It’s time to go | AspenTimes.com

It’s time to go

Aspen Times writer

Dear Editor:After listening to George Bush and John Kerry the other evening, it seems to me that neither one of them has any real plan to extricate us gracefully from the mess into which Mr. Bush has gotten us in Iraq. Maybe there is a moral to be learned from our experience in Bosnia.More than nine years ago, we sent our troops into Bosnia, a small and relatively stable country compared to Iraq, in an effort to keep the Christians and Muslims from killing each other and to bring them the advantages of democracy. We still have troops there.The Bosnians have held four general elections and numerous municipal elections to elect a parliament and many mayors and other political officials. Sounds like a democracy? The only hang-up is that the occupying coalition, of which the United States is a member, also appointed an “International Representative” (a polite name for a dictator), who in the past nine years has fired more than 200 legally elected officials whom he deemed unfit for the job. Is this the kind of democracy that Bush would bring to Iraq?With Bosnia as an example, why would any Mideastern country believe our talk about the advantages of democracy? No wonder the Muslim world looks on the insurgents as freedom fighters struggling to rid Iraq of the hated infidel invaders.Some 40 years ago, first Kennedy and then Johnson told us that we had to go the course. That if we were to pull out of Vietnam, it would leave a ravaged country that would fall into civil war and pulling out would be a devastating blow to America’s prestige abroad and to our pride at home. After the deaths of 58,000 soldiers, we finally did pull out.I hope that it won’t require another 58,000 deaths to convince our leaders that it is time to go. It probably won’t happen this year, but that day will come. D. R. C. BrownAspen


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