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Support the Troops

To the Editors:

Chris Hedges’s eloquent article [“On War,” NYR, December 16, 2004], together with other pieces in this issue, make it clear: the war in Iraq is now militarily unwinnable, economically unsustainable, diplomatically disastrous, and morally unsupportable. It never was a “just war” and is less one every day. It is now time to reactivate the powerful antiwar movement that appeared even before the war began. That protest was of unprecedented size and of global scope. We must now “support the troops”—really support them—by removing them from the disastrous cul de sac they are now in, one that erodes their moral sensibility and pushes them into situations bound to cause atrocities. It is time to set a reasonable date—say ninety days—and then withdraw, turning over Iraq to whatever government is elected. The “pottery barn rule” does NOT say that if you break it you have to destroy the whole store.

Harvey Cox

Hollis Professor of Divinity

Harvard University

Cambridge, Massachusetts

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