Sunday, July 4, 2004

Reader's letters: The handover in Iraq

Our democracy didn't look good at first, either

There is a great deal of pessimism about our situation in Iraq and the chances of having a successful transfer of power. Morass, debacle and quagmire are some of the words used to describe our involvement.

It seems to me that this pessimism feeds on itself. From what I can glean, the accomplishments definitely outweigh the negatives. Our own democracy was predicted by many to be an abject failure during its formative years. That diverse factions of people could collectively govern themselves was not such a ridiculous idea after all.

Irving W. Victor, Amberley Village


Not really our friends

Whatever shape the future government in Iraq will take, it doesn't seem likely that the government will be any too friendly toward the United States.

Steve Lilly, Pleasant Ridge


It worked for Japan

I think that with the help of the United States and other countries, the chance for success is good. Japan had no more experience with democracy than Iraq. I believe that the people of Iraq, just like the people of Afghanistan and Iran, are ready to embrace democracy, provided that the better angels of their nature (to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln) prevail.

Michael A. Lanzillotta, West Price Hill


Get rid of violence

Iraq will be able to govern itself, but it needs to rid the country of foreign terrorists who seek to sabotage the peaceful transfer of power. A big challenge will be keeping all of the divergent factions happy with the new government. I truly think the vast majority of Iraqis are peace-loving people who want only to be able to live without the threat of violence - to work, go to school or shop in peace. Eventually the sovereign Iraqi government will rule, but I think it's important that they not fall back on some of the violent practices of the preceding regime. It's also important that Saddam Hussein be brought to swift justice so the country can see how terrorists will be dealt with.

Susan Scardina, Western Hills


Iraqis must act

The handover of power was certainly a momentous occasion. However, it would have been better to involve more Iraqi citizens. Ultimately, the fate of the Iraqi nation rests upon the actions of its citizens. One of the first things that George Washington had to do as the first president of this nation was to lead an army into western Pennsylvania to end an insurrection that had caused the death of federal government representatives. Likewise, the Iraqi people must shed the cloak of theocracy and tyranny and pick up the fight against those among them who wish to keep freedom from them.

James Ford, Cleves


A very good situation

Syndicated columnist Richard Cohen ("Iraq is huge failure, can't stand on its own," June 30) writes that the Iraq war is a failure on the same day that the Iraqi flag is raised over the embassy in Washington declaring a new age of Middle East-American relations. Some people just refuse to see the good in a very good situation.

Paul Krallman, Villa Hills


Success will take time

The conversion from a dictatorship to democracy is no small event, and therefore will not occur seamlessly overnight. I believe that Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and his interim government will be able to successfully govern the Iraqi people, but only in time.

United States troop presence will most likely be required for the foreseeable future in order to accomplish this enormous task. I wish that weren't the case (my son, Chris, of the 3-504 82nd Airborne has two years left of his four-year commitment and will most likely be deployed again soon), but I truly believe it is in all our best interests. Make no mistake - the instability in this region and the continued threat of terrorism is very real. We have essentially been at war on this front since 1979 with the Iran hostage crisis. What has been done and gone essentially unchecked cannot be undone overnight.

Not only will the help of coalition forces continue to be required, but Iraq will need help from border neighbors such as Jordan (which has close U.S. ties) as well. Maintaining a positive public sentiment and clear focus on objectives and long range goals are of paramount importance. It would be helpful if the press would occasionally report some of the many wonderful things that have come with the liberation of Iraq instead of focusing on so many negatives. The press has very much skewed reality according to the folks, including my son, who have been there and experienced the elimination of a ruthless dictator first-hand.

Security is the greatest problem facing the new government. Every day, however, more and more of the "bad guys" are being killed or captured, which will eventually result in a more stable situation. I am so proud and thankful for all our military has done in this time of crisis.

Not only will they prevail in Iraq, but I truly believe that our country will ultimately be a safer place to be for future generations because of these awesome people. Let Freedom Ring!

Buck Newsome,Union Township, Clermont County


Terror is the enemy

While we attempt to establish freedom and democracy to Iraq, we must remember who the enemy is.

It is not ourselves; rather, it is the terrorists. The Islamic militants who have a decade-long history of killing our own people are to blame for this war.

Let's support our Congress (which authorized the war on terrorism), our president, and our troops. Let us support the new government in Iraq. And long may freedom reign.

Deanna Eppers, Milford


A time for commitment

Self-government depends upon the commitment of the people. At the end of our revolution, the colonists, who were far from united in support of the war, were faced with the challenge of building a government from disparate colonies. We have struggled well over 200 years toward our ideal. It took a Civil War and amendments to enfranchise African-Americans and women. We continue to work at self-government.

George W. Bush and our troops have given Iraq an opportunity for democratic government. Progress will be slow and frustrating, as has been ours. If Iraqis have the strength and the will to struggle as we have struggled, they too can succeed. That is our prayer this Fourth of July weekend.

Mary Kay Feighery, Montgomery

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