WEDNESDAY’S LETTERS: Thoughts on the Iraqi Divide

By: E&P Staff

E&P Editor Greg Mitchell’s latest column, Tipping Point On Iraq, calls for the editorial boards of America’s newspapers to start advocating for an end to the war in Iraq. His position drew a number of sharp responses from readers. Here’s but a sampling.

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Iraq/Vietnam

When I found Editor & Publisher on the net thanks to BuzzFlash.com, I began to regain some respect for the profession of journalism, which I loved so much. For nine years I edited and published a little alternative press magazine called “the Body Politic.” We reported on all aspects of reproductive rights and the abortion issue, with an all-volunteer staff scattered around the country. Journalism was a great profession and when I had to close the magazine due to lack of funding (what else is new?) I sorely missed it.

Then Bush became president and I was appalled at his treatment by the mainstream press. How could they abdicate their responsibility for our democracy? But Editor & Publisher reminded me there were still journalists out there who remembered the sanctity of their profession and had the courage to print their convictions. Congratulations to Editor & Publisher and to you for doing your job. You are an inspiration to us all — even old firehouse dogs such as myself.

Anne Bower

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What Gives You the Right…

To call for newspapers to call for a phased withdrawal from Iraq?

The exit strategy in Iraq is clear: get enough of the Iraqi armed forces ready to defend their own country and build governing institutions sturdy enough that they will endure. Let the Iraqi people defend and govern themselves.

Your attention should not be on withdrawal. We should shine more light on efforts to train Iraqi troops and build democracy. Focusing on a timeline that could result in our premature departure could mean disaster for the people of Iraq — or are their lives not as precious as our own?

Robert Burke

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Let the Iraqi People Decide

The elected representatives of the Iraqi people should decide when the U.S. pulls out, not the country whose colossal misjudgment created this tragic situation.

It is undoubtedly true that our presence is bringing in terrorists who are killing. However, our premature withdrawal could bring about a full-scale civil war that could kill far more.

You state with certainty that the United States’ presence is more of a long-term problem than a long-term solution.” In truth, no one knows when it would be best, from the Iraqi standpoint, for the U.S. to pull out. But it should be the elected representatives of the Iraqi people who make that determination, not the United States.

Richard Gilman
Kalamazoo, Mich.

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A Mother With Sons Serving

I have watched the unfolding of the war in Iraq like a mother bear protecting her cubs. Alas, son #1 has been over there twice with his Marine Corps infantry unit, and son #2 will go in January. Moreover, I was there, in the ditch in Crawford, albeit for only one night’s sleep.

Thank you for your words. You are so right. The media need to be courageous and shine the spotlight on this failure, if for no other reason than because they truly love our country and want it to lose no more in terms of credibility and strength and cohesiveness.

Maura Satchell
Smyrna, Tenn.

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