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Let Iraq and Syria burn [Letter]

Forestry and Timber

Your editorial on the situation in Iraq left many hard questions unanswered ("Hard choices in Iraq," June 16).

Here is a suggestion: I was once a volunteer fireman who fought forest fires. After each fire was extinguished we were told that new growth would sprout because the old trees, brush and leaves had been removed from the landscape. The clearing would give way to a fresh stand of trees.

If the free world were pragmatic "forest rangers" and let the Mideast conflagration burn itself out, personal independence would increase because of the new environment.

This part of the world is overpopulated with "old growth" — religion, suppression and male dominance of women are killing the "forest." A simple, albeit unpopular, solution would be to become like forest rangers and allow the social and political conflagration there to simply burn itself out.

John Holter, Baltimore

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