Dear Editor, Assurances from Gen. David Petraeus that his opinions are his own and not shaped by the Bush administration are really irrelevant. Whether that’s true or not, why is a general deciding the fate of the war in Iraq? It’s sort of like asking a car salesman to suggest a suitable birthday present. Fighting and winning wars is a general’s job. Gen. Petraeus is motivated to assess the Iraq situation in such a way as to make that possible. No patriotic general wants to go down in history as losing a war. Despite the constant talk of eradicating terrorism, the real impetus behind this veritable desire in Washington to stabilize Iraq is obvious, and both sides of Congress have oil on their hands. The benchmark to force the country’s ethnic factions to “share” the oil profits has a little-known clause ushering in privatization by Western oil companies. The British invaded and occupied Iraq in the early 20th century for the same reason and failed. And so long as our elected leaders ignore history, our country is doomed to fail as a viable democracy.