Why We Must Stay in Iraq (or Not)

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On
Thursday the daily column of Al Neuharth, founder of USA Today,

advocated getting out of Iraq
sooner, rather than later.

This
provoked hundreds of emails. Here are some
that were reported in Editor & Publisher
, together
with my comments.

A.P. Oliver,
commander USN (ret.): "To withdraw troops from Iraq would
qualify as the greatest surrender in history and invite direct
attacks here in this country and ultimately drastically change
the way we live.

Let
me see if I have this right. Hundreds – if not thousands –
more Americans will have to die, thousands more Iraqis will have
to die, and we at home will have to cough up hundreds of billions
of dollars more out of our pockets because a thoughtless, insensitive
President decided to invade a foreign country without having the
good sense to personally check the evidence justifying the
invasion.

Withdrawing
from Iraq would not be "the greatest surrender in history."
The greatest surrender already has occurred – when we surrendered
to the federal government the power to sacrifice our lives and eat
away our sustenance – when we allowed one man to put this nation
in such jeopardy.

Michael Bustamente,
Sterling Height, MI: "Tell you what. We leave and the sanctimonious
jerks like you and your Free Press, you go there and stay after
we leave."

Sanctimonious
= Not wanting to see people die for no purpose other than to prevent
a delusional President from having to admit he made a mistake.

Cliff Hair:
"Never heard of Al Neuharth! What makes him so special and
who gives a damn what he thinks?"

Apparently
you do.

Alec Jones,
Hoover, AL: "Nothing more than a unilateral withdrawal would
encourage those who are our enemies and wish to do us harm."

Do
you really believe that keeping American troops in Iraq would discourage
"our enemies" and cause them to stop wishing to "do
us harm"? Perhaps George Bush isn't the most delusional
man in America.

Bob Armstrong,
Clayton, CA: "When the Iraqi elections are held and they
demonstrate a willingness to fight for freedom this will all be
worth it."

You
mean it will justify the deaths of upwards of 100,000 Iraqis and
Americans – probably none of whom considers an election in
Iraq to be a worthwhile reward for losing his life? And since you
consider it will all be worth it, are you now on your way to Iraq
to offer your life? Or is it worth only other people's lives?

Pat Giuffra:
"I have asked the hotels to not deliver USA Today
anymore to my room because of this type of distorted news reporting
that it is putting out these days."

Neuharth's
column was not presented as "reporting," but as opinion.
As to "distorted news reporting," are you referring to
the acres of newsprint in 2002 and 2003 that were devoted to repeating
verbatim the administration's "evidence" that Iraq had
WMDs, mobile labs producing bio-chemical weapons, aluminum tubes
that could be used only to produce nuclear bombs, unmanned planes
that could drop WMDs on the eastern United States, enriched uranium
being bought in Africa, and Al-Qaeda training camps? Or are you
referring to the few commentators who refused to believe the administration
knew what it was talking about?

Rand Oertle:
"We didn’t get out of World War II until the job was finished.
The defeat of Germany and Japan took years. Now they are our allies."

And
292,131 Americans died so that the Soviet Union could dominate half
of Europe.

Travis Snyder:
"He dishonors those who died by inviting American surrender."

You're
right. Let's honor the dead by letting thousands more Americans
die.

Travis Snyder
again: "This is no Vietnam. We can never have another Vietnam."

No,
we can't. We've renamed it Iraq.

December
28, 2004

Harry Browne [send
him mail
], the author of Why
Government Doesn’t Work

and many other books, was the Libertarian presidential candidate
in 1996 and 2000. See his website.

Harry
Browne Archives

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