Bush shows courage

I've got some bad news, really bad news, for the Democrats. We (hopefully) are going to have a sizeable military presence in Iraq for the next 200 years or so.

History has shown that when America kicks a country's rear - and Saddam Hussein definitely deserved it - we stay for a long, long time, such as in Germany, Korea, Japan and Bosnia. Iraqis won the lottery when we invaded them. They don't have to worry, at least for the next 300 years or so, about being taken over by the Irans, the Syrias and Egypts of the world, as America will always be there for them.

I'm 50 years old and have been waiting a good 35 years for a president to have the fortitude to take on the terrorists, and now we finally have one. President Bush doesn't care if his approval rating is at 13 percent, 36 percent or 72 percent. He does the right thing.

Scott Durham

Abortion regrets

Of course, Mary T. Hagan's assertion that some women regret their abortions is true ("Freedom or decay: A battle rages on," Jan. 22). Many also regret having children, with the wrong partner or no partner at all, before they feel ready for motherhood.

Like Hagan, choice opponents don't like to admit that, more often than not, women and girls who have abortions intend to have children in the future whom they believe they can give a better life. The math of abortion isn't always one versus zero. A couple who learn they have a child on the way with Down syndrome and who also have two other children have to weigh the dramatic impact on the rest of the family of carrying that pregnancy to term. Their lives matter, too.

Similarly, a woman whose fertility is at risk because of complications with her first pregnancy must weigh the hazards of carrying it to term if she wants to have multiple children.

These are excruciating and deeply personal calculations. One thing is for sure: The government shouldn't be making them.

Bruce Corwin


Give Bush more rope

A great deal of opposition has arisen to President Bush's latest "surge" plan for Iraq ("Senators strike back on Iraq," Jan. 29). While I don't think for one minute that this plan has any hope for long-term success, I believe that it should be allowed to go ahead.

Why? Because if Congress or public opinion should somehow derail the plan, then you can bet your last dollar that 15 or 20 years from now you will hear people say: "We could have won it. Bush's plan in 2007 could have worked! It was the Democrats and the liberal media that lost Iraq."

For the last six years, Bush has been given every bit of rope that he's asked for. Now, he's asking for just a little more rope. I think that by all means he should be given it.

Scott Washburn


Race not relevant

Re: "Two coaches are breaking a big barrier," Jan. 25.

It is a pity that both head coaches heading to the Super Bowl this year (Tony Dungy of the Indianapolis Colts and Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears) are black. Now, the news media are going to be forced to use up, by my reckoning, at least four "first black coach in history" stories in one day instead of stringing them out over another 40 or 50 years as they might have done if fate hadn't been so uncooperative.

This is an unexpected blow to the cause of African American exceptionalism in which whites congratulate their sense of virtue by patronizing blacks, and in which young blacks get the subtle but constant message that accomplishment in their quarters is something extraordinary. But never fear, the press will think of some angle to keep talking about race even when the subjects themselves, such as the coaches in this case, do not find it relevant.

Mark Randall