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To the Editor:
I wholeheartedly agree with Gary Crosby's analysis of the failure of our legislative delegation to undertake the hard work necessary to not only bring our troops home but to restore the "vanquished to political and economic viability" (unwillingness to do the hard work, February 7, 2008).
I, too, opposed this war from the beginning. However, now that we are embroiled in it and have created such destruction of another's country, we have a moral responsibility to clean up the mess we have made. In addition, failure to do so threatens the strategic stability of the whole region and world as we have learned time and again (post WWI, post WWII, post Vietnam). Al-Qaeda will thrive in a power vacuum.
Fulfilling our responsibilities means resettling in the U.S. the tens of thousands of Iraqis who helped the U.S. occupation and now face murderous reprisals for doing so. It means billions for the rebuilding of Iraq's destroyed infrastructure. It means continued support for the electoral and reconciliation process in Iraq. And it means continuing support for American troops and their families who may need and who deserve medical, educational, mental health and other assistance for years to come. It does not mean permanent bases and unqualified support for a single faction. Americans have a knack for washing the slate clean and moving on, as if by not thinking about a problem, it is gone.
I don't hear our politicians talking about our moral or strategic responsibilities. This war was wrong, and the burden of waging this war was not shared. The burden of waging the peace must be.