Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 14, 2006

Seventh option offers Iraq exit

The Sun's article "Advisers hunt for exit strategy" (Nov. 12) listed six options for ending the situation in Iraq. But the best option that I believe will succeed is offered by Peter W. Galbraith, a former U.S. ambassador to Croatia. He presents the case for partitioning Iraq into three separate states.

Mr. Galbraith notes that the Shiites voted overwhelmingly for Shiite religious parties in the December 2005 election, the Sunni Arabs voted for Sunni religious parties, and the Kurds voted 98.7 percent for independence in a nonbinding referendum.

Fewer than 10 percent of Iraq's Arabs crossed sectarian lines.

If each group had its own government, I think the chances of a peaceful outcome would be greater. Republican and Democratic leaders of Congress should seriously consider this option, resulting in a peaceful resolution and subsequent release of our valiant soldiers from a misguided adventure.

Irvin Miller

Baltimore

History will show who's to blame

I didn't have a serious problem with Donald H. Rumsfeld ("Resignation allows new Iraq approach," Nov. 9). I think most people understand, or at least sense, that he took the fall for a bad president's poor conceptualization of how to defend our country.

Mr. Rumsfeld's job, as secretary of defense, was not to set the course of our military policy. His job was to enable the military to function competently. Under his leadership, our military accomplished one of the greatest victories in its history: the invasion of Iraq and the toppling of Saddam Hussein.

It's not Mr. Rumsfeld's fault that it was the wrong mission, and it's not his fault that the commander in chief had no clue, and still has no clue, about what to do with this great military victory.

None of this was Mr. Rumsfeld's fault, and I hope history won't record it that way.

Michael J. Hurd

Bethany Beach, Del.

Pace should resign for Iraq war role

The resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld does not finish the job ("Bush removes Rumsfeld as defense chief," Nov. 9). His departure must be followed by that of Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

General Pace was one of the staunchest defenders of Mr. Rumsfeld as the clamor rose for the defense secretary's resignation. The support from General Pace should come as no surprise.

As disclosed in Cobra II, a remarkable book on the planning that preceded the Iraq war, General Pace was among those officers who chose not to take the risk of disagreeing with Mr. Rumsfeld. According to retired Marine Lt. Gen. Gregory S. Newbold, General Pace, as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stood by silently in late 2001 when Mr. Rumsfeld angrily admonished military leaders that contingency plans for an invasion of Iraq included far too many troops. Mr. Rumsfeld never retreated from his ill-considered position.

Since the Vietnam War, military historians have lamented the fact that some senior officers, willing to risk their very lives in battle at the inception of their careers, are unwilling to risk losing a promotion or a choice assignment as their careers draw to a close. General Pace now needs to accept responsibility for his advice.

David A. Plymyer

Millersville

Women deserve place on the altar

In all the pomp and fanfare of the re-opening of our restored and resplendent Basilica of the Assumption these last two weeks ("Bells toll to commemorate basilica's ties to France," Nov. 11), something seemed missing. Then it came to me: Where were the women?

There were plenty of "skirts" around the altar, but they were all on men. Perhaps they forgot to put the sign out on the door: "Women not invited."

The Roman Catholic Church cannot continue to call itself "universal" until it admits women along with men into its ordained ministry.

Rosetta T. Rizzo

Lutherville

Gas prices reflect electoral politics

Before the election, gas prices took a sudden turn downward. We all welcomed the drop and jokingly said, "Wait until the election is over; they'll climb right back up."

As you can see, the oil magnates didn't let us down.

I. Distenfeld

Baltimore

U.S.-Israel alliance defends democracy

The writer of the letter "Israel's aggression still real problem" (Nov. 6) suggests that if the United States were truly an honest broker for peace in the Middle East, we should be condemning Israel for its aggression.

However, the United States has not made any real effort to broker peace in the Middle East since the Clinton administration.

Why is it that when Israel fights terrorism in the Middle East, that's called aggression, yet when the United States invades and occupies Iraq, it's called fighting terrorism?

Furthermore, calling our government a "lackey" for helping our friends stand up for democracy and freedom is insulting to our government and shows a clear bias.

Norman Bickman

Ellicott City

Commentary serves corporate interests

Essentially, what Todd D. Lamb's column "Curb lawsuit abuse: Take a seat on jury" (Opinion

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