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The ugly business of fighting a war

To the Editor:

Fighting terrorism has become a daunting task. There are almost as many obstacles against our efforts here at home as terrorists against us in the field.

It appears The New York Times and the American Civil Liberties Union are opposed to any organized effort to rid the world of terrorism. According to their actions, they have chosen a role of obstructionism to any effort the Bush Administration makes against terrorists. Just two weeks ago, the New York Times published highly classified information on the financial surveillance program of terrorist funds.

How could it possibly be in the public interest to know the details of this successful endeavor? Details that will inevitably dry up this valuable source of terrorist financial intelligence. It really is almost equivalent to revealing information on breaking an enemy code during a time of war.

A concerted effort should be made to find the person or persons responsible for furnishing the New York Times with this information. The New York Times can’t print what they don’t have and it’s time to plug the leaks. The job is difficult enough without handing over all the means of keeping tabs on these fanatics.

No doubt some America hater violated his or her solemn oath of secrecy and found a willing recipient in the New York Times to divulge classified information on tracking terrorist funds.

It is difficult to understand how someone living in this country, benefiting from all the freedoms and opportunities available to us, could betray our military men and women fighting the War on Terrorism. It happened, and divulging classified information by individuals entrusted with keeping secrets is unlawful. Printing it is reckless endangerment of our troops in the field and is disgraceful.

One has to wonder if the New York Times thinks things would be better under Osama Bin Laden than George W. Bush.

Granted, things have not gone well in Iraq and it is very easy to look back and find fault. I personally can think of several things that could have, should have been managed differently. However, I do believe the war on terror is centered in Iraq and quite possibly the effort there to run us out and make us look bad has spared more terrorists attacks here at home.

As far as Iraq is concerned, the Iraqis need to step up to the plate and take charge of their own destiny. They have not, to this point, proven their ability or desire to defend their new-found freedom. Freedom and democracy are things we cannot impose on an unwilling populace. As a nation, we need to settle in for a long protracted war against terror whether it be in Iraq or someplace else. The terrorists are banking on us growing weary of the drain on human life and finances. Some may already be weary, but in my opinion, now is not the time to cut and run.

We can win, and we must win for the thought of not winning is very unpleasant to think on. God Bless those young men and women whose duty it is to fight this ugly war.

James G. Smith

Public Relations Officer

The American Legion Post 20