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Letter: The price of a big mistake

The problem in Iraq is not that we left too soon. The problem is that we went there in 2003. We destabilized the country and made it an attractive target for terrorist insurgents.

The fallout of the Iraq invasion has been disastrous. We lost more than 4,000 lives, with 35,000 maimed, countless psychiatric casualties and a waiting list for services at VA medical centers that has overwhelmed a fragile system. Then there was the financial cost of an estimated 2 trillion dollars.

The damage to Iraq has been worse, with fatalities and injuries in the hundreds of thousands. The lesson is not to become involved in sectarian conflict that has been going on for a millennium. Iraq was not a security threat to the United States in 2003. It played no role in the terror attacks of Sept. 11 and no WMDs were found. Now, in part because of our lack of foresight, it may be becoming a threat, demanding even more involvement at a time when we need to rebuild our own infrastructure and address pressing domestic needs. As General Powell said at the time, if we break Iraq, we own it. Sadly, this has become the case.

A little known politician from Illinois, who has since been described by some as feckless, had the courage to speak out against the invasion when other Democrats and the whole Republican Party were willing to jump on board. His name was Barack Obama. If only we had listened to him then.

FRANK WARMAN

Hopkinton

Agreed. And the operative word here is "we," as in we the voters. The fact is a majority of Americans were in support of Shock and Awe, even while there was plenty of publicly available evidence to show that if war was needed in Iraq, early 2003 was not the time for it. Some 23 senators saw through the smoke screen, but not our Gregg and Sununu. (I still have the letters I sent them urging them not to support a war in Iraq.) Senator Robert Byrd's emotional plea to his colleagues urging them to vote against the Iraq War Resolution still echos in my ear. How could a whole country fail to hear such an eloquent and heartfelt plea for reason? We the voters must do better. Iraq isn't the only instance in recent history where voters voted against their own self interest. oBush and his acolytes managed to

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