No one should be surprised at what's happening in Iraq ("Obama weighing action in Iraq: Militants' sweep toward Baghdad threatens to embroil region," June 13).

Saddam Hussein was a Sunni Muslim, the minority sect in Iraq. He was cruel to the majority Shiites and kept a handle on them. When we killed him, it destroyed the balance of power.

If former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were smart, they would have realized this. Now we are suffering the consequences. We've lost over 5,000 American military lives, thousands of injured and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi dead.

Sooner or later we must realize we can not remake Iraq's tribal beliefs into a democracy. We will lose both Iraq and Afghanistan. This is Vietnam all over again because those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Lois Raimondi Munchel, Forest Hill

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