Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) has a prescription for "changing course" in Iraq that contains nothing dramatically new ["For Success in Iraq, Change Course," op-ed, Sept. 14].

Over time we have heard suggestions from across the political spectrum about including "moderate" Sunnis, establishing regional support and international cooperation, and partnering with European countries. Albeit far too belatedly, the administration's policymakers and implementers now understand these needs. Unfortunately, Mr. Biden didn't give specific guidance on how these objectives might be accomplished.

To offer an opinion without specific recommended actions is not particularly helpful.

With our presence in Iraq a given, how would things be different under the other party's administration when its members would find themselves in a position to "walk the talk"?




I've got news for Robert Kagan ["On Iraq, Short Memories," op-ed, Sept. 12]: Every thinking person in this country did not support the invasion of Iraq.

Polls taken just before the invasion by CBS News and CNN/USA Today/Gallup showed that a bare majority of Americans agreed with the president's handling of the Iraq crisis. And this, of course, must be viewed with the knowledge that respondents were influenced by the misinformation regarding Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction.

Indeed, a striking percentage of Americans polled at the time assumed not only that Saddam Hussein had such weapons but that some of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers were Iraqis and that Iraq was implicated in the Sept. 11 plot.

Anybody with eyes and a brain can see that major mistakes were made in preparing for and carrying out the war. I suspect that the architects of this war will persist in their blind support for it long after every justification has been shown wanting and the war's tragic consequences have become painfully clear.


La Crosse, Wis.