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Now is the time for the U.S. and its allies to strike back in Iraq [Letter]

IraqNATOU.S. CongressAl-Qaeda

The latest Iraq crisis is no occasion for inter-party sniping or for Washington's talking heads to find friendly microphones to offer their opinions about whether U.S. forces should have remained in Iraq ("Obama weighing action in Iraq: Militants' sweep toward Baghdad threatens to embroil region," June 13).

We had long overstayed our welcome there, no matter how many times we shifted the goal posts in pursuit of some nebulous victory. Another by-product of that unfortunate affair was that we afforded a chance for al-Qaida to engage us militarily instead of mainly confining itself to terrorist activities.

Over the last three years we've given vocal support to the dissidents of Syria but only tentative covert logistical support for the rebels, fearing arms would go to the likes of Islamic State of Syria and Iraq.

But now ISIS has just accomplished a masterful incursion into northern Iraq, panicking civilians and the Iraqi armed forces. By so doing, it has it has brought a lot of its elements on to open ground and has also left itself open to being attacked and outflanked.

Yet this can only be accomplished if, for once, Congress and the administration agree on moving our armed forces swiftly to a now receptive Iraq. Turkey has already called for a NATO meeting, in view of its diplomatic staff being captured at Tikrit, and I'm sure world opinion would not be negative should NATO countries attempt a rapid punitive assault on ISIS in the northern provinces of Iraq.

Donald Hart, Baltimore

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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