THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Obama would undo our progress in Iraq

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June 20, 2008

IN YOUR June 16 editorial "McCain's time warp," you dismiss Senator John McCain's comparison of Senator Barack Obama's positions to Jimmy Carter's failed policies - even though Obama is promoting those same policies - by making the curious assertion that "comparisons across generations are rarely on target." You then proceed to make your own cross-generational comparison by likening the Iraq war to the Vietnam War - two very different conflicts.

One rather pertinent difference is that we're winning in Iraq. The Iraqi army is growing more competent, and the troublemakers in both sectarian groups are getting their hides whipped. The Maliki government is proving that it can take a tough stand against Shiite militias, which is making Sunnis more willing to come to the table.

This leads me to your next rather curious assertion, that Obama "is trying to deal with the problems of 2008, not harkening to the past."

If Obama were really living in 2008, and not 2006 or 2002, he'd be encouraged by the successes in Iraq and be looking for ways to build on them. He'd be working to help bring about a stable, friendly, and free Iraq, which would be a huge step forward for the Iraqi people, for the region, for international economic stability, and for our own security. Instead, he's pushing for a precipitate withdrawal that would only take us backward.

DANIEL BASKEN
Beverly

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