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Citing a letter to the Gazette dated Feb. 15, 2004:

(To quote from a letter that I sent to The Billings Gazette which was published on March 16, 2003, prior to the Iraq War: "As the most militarily powerful nation in the world, but only 3 percent of its population, to not call upon armed conflict as the ultimate last resort verges on criminal conduct — we can beat them into submission or reason with them — but reasoning requires time and patience."

At that time I was afraid that we would actually invade a sovereign nation in spite of the fact that neither the U.N., the French, the Canadians, the Germans, the Mexicans, the Russians, nor the Chinese, et al, believed that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and/or nuclear weapons, and were not instrumental in Sept. 11 events or a training ground for al-Qaida.

Now we're going to appoint a commission to determine why there was a misinterpretation of intelligence on our part. There was no breakdown in intelligence; we lied. We wanted a war with Iraq and were not to be deterred from that.)

At tremendous cost in lives and money, we eradicated an evil dictator. We leave behind a country divided: Kurds, Sunnis, and Shiites, of the same religion but inimical toward one another. That puts Iraq in the hands of a weak government with its screwball neighbor, Iran, all too willing to exert its influence.

"Winning?" Let me get back to you on that, Charlie.

Bob Schulze

Hysham

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