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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 2, 2008 at 2:41 PM

Obama’s team of rivals

Who is James Jones?

James Jones, a Vietnam veteran who was picked by President-elect Barack Obama to be his national-security adviser, thinks that the occupation of Iraq has permitted the U.S. to “take its eye off the ball” in Afghanistan [“What James Jones would bring to the White House as national-security adviser,” News, Nov. 29].

The story also states that Jones believes that “the consequences of a failure there are just as serious as in Iraq.”

Someone should remind Obama as well as Jones that these very same sentiments were expressed during the Vietnam conflict. Former President Lyndon B. Johnson and his advisers and generals had no intention of allowing “failure” to happen in Vietnam but despite their misguided efforts, this is precisely what happened.

Even though Jones served in Vietnam, he does not seem to comprehend that the indigenous people of an occupied land will always continue to fight against the country that is attempting to impose its will upon its citizens.

As a Vietnam veteran, it took me many years to finally realize that the Vietnamese were right to resist against the military might of the U.S. One can only hope that both Jones and Obama will likewise come to that same realization before more innocent Afghans are slaughtered by American bombs and bullets.

— Clifford Hutchins, Rochester

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