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Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 18, 2014 at 6:04 AM

Iraq: Sunnis and Shiites need to heal their own problems

I read, with sadness, Sgt. Maj. Thomas Adams’ lament about the price his unit and all other U.S. forces have paid in an effort to bring freedom and stability to Iraq, as well as the Middle East as a whole [“Local veteran agonizes over Iraq retreat,” Nation & World, June 13].

Unfortunately, I see no end to the conflict in that area of the world. The conflict has its basis in the split between Sunni and Shiite factions within Islam. This split has caused death and bloodshed for the last 1500-or-so years. So, 10 years of sacrifice on our part won’t magically heal the split and make it go away.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not in any way demean or minimize the sacrifices of our armed forces and what they have given up to try to bring safety, sanity and stability to one of the most volatile regions of the planet. That said, however, I question our political leaders who continue to believe that bullets and bombs will kill ideas. It didn’t work for the British, when they tried to keep a hold on the colonies. And it surely won’t work in the Middle East.

This schism in the Islamic faith has to be healed by the Shiite and the Sunnis themselves. No outside force will ever effect an end to the hostility. So reintroducing our military into what is going on now in Iraq would get the same results as the last time.

Dennis R. Bertaud, Sequim

Comments | More in Iraq war | Topics: Dennis R. Bertaud, iraq, middle east

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