President Bush plunged this country into an illegal war in 2003, using lies, obfuscations, and spurious implications. The war was ineptly handled from the start, with the president listening to advisors, then doing as he pleased. He made a half-hearted attempt to punish the real villains of 9/11 – Osama bin Laden and al Qaida in Afghanistan – then left with the job unfinished and promises to the Afghan people unfulfilled.

After nearly four years and more Americans killed in Iraq than on 9/11, he weakly admits that “mistakes were made.” Despite the considered advice of the Iraq Study Group and several generals to end this fiasco, Mr. Bush is listening only to advice which agrees with his views. Is it coincidence that dissenting generals have “retired?”

We need to demand that Congress vote on any troop increase. There is no doubt that we must continue to support the troops already in Iraq, financially and otherwise. But we cannot and should not send more young people to slaughter. Why should Congress vote on this? Because there were hints in Mr. Bush’s speech of Jan. 10 of possible incursions into Iran and Syria, a troubling possibility far different from anything Congress has heretofore authorized.

The American people, through their elected representatives, deserve a voice in the decision to send 21,000 more troops to Iraq. Let’s support our troops by bringing them home to their lives and families. Say no to escalation!

Dolores Hoeh, Albany Township