What can be done to rebuild Iraq and stop terrorism? The answers will be hard for the White House to accept.Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
The United Nations needs a bigger role, not just an advisory one, in rebuilding Iraq. There has to be a true coalition that taps the world community, not merely Washington's small alliance, to protect and reconstruct the country. This country doesn't have the trust or experience to pull off a huge nation-building challenge alone.
A U.N. mandate won't bring instant stability to Iraq. The forces of war are too advanced for that. The postwar era will be a lengthy and frequently disappointing challenge. But Washington can't finish this conflict by itself.
President Bush last month dubbed himself a "war president.'' He'll stay one, unless he owns up to his mistakes and invites the rest of the world to finish the job.
Disregarding human rights law, the United States is employing collective punishment tactics, demolishing fruit orchards and homes where resistance is active. In the immortal words of a U.S. army captain in Vietnam following the torching of a village, "We had to destroy it in order to save it." Such an approach to "winning hearts and minds" did not work in Vietnam, and it is not working now.Houston Chronicle:
From the U.S. perspective, the only thing worse than getting out is staying. It's time to bring the troops home, and if that means that the Bush administration has to go -- so be it.
Now, a year later, our concerns have become a reality. History has shown Saddam Hussein did not pose an imminent threat to the United States. The war has resulted in the death of hundreds of U.S. military personnel and thousands of innocent Iraqis. It has turned Iraq into a hotbed of terrorism that did not exist before. And it has cost U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars.New York Times:
Concerned Houstonians will march again on Saturday, the one-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by the United States. We will not march because of the imminent threat of another war (at least not one that we are aware of), but to emphasize that war and other forms of violence are not the answers to the problems of mankind.
This page strongly opposed invading Iraq without international backing. The events since Mr. Bush decided to go ahead with only Britain as a major ally have further underscored the recklessness of this sort of adventurism.Newsday:
It is not, as Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney have argued in campaign speeches and commercials, a question of getting permission from the United Nations to do the right thing. It is a matter of listening to the reasonable objections of proven friends, like Germany, which was privately warning Washington about the quagmire that Iraq represented.
Iraq, which was supposed to be the jewel in the crown of the Bush Doctrine, is a place of flames, such as yesterday's hotel bombing, where the future leaders of Iraq kill foreigners with ease, even as al-Qaida uses the continued fighting as a recruiting tool.
The United States faced grave dangers last year. But the Iraq war did not address those dangers. And now, a year later, the United States faces even greater dangers.