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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 11, 2008 at 2:30 PM

Iraq: exit and renewal

ALI AL-SAADI/AFP / Getty Images

An Iraqi woman walks past the closed offices of the Sadr movement, loyal to radical Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, in the impoverished eastern Sadr City district of Baghdad on Nov. 29. Al-Sadr declared three days of mourning across Iraq in the wake of the Iraqi Parliament’s approval of a security pact with the United States. I

Get out, already

Editor, The Times:

Notice how the right wing is busy setting President-elect Barack Obama up to be the fall guy for any future meltdown in Iraq? Take Charles Krauthammer’s “A pro-American Iraq is within our reach” [syndicated column, Dec. 7]. In this neocon fantasy, Iraq is transitioning to a flourishing, pro-American democracy that will stand as a beacon of freedom in the cesspool of the Middle-East thanks to President George W. Bush and the “surge.”

It’s a veritable New Year’s gift to the incoming president. It’s a no-win for Obama.

If Iraq survives as something approximating a democracy after the U.S. withdrawal, Obama will receive little credit for firmly pushing a timetable and then managing the drawdown. If Obama has been handed a poisoned chalice and Iraq eventually falls apart when we leave, the right will lose no time in blaming Obama for a hasty or ill-managed withdrawal.

Let’s not be fooled. Invading Iraq was a bad idea on multiple levels and leaving is a good idea, no matter what happens. It’s up to Iraqis to decide their own future.

— Norman Barnes, Seattle

Enough is enough

That the richest, most powerful nation on Earth can intervene pointlessly in Iraq and seemingly stand by powerlessly as the blatant, irrefutable, undeniable abuses of human and civil rights take place in Zimbabwe and Sudan is an abomination.

We thump our chests over patriotism, human rights and democracy. But we stand by and hope that others will be able to act effectively to end this evident blight on humanity.

We cannot and should not be the world’s policeman.

Neither, as a matter of conscience and principle, should we profess to care about basic human and civil rights and allow such atrocities without being a proactive, persistent, insistent and vocal voice of opposition and an intrusive and interventive force of prevention and intercession.

We are forever at the beck and call in the fight for the availability of oil and conspicuously absent, silent and of token protest in the fight for human rights and dignity. How much money is enough? How much oil is enough? Is there not enough oil or money to be had in Africa — the “mother” land?

Would we stand so idly by, were the circumstances of Zimbabwe, Sudan and elsewhere around the world self-evident and incontrovertible here on our doorstep instead of halfway around the world — a news segment for which we can conveniently change the channel because there are no American lives at risk.

And nearly no one demands to know either why or why not. Those who do have only the tin ear of our current president and his minions who mumble pointlessly about his legacy.

— Mike Moore, Kent

Better find a new target

What will the Bushwhackers do for fun after President George W. Bush leaves office?

— Wilbur Mann, Kirkland

Comments | More in Iraq war, Politics


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