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Forum Iraq editorial right on all the important issues

The Forum's Dec. 22 editorial was on the mark. First, you were correct that Donald Rumsfeld's time had come. Second, you were correct that the president has acknowledged (however, only slightly) that the Iraq war is not going as well as planned. ...

The Forum's Dec. 22 editorial was on the mark.

First, you were correct that Donald Rumsfeld's time had come. Second, you were correct that the president has acknowledged (however, only slightly) that the Iraq war is not going as well as planned. Third, you were right that 20,000 more troops may have minimal impact on the sectarian bloodbath occurring in Iraq. And, fourth, you were correct that the president can accept or reject the Iraq Study Group recommendations.

I was surprised Rumsfeld was not asked to resign after the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. In other words, I am surprised, quite frankly, that the resignation was not sooner (or that he was not forced out sooner). I do not believe that only a few low-ranking soldiers performed these acts without orders that came from the top.

The Forum is correct that the president acknowledged (albeit slightly) that the war is not going as well as planned in Iraq. I can count on one hand the number of foreign-policy successes the administration has had in six years. North Korea and Iran have nuclear weapons now, Somalia is again a haven for terrorism, and al-Qaida and the Taliban are in the Pakistani mountains.

On May 1, 2003, Bush made the statement: "Our mission has been accomplished in Iraq." It's been more than 1,350 days, and I think our mission has changed three times: First, it was the weapons of mass destruction (I don't think anyone has found them yet); second, it was democracy; and third, today, it is for the security of our country.

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Adding 20,000 more troops in Iraq is an ill-advised idea. I think adding 20,000 more soldiers to the existing force in Iraq is synonymous with placing our young men and women in a shooting gallery. We should not have our soldiers in the middle of a civil war.

The Forum is correct that the Bush administration should listen to the advice from the Iraq Study Group. The problem is groupthink.

If you surround yourself with people who "high-five" you on all your foreign policy decisions, you have no one who can provide an objective view. (The one person who was objective resigned after the first term; it is America's loss that Colin Powell left.) Hopefully this changes with Robert Gates at the helm of the Defense Department ... and I think Bush should admit he made a mistake and ask Powell to come back to replace Condi Rice at the State Department.

I give prairie roses to The Forum for its Iraq editorial. If Bush does not change course, the results of the 2006 midterm congressional elections are only the start of further damage to the Republican Party.

Worner is a North Dakota native with roots in Mayville and Devils Lake. He lives in Alexandria, Va.

E-mail mworner@gmail.com

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