I continue to be disappointed in the warped view of the facts displayed by some of your letter writers when ISIS and Iraq are the subjects. On the Dec. 17 editorial page, Lori Felts placed the responsibility for the rise of ISIS on Obama’s decision to withdraw from Iraq. The next day Russell Fette expressed the same opinion. Both writers ignore the fact that the Iraqi government wanted us gone and refused to sign a Status of Forces agreement. Without such an agreement our military personnel would be subject to trial in an Iraqi court if charged with any offense. I would not want to subject our military to the vagaries of Iraqi justice.
Mr. Fette feebly attempts to compare our “staying” in Germany and Japan after World War II and their becoming strong allies, as a reason to have “stayed” in Iraq. The glaring difference in that comparison is that Germany and Japan wanted us to stay as protection against the aggressive Soviet Union and in the case of Japan, to counter a dangerous North Korea, backed by its ally China.
Yes, Obama initially underestimated the threat posed by ISIS but that was because our intelligence community, largely nonpolitical, underestimated the ISIS threat. Even if a more substantial “threat” had been recognized earlier, the response would have been the same — attack with air power, no American “boots on the ground.”
Lee R. Pitzer, O’Fallon