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Truth and consequences concerning Iraq

HERE ARE the rationales for being in and remaining in Iraq: The Iraqis have weapons of mass destruction (untrue). They are harboring terrorists who will continue the work of 9/11 (untrue). We are bringing a downtrodden people hungry for democracy the opportunity to be a democratic state (untrue, as the Iraqis have not shown they want US-style democracy and the majority believe they are downtrodden as a result of our invasion rather than liberated by our presence).

The current canard is that if the United States leaves, Iraq will descend into civil war and chaos. It is more than likely that civil war in some form is what will happen whether we stay or go, unless the majority Shi'ites and the minority Sunnis agree to a future Iraq instead of concentrating on the deadly debts of a past Iraq. Chaos is already present.

The United States started an unnecessary war and then proceeded to fight it with incompetent planning and without any exit strategy. That truth is apparent to many Americans now.

The most shallow analysis of Iraq tells us that Shi'ites, Sunnis, and Kurds must either separate, commit to a single country, or descend into civil war to resolve their claims. US interests have always been with the Kurds, who have demonstrated a commitment to us, to democracy, and to the protection of their people.

Shi'ites are very likely to support an Islamic government hostile to the United States and the West and repressive of the freedom of non-Shi'ites, turning to Iran for support. Sunnis appear to be living in the dream of restored power.

How can our troops possibly resolve these conflicts, which call for worldwide diplomatic intervention and not force? If we must keep troops, let them be in Kurdish Iraq, where they can help support a valiant ally instead of a suspicious enemy.

TAMA ZORN
Brookline

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