March 23, 2013

Letters to the editor: After 10 years, lessons of the Iraq war

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A photo is attached to the back of the tombstone of Army 1st Lt. Thomas J. Brown, a casualty of the Iraq war, in Arlington National Cemetery. “The war had three unique phases, each requiring a change in political and military policies,” says a Marine veteran.

The Associated Press

True, Saddam was a cruel dictator in keeping his countrymen in line, but his nation was at peace. Sunnis and Shiites intermarried, mothers had no fear of sending their little children off to school. Running water and electricity were quite taken for granted. Good colleges, notable libraries and museums were readily available.

There is no comparison between the Iraq before our invasion of that country and the Iraq of today.

Eliot J. Chandler

Hampden

So Sen. Susan Collins is already planning her re-election campaign ("Sen. Collins 'certainly' intends to run again," March 20).

I note that the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq war went unnoticed by Susan Collins and the Portland Press Herald. It is worth recalling Collins' role as a cheerleader for that disastrous decision to invade Iraq.

In late 2002 Susan Collins stood on the floor of the Senate and decried the "overwhelming" evidence of Saddam Hussein's chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction.

Moreover, Collins parroted the Bush propaganda that Iraq was pursuing nuclear weapons, and that "Iraq also has attempted to obtain uranium from Africa."

Of course, none of it was true. Iraq had no WMDs; it had no nuclear program. But Susan Collins never once admitted her mistakes. Instead, after the truth about WMDs was known, Susan Collins voted to prolong the war in 2007, and again in 2008.

Some 4,500 American servicemen and women -- including 28 from Maine -- were killed in the Iraq war. Today, Susan Collins is celebrated as a "moderate Republican." There is nothing moderate about supporting a terrible war based on false premises.

David Vickrey

Cape Elizabeth

Writer continues good work with coverage of new pontiff

A lovely and uplifting article on Pope Francis by North Cairn ("In pope's humility, Mainers see trait that resonates," March 15).

I remember her from the Cape Cod Times. Cream always rises to the top.

Walter J. Eno

The Villages, Fla., and Scarborough

Many gripe in South Portland, but few turn out to vote

The results are in, and with a whopping approximately 600 votes to decide an important City Council seat ("South Portland elects a new city councilor," March 12).

Our councilors make decisions for our city on a monthly basis, and yet people complain all the time about decisions made and the taxes we pay! How can anyone complain and be disgruntled with our council when nobody votes?

I hope that the next time someone is standing at the podium of a City Council meeting complaining or disagreeing with a council panel that they think about whether they voted or not in an election.

I just cannot simply believe that only 600 out of the thousands who could have voted did. Remember, you get what you voted for -- or didn't.

Richard Matthews

South Portland

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