- The Washington Times - Friday, January 28, 2005

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, says we should cut and run from Iraq (“Kennedy says U.S. presence in Iraq is fueling insurgency,” Page 1, Friday).

One must wonder about the timing of Mr. Kennedy’s remarks just days before Iraq’s historic free elections. Wouldn’t it have been better to wait until after the Iraqi elections to send such a defeatist message to Americans and the world? Is Mr. Kennedy afraid the elections will be a huge success and negate his antiwar, anti-Bush message?

Mr. Kennedy has every right to oppose the war in Iraq and criticize the Bush administration; after all, freedom, including freedom of speech, is what Americans are fighting and dying to give to 25 million Iraqis.

But why give this speech now, when Iraqis are summoning the courage it surely will take to go to the polls and cast their votes Sunday? Does he want the Iraqi elections to fail so he can say, “See, I told you so”?

The senator’s comments are irresponsible, reckless and timed to do as much harm as possible to President Bush and our efforts in Iraq. What really makes this so despicable is that his seditious comments may cost more American lives, as terrorist recruiters could use them to show that America lacks the will to stay the course.

Don’t be surprised if video segments of his speech end up in terrorist-recruiting propaganda. Mr. Kennedy, through this inane speech, has become a poster boy for Abu Musab Zarqawi and his fellow murderers.

RICHARD W. RESSLER

North Olmsted, Ohio

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