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Time for a timetable

Dear Editor:Rudy Giuliani says, “I can’t remember in the history of war when an army … has announced its retreat … and a timetable of that retreat.” He needs to read recent modern history.The British faced a somewhat similar predicament in India after World War II: intense agitation to leave the country, attacks on forces, civil unrest and – most importantly – infighting among the Indian factions. Lord Mountbatten, the last viceroy, ordered a “retreat” in early 1947. He advised that British forces would leave, no matter what the circumstances, not later than June, 1948 (an 18 month time table).Amazingly, the Indians suddenly became very focused on the need to resolve their differences and to effect control of their own country. The British were then able to exit with dignity within nine months (August 1947). Of course, a large measure of turbulence and bloodshed did follow, but the Indians ultimately addressed it and now have a modern nation.The parallel is obvious. Iraqis ultimately need to resolve Iraq’s problems. They have no incentive do so if we remain as both whipping boy and crutch. Announce our departure, and they will focus on what they need to do.James DeFranciaAspen


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