Enemy Lines

To the Editor:

Re “The Global War on Words” [April 16]:

Let me pose two straightforward questions about the Iraq War.

1. Who, precisely, is the enemy? We’re shooting at Sunnis, Shiites, Muqtada al-Sadr’s forces, remnants of the Baathist army, Al Qaeda and God knows who else—all conveniently lumped together as “insurgents” or “Islamic enemies.”

That’s unacceptably imprecise. I want to know with which groups or combinations thereof we would sign a treaty to cease hostilities, for example, if such a treaty were desired. This was not a problem in previous wars, since it was no secret who we were fighting.

2. If we cannot identify our enemy in Iraq—if we don’t even know who we’re fighting—how can we achieve victory?

Bruce Brown