David Ignatius ["What Democrats Should Be Saying," op-ed, Aug. 19] was wrong when he accused the Democrats of "failing utterly in the role of . . . opposition" on the Iraq problem.

The president's decision to invade Iraq leaves the United States with no good solutions.

The Democrats are right to let President Bush wallow in his own foreign policy blunders.

JOSEPH FORD

Frederick

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Gary Hart's column, "Who Will Say 'No More'?" [op-ed, Aug. 24], took me back to the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, when I encountered a senior citizen whose political memories dated to the 1930s. She said, "I need to hear Franklin Roosevelt."

Mr. Hart's call for a Democratic leader in the tradition of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy eloquently stated the need for the party to reclaim its soul and its courage.

Many of us are prepared to follow, but who will lead?

HELEN C. GAGEL

Evanston, Ill.

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The Pentagon has announced that it's sending 1,000 to 2,000 additional soldiers to Iraq [news story, Aug. 26]. In the face of a growing, and ever more sophisticated, insurgency, this is a drop in the bucket.

At the same time, the military continues to station more than 100,000 U.S. soldiers in Europe and 43,000 more in Japan, where the threat of invasion seems nonexistent. Reassigning even half of those forces to Iraq would increase the total there by more than 50 percent, which might actually begin to make a difference.

Of course, taking such a step would force the president to admit that the policy in Iraq isn't working. How long will it be before the Pentagon declares victory and walks away, leaving Iraq a shambles? My bet is in the summer of 2008, just in time for the next presidential election.

ROBERT MEYER

Herndon

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President Bush argues that "immediate withdrawal from Iraq would be a mistake" that "would weaken the United States" [news story, Aug. 24].

This may or may not be true, but it seems that making mistakes has been pretty much the guiding theme of U.S. policy in Iraq.

WALEED HAZBUN

Baltimore

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Gary Hart is living in the shadows of Vietnam and in the blissful ignorance of the pre-Sept. 11 days. He said that we and our allies must "dry up the jihadists' swamp," but he cannot bring himself to use the might of the American military to do this.

Mr. Hart's prescription to bring the troops home instead of facing terrorists such as Abu Musab Zarqawi is weak and foolhardy. The jihadists do not want to negotiate or attend United Nations conferences. Their desire for world domination -- as shown by the USS Cole bombing, the attacks on London and Madrid, the embassy bombing in Kenya, etc. -- can be met only by U.S. force.

GLENN TAUBMAN

Annandale