Path to a winning strategy
Dear Editor:Winning in Iraq has many definitions, an obtainable one is a stable Iraq whereby U.S. troops can leave. This is achievable, what is not is the Bush administration definition of an Iraq that has a U.S. controlled puppet government, provides U.S. corporations with cheap oil and allows large U.S. military bases on its soil so we can control the Middle East.Currently, Iraq is in chaos. The area by area achievements we are claiming the “surge” has brought about are temporary and transient. Those we label terrorists are stateless and will leave Iraq once it is stabilized.A winning strategy involves us engaging in talks with Iran with a general settlement of differences. That would requires us giving up preconditions for talks, being open to a win-win strategy and remembering that they helped us after Sept. 11 by capturing al-Qaida members escaping Afghanistan through Iran. The Iranians have offered us their help in stabilizing Iraq, which is in their interest – including a compromise on the nuclear issue.Instead, the Bush administration makes unsubstantiated claims such as parts of Iran’s army are terrorists and that EFPs (explosively formed penetrators) are provided by the Iranians, despite discoveries by U.S. forces of many workshops manufacturing such devices in Iraq.With a Shia majority in Iran and Iraq and the al-Maliki having ties to Iran, these two countries are already allied. An Iranian allied Iraqi state is in a better position to defeat al-Qaida and other nonstate forces in Iraq. For this not to look like a U.S. defeat, we have to establish a friendly relationship with Iran now.This will require a phased U.S. withdrawal, support for the nationalist elements in Iraq, and an end to our suppression of those challenging the al-Maliki government. The challengers are those who oppose the U.S. occupation and thus have the most support from the Iraqi people who mostly oppose the U.S. occupation.Provided we negotiate fair profits agreements with Iraq and Iran for their natural resources, this can be a win-win solution – Iran gets U.S. technology and trade, which its floundering economy needs, and we get access to Iran and Iraq’s oil and Iran’s natural gas – not to mention saving us $11 billion a month.The Bush administration needs to be forced to negotiate by Congress not approving another $145 billion supplemental appropriation to continue the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan this September.Cathleen KraheCarbondale
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Restaurants in the upper Roaring Fork Valley are adjusting to pandemic-related restrictions. Here’s a list submitted by operators of eateries that are open and what they say you should know.