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Letter to the Editor: Conditions in Iraq

By MARILYN V. HILBORN
Boulder City, Nev.

Editor:

In early August, General John Abizaid, the commander of the U.S. Central Command and the most knowledgeable senior military official about Iraq, expressed his fears to a Senate committee that conditions in Iraq are the very next thing to a "civil war."

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman went further one day later when he wrote that our armed forces in Iraq "are baby-sitting a civil war." Can any good come of continued U.S. presence in such a conflict? Isn't it time to consider letting the Sunnis and Shiites settle their centuries-old animosity without our forces caught in the middle?

I also refer you to U.S. President John Quincy Adams, who stated: "America goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own." And Calvin Coolidge, our nation's 30th chief executive, famously summarized: "Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration has been minding my own business."

I agree.





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