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While I almost always agree with everything Mr. Stein says, I write to disagree with a few things he mentions in his article. First, despite what the CIA did or did not get right with respect to weapons of mass destruction (WMD), the decision to invade Iraq was right and proper. Saddam had daily launched missiles at our over-flying aircraft, there to enforce the “truce” imposed on him. And each and every shot was an act of war. Saddam had to go. WMD are largely irrelevant to this decision. America’s political will, of course, is wavering. But that is not a reason why the decision to go to war was wrong.
Second, the Marines at Haditha are not “killers.” Not yet at any rate (and, it will take a great deal of uncontradicted evidence to make them so in my view). They are an occupying army, entitled to protect themselves from attack as they see fit. Casualties of war don’t just come from frontal assaults by combat troops. Sometimes casualties come in the most heartbreaking manner. But, war is not a place for fine distinctions and every benefit of the doubt must be extended to the combat troops in Haditha, as everywhere else.