on the part of Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) in calling for a reasonable timetable for phased withdrawal of our forces ["A Boost From Mr. Bush," editorial, June 14].

Mr. Bush's political capital is waning because he misled Congress and the American people, because we have experienced 21,000 American casualties as a result, because a mere 23 percent of the world's people respect our nation, because he has no strategy worth the title, and because he is responsible for a military and foreign policy disaster. To "stay" an undefined and unlimited "course" may demonstrate many things but it does not demonstrate courage.

Having acknowledged the error in trusting Mr. Bush's arguments for war, Mr. Kerry has demonstrated the real courage in proposing a realistic plan to extricate our troops from a nation whose people no longer want us there and which is now capable of achieving democracy on its own.

GARY HART

Kittredge, Colo.

The writer, a Democrat, was a U.S. senator from Colorado from 1975 to 1986.

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The Post said, regarding Iraq's prime minister: "Mr. Bush rightly told Mr. Maliki that 'the future of your country is in your hands.' " Wouldn't it have been nice if President Bush, and The Post, had recognized this elementary truth three years earlier -- tens of thousands of people would still be alive had that happened.

CHRISTIAN HAESEMEYER

Champaign, Ill.


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