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Web Letter

What I am about to say is so obvious that I am almost embarrassed to say it. Should not the Iraqi people be allowed to vote on a referendum to decide whether the US should stay or go? Our government made such a big deal about free elections in Iraq, and we saw so many images of smiling Iraqi citizens proudly extending their ink-stained thumbs after their elections, that it warmed nearly all Americans' hearts. I suggest we repeat that happy picture.

From my perspective, expressions of either support for or discontent with the American occupation have been largely anecdotal. We ought to employ our military to ensure the fairest vote possible, and let the people of Iraq express their opinion about whether or not the United States should continue to occupy their country. If the majority truly want us to stay, the Administration and its supporters will be vindicated; otherwise we should make a quick and orderly exit from their country.

I think the war was wrong from the outset, and our forces should leave Iraq, but it should not be up to me or other Americans to decide the fate of the Iraqis. I think an Iraqi referendum on our continued occupation would be great for both Iraq and the United States. Iraq would get what its majority truly wants, and the United States can save face, since we would either stay with the endorsement of the occupied people or we could abide by the Iraqi people's wishes and leave without appearing to have suffered defeat at the hands of the insurgents.

Robert Austin

Seminole, FL

Sep 12 2007 - 8:33am

Web Letter

It's important to remember that The Nation helped make this Iraq nightmare possible with its support for Ralph Nader in 2000 which helped to divide the progressive majority at a time when that majority desperately needed to be united against Bush. A vote for Nader was a vote for Bush. This helped make it possible for Bush to get close enogh in Florida for his little brother Jeb to be able to steal the 2000 election for him by taking away we the people's right to vote. I hope The Nation is happy. Our country will pay forever for the stolen 2000 election.

Nancy Kuhn

Scottsdale, AZ

Sep 8 2007 - 8:53am

Web Letter

I think the problem with your article, indeed all analysis of the Iraq "war," is the disregard for the main impetus to support military action against any non-Western country. The number one driving force for support of continued occupation of Iraq is the chauvanism and bigotry of American foreign policy.Virtually all US "leaders" believe America has the right, indeed, duty, to dictate policy --foreign and domestic --and extract resources from any country or peoples at any time for any reason. Any resistance from the subject peoples/countries is to be met forcefully with maximum suffering of the population, either through client dictators, as in (pre-2003) Iraq, Saudi, Egypt, Afghanastan, Pakistan etc., or through brutal military occupation as in (contemporary) Iraq, Afghanastan and Palestine, or with murderous "sanctions" as in Syria, N. Korea, (pre-2003) Iraq, Cuba etc. This is why the US will remain in Iraq and attack Iran.

Buddy Mohmed

Dallas, TX

Sep 8 2007 - 6:06am

Web Letter

Candidates from both parties are under the delusion that they can fix Iraq, but only Iraqis can fix Iraq. It has been noted in this article, and the media generally, that ethnic cleansing is now occurring in Iraq. If it is going on now, it will probably continue after we leave. However, there will still be Sunni and Shia Iraqis in Iraq. While democracy is a possibility, it would be no surprise to see the traditional push for dominance through force to settle (for now) who will rule in Iraq. While Iran may have some influence, a physical presence in Iraq would meet the same resistance America faced there. This is the Arab Middle East.

We can get the military out of Iraq as fast as we got into Iraq. We might leave some war damaged equipment, but most of it will go out with the Army. The army can move when it wants to or is ordered. Private contractors might be up the creek, but they have made enough profit already to compensate for their losses.

Pervis J. Casey

Riverside, CA

Sep 7 2007 - 3:37pm

Web Letter

I find this lacking in logical coherence, unless your aim is to have a much larger and deadlier war, one which we are preventing by keeping a lid on the conflict.

I also would reference the analysis by Newsweek, based on actual conditions in withdrawing from Viet Nam, Kosovo etc., that it will take more than five years to return the critical parts of the 11.6 million tons of military equipment. That estimate is based on peaceful conditions, and would be extended if there is longer violence.

This opinion is not well grounded in reality, which may explain why Congress is not proceeding in that direction.

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby, PA

Sep 6 2007 - 7:43pm

Web Letter

The Nation's statement on the desperate need to pull out of Iraq is accurate. Furthermore, this situation is not new--the status quo for quite some time now has been this same desperate need to end the war and bring the soldiers home.

The Nation does an admirable job of stating decent principles. What the magazine's editorial positions never seem to account for, however, is the ultimate futility of relying on the Democratic Party to serve as some sort of counterbalance to an "extreme" Republican Party. The two parties have largely functioned as one from the rush to war prior to invasion through today, through the likelihood of a long, costly occupation through the next term of whoever is elected.

The Nation previously stated that it would never support a candidate who did not unequivocally support an end to this terrible disaster in Iraq. The Democratic Party has, by and large, supported the occupation and has given George W. Bush everything he wants. This is not necessarily always because Bush somehow "thwarts" Congressional efforts, as the editorial today states. The Democrats have cast their lot with those parties and interests that don't want to see the war ending soon, for whatever reasons.

It's time for The Nation to clearly and unequivocally address this reality with the Democratic Party in front of the readers. At some point soon, probably prior to the primary for Democratic POTUS candidates, The Nation is going to have to come out and address the issue with the Democrats quite openly and is going have to stake a clear position. Either The Nation will support the status quo or it will have to say that the Democrat POTUS candidates offer no hope to those of us who want the war over.

Seymour Friendly

Seattle, WA

Sep 6 2007 - 5:49pm

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