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by JUDY HODGSON
We have a particularly lively
Mailbox this week in reaction to last week's cover ("People
loved us," Sept. 4), one that reflects the continuing polarization
in the community and the nation over the war in Iraq. One writer
lambasted us for "wooing the wingnuts," while others
praised us for telling the "real" story of a soldier
just back from the front, as opposed to the one being told by
the media. One reader correctly pointed out that it was simply
the story of one Marine, one piece of a large and complicated
puzzle -- and certainly not the definitive Iraq War story.
Running the story also does
not change the editorial position of this newspaper, which we
took in February before the invasion. When it became clear late
last year that President Bush was not to be deterred in marching
this nation to war, we joined others in the community in urging
no military action without a second, definitive U.N. resolution
and we asked readers to support those in Congress resisting the
pressure for unilateral action. I remember being particularly
dismayed that, according to polls at the time, a majority of
American thought Iraq was responsible for 9/11 --falsehood that
continues to this day, no thanks to the president.
So what happens next? The U.S.
wants the U.N.'s prestige and financial help in rebuilding and
policing Iraq, but only on U.S. terms. France and Germany, speaking
for many in the international community, stood shoulder to shoulder
last week and said no.
The next chapter will certainly
be written next year during the U.S. presidential race. It's
not terribly surprising that former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean,
who has spoken clearly and consistently against this dramatic
change in U.S. international policy under President Bush, is
such a rising star in the early polls.
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