Saturday, December 31, 2005

A letter to Iraq war detractors

Victor Davis Hanson publishes a letter on his site received from a soldier serving in Iraq:

As you persist with your thoughts that this war cannot be won, consider the notion of past military victories: The First War with Iraq, the defense of South Vietnam, the landing at Inchon, Iowa Jima, the Second Battle of the Marne, Gettysburg, New Orleans, and Yorktown. What made these battles significant for American forces was not only the skillful tactics of the troops, it also consisted of the support of a political entity whose primary goal was to win, not to participate in petty, partisan politics. Nobody questioned President Franklin Roosevelt’s strategy by saying we needed to pull out of World War II because he did not foresee the intensity of the Japanese on the South-Pacific islands. There was no doubt about fighting the Germans, even though they did not attack the U.S. Absent were the calls that President Woodrow Wilson engage in self-defeating reflection by apologizing for the brutality of trench-warfare. General George Washington held firm over a period of seven years in his overall strategy, despite early defeats. Yet, they all believed in what was right and their persistence proved successful.

You constantly refer to the “failure” and “defeat” of Vietnam to justify your criticism of the current war. It is an unusual thought that you revel in the so-called defeat in Vietnam and optimistically predict the same self-induced conclusion in Iraq. To paraphrase John S. Mill: War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The degraded state of patriotic feeling, which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. A man who cares about nothing more than himself is a selfish figure who has no chance at being free, unless provided by others better than himself.

When you criticize the President and the war effort, you are criticizing every service-member in this war. Please do not patronize the public with the often heard, “I support the troops, but I don’t support the war.” You cannot support the troops without supporting the war because their mission in life right now is to win the war, provide security for our country, and return home safely with honor.

Expect no coverage of this whatsoever in the main stream media.

Previous articles about: Iraq
How US soldiers are “terrorizing” Iraqis
A soldier’s view on Iraq
Iraqis optimistic about future
Long-term strategy in IraqThe future in Iraq

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