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Letters to the Editor

Bush should admit that Iraq war was a mistake

President Bush is taking a stand that I believe he will regret as history will show. He needs to take a different stand on the war in Iraq as his plan did not work. I hope that he will find it in his heart to realize he made a mistake and take the leadership to change direction while he is still in office.

- Leslie Villegas

Lawrenceville

Occasionally, politicians will change their minds

While it is understandable for the major contenders of both parties for the presidency to strut their stuff, it would be a mistake to get so carried away as to make dubious accusations against the competition.

There has been enough false information handed out by our "trusted" leaders to last the American people a lifetime. For example, Sen. Barack Obama and John Edwards would be wise not to crank up the rhetoric about the fact that Sen. Hillary Clinton voted in favor of the invasion of Iraq. She and just about everybody else in Congress supported the invasion based on faulty testimony and later-to-be-disproved evidence from the president, the vice president and the CIA that WMDs existed in Iraq.

Clinton has since declared that had she known then what she and the rest of us know now she never would have done so. Edwards, who also voted in favor of the invasion, has since apologized for making that decision and has criticized Clinton for failing to do so. I do not believe an apology should be forthcoming when an honest judgment is made based on information handed down by the leaders of our country. The important thing is in acknowledging that it was a mistake and go from there.

Sen. John McCain is another example of being unfairly targeted by candidates of his own party for changing his mind about some conservative issues he no longer embraces.

I personally would not rush to vote for any candidate who lacked the courage, the intelligence and the honesty to reroute his thinking when it reflects his true beliefs.

- George Morin

Auburn

Clinton wasn't the only member of Congress to vote for Iraq resolution

In a recent Kathleen Parker column ("Clinton's mea culpa a mere political ploy," May 4, Perspective), while doing her usual Clinton bashing, Kathleen Parker brought up an issue I wish to clarify. She belabored the burned-out topic of Hillary Clinton voting for the war. However, one very important fact was left out, as it always is - Congress did not vote for "the war," as such, it voted to give the president the discretion to go to war as a last resort.

Congress was bombarded with the same erroneous WMD propaganda by the Bush administration, as was the American public. Also, Congress was led by a Republican majority in both branches, and it was a foredrawn conclusion that whatever the president wanted, he was going to get. Any dissenting voters knew all too well that they would be publicly chastised and branded as "un-American" by the majority.

Because the U.N. inspectors in Iraq were finding no evidence of WMDs and requested more time to complete their mission, Bush changed his "last resort" option to his "first resort." Ironically, one-year after his famous "mission accomplished" speech, Bush was on national TV urging Americans, and the world, to be patient and to give his inspectors more time to uncover those elusive WMDs.

Like other members of Congress, Clinton voted the way she did because, given the information available at the time, she thought it was the best thing to do. Like other Democratic Congress members who voted as she did, she has been unceasingly chastised for not apologizing for her vote by Republican Congress members - who also voted the same way she did. What's wrong with this picture?

- Mike Bence

Sugar Hill

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