|NY Times, December 25, 2004
To the Editor:
I'm for keeping Donald H. Rumsfeld as secretary of defense because he is
against increasing the number of American soldiers in Iraq. Sending more
soldiers only means more targets for those Iraqis who don't want our army
occupying their country.
I did not want any Americans to risk their lives in Iraq. We should bring
home those who are there. So better Mr. Rumsfeld than some eager beaver who
wants to double our army in the desert as we repeatedly did in the jungle
to no avail in the 1960's and 70's. We toppled Saddam Hussein; as George
Aiken, that wonderful old Republican senator, said of an earlier time of
troubles, Declare victory and come home.
Once we left Vietnam and quit bombing its people, they became friends and
trading partners. Iraq has been nestled along the Tigris and Euphrates for
6,000 years. It will be there 6,000 more whether we stay or leave, as
earlier conquerors learned.
I tried to persuade Santa Claus to bring our troops home for Christmas, but
he said, "No, Rumsfeld sees light at the end of the tunnel if we hang in
there and don't listen to old veterans like McGovern."
Is there really a Santa Claus, Virginia? If so, why were 14 soldiers killed
at lunch after a hard night searching for that light at the end of the tunnel?
Mitchell, S.D., Dec. 22, 2004
The writer was a senator from South Dakota and the 1972 Democratic