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Letters to the Editor for Dec. 12

Democracy cannot be built overnight

It is apparent that the American people, including many politicians, have no sense of history. This says a lot about our public education system in the United States.

Some people are asking, 'Why are we still in Iraq? We've gotten rid of Saddam, helped them write a constitution and elect a free government. Lets just leave. After all, we've been there more than three years.'

If these people knew their U. S. history, they would know that:

  • We declared our independence in 1776.
  • Our constitution was not signed until 1787 - 11 years later.
  • Washington was elected our first president in 1789.
  • Rhode Island did not ratify the constitution and enter the union until 1790.

It took us 14 years to completely establish the United States, and our founders were all steeped in a long tradition of representative government. How is it that we expect Iraqis, without that background, to accomplish the same thing in 3 or 4 years?

'But,' they say, 'we have sacrificed 2,800 of our fine young men in this war.'

Yes, and every one of them is an American hero. Every year that many people die violently in our big cities. Should we abandon L. A., N.Y.C., or Chicago because some violent anti-social people live in them?

There is a vast difference between radical Islamist terrorists and the Western nations. If the terrorists laid down their arms, there would be no more killing. If we were to lay down our arms, there would be no more western civilization.

GEORGE BURGESS

Tigard