Gen. Petraeus will not run
Having worked for Petraeus for three years as his personal spokesperson, and as such when the topic first came up in Baghdad in 2007 and subsequently many times after, I can tell you that he has no intention of running now or in the future.
Although many people may want to see him run and likely see his leadership qualities, he has no interest in running for public office and has stated so many, many times on the record in both interviews and public events.
He has a great deal of respect for those who seek to serve in that capacity. However, he has chosen to serve the nation in uniform and hopes to do so for whatever time he can.
The public may or may not like where he stands on the issues, but it is doubtful they will be able to find out since he is not inclined to share those views as he is not running and has no intentions on running for office.
STEVEN A. BOYLAN
Colonel, US Army
The Iraq war mistake
Regarding the April 12 opinion essay "The Iraq war: still a massive mistake," by Malou Innocent:
The author does not identify for whom the war is a victory.
Remember the architects of the US war against Iraq: the pro-Israel neoconservatives in the George W. Bush administration – Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and Paul Wolfowitz? The Iraq war is a victory for this group.
But Americans have very short memories, and there are reasons to forget.
The other victors of the war in Iraq are US and British oil companies. In November 2009 Exxon Mobil and other US oil companies signed a contract to develop Iraq's West Qatar oil field. Admittedly the Iraq government also signed contracts with Russian and Chinese oil companies, but a major goal of the Iraq war was to secure US access to Iraq's easily accessible sweet crude oil to support our environmentally damaging and unsustainable way of life.
Let's not remain ignorant of the basic factors prompting the Bush administration's intentions in the Iraq war.
VIRGINIA M. PAULSEN
Malou Innocent is correct in his analysis that the Iraq war was a massive mistake. She notes some of the moral cost: dead, disabled, and traumatized Americans; dead and displaced Iraqis.
However, she omits the single biggest reason it was a mistake – there was no justification for the invasion! To inflict these costs without justification is to be guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.