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Just the two of U.S.
I feel that there are two Americas: one of people who care for others and one of people who care only for themselves (but are ashamed to admit it for what it is). Under the guise of securing America and liberating Iraqis, the U.S. invaded another country without a real need to do so. In fact, there were, if you read the papers, about 26 reasons given for the Iraq invasion by the Bush administration. In a day when Afghanistan and North Korea were and are clearly more pressing issues and greater threats than Saddam Hussein, I question the intelligence and capability of this president. Sure he may be fun to have a beer with, but don't we deserve someone smarter to be our president?

Every day I am saddened by the news of more needless deaths in Iraq and abroad, spawned by the hate that we perpetuate. This was not self-defense. Going after Osama bin Laden is self-defense. I do not understand why so much time and effort has been diverted from our real threat.

War is a human failure. If you do not know that, I pray for you. Because we should strive for diplomatic resolutions with the engagement and cooperation of the international community to share the burden. If we go it alone, we are not taking into account the other countries' wisdom and perspective. How arrogant and how costly! Now my future children will pay the cost, in quite a literal sense, of this ill-conceived, ill-advised, and ultimately ill-fated invasion of Iraq.

This November, we have a choice between four years of failed policies or a new direction for our country. I'm choosing John Kerry, the one who reported for duty.
Jennifer Minor
Apex

Proof positive
I just finished reading Melinda Ruley's opinion piece about Rhoda Bruington ("Free at last," Sept. 29). It was very moving. This article was well written and very inspiring. I wish good things for Ms. Bruington. I will keep her in my prayers. She is proof positive that we can rise from our past. I guess the proper analogy would be that of the phoenix rising from its ashes.
Deborah Blount
Raleigh

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