Middle East vital to our security

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 24, 2007

To the Editor:

I was intrigued by a quote I read a few days ago attributed to General Robert E. Lee in 1863. General Lee had this to say in responding to the print media editorial boards: “It appears we have appointed our worst generals to command forces, and our most gifted and brilliant to edit newspapers. In fact, I discovered by reading newspapers that these editor/geniuses plainly saw all my strategic defects from the start, yet failed to inform me until it was too late. Accordingly, I am readily willing to yield my command to these obviously superior intellects, and I will, in turn, do my best for the Cause by writing editorials – after the fact.”

This could very well be applied to the New York Times and the disturbing ad run by MoveOn.org last week concerning General Petraeous? Also, it would be quite appropriate for the snarling pack of Democrats hovering like a flock of starving vultures waiting on a carcass? They are quick to call attention to all the blunders and mistakes that have been made – after the fact, and there have been many, but offer no solutions except cut and run in defeat as a strategy against terrorism.

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Not since World War II have we fought a war with the support, determination and perseverance to win. Our efforts have been anemic at best and half hearted due in part to political interference. Generals and military personnel are trained to wage war, not politicians. Perhaps we should, once the decision to go to war is made, allow the military to plot the strategy, cause and effect of the operation. Is that a novel idea or what? One thing has to be understood, in war people get killed both military and civilian.

Personally, I believe cutting and running will get us shot in the back without hesitation. It is as if some in Washington and the MoveOn.org crowd do not understand the grim reality of the terrorist movement. Iraq just happens to be a convenient place to attempt to humiliate us and claim another victory against the west. It seems some of our countrymen would be pleased if they did. Beware of what you wish for, we are all infidels in their sight. According to their indoctrination, a Democrat will do just as well as a Republican.

You probably have gleaned from the tone of this that I am in lock step with President Bush on all the issues of Iraq? Not so, I too have reservations about much of the war and particularly how it has been managed. In all fairness to General Lee, my observations are tempered with 20/20 hindsight as a reference. For one thing, it has gone on far too long. If we had sent in twice as many troops from the beginning and declared martial law after ousting Saddam Hussein, things might not have progressed to the present state of chaos.

We have to be creative in dealing with issues beyond our ability to control.

Washington is so accustomed to drowning all problems with infusions of money that leads to graft and corruption, it hardly recognizes a creative idea anymore. Can you imagine health care in the politicians hands?

The Middle East is vital to our national security and overall well being. Unfortunately, we are addicted to oil and the Middle East has great quantities of oil. I don’t know of anyone who wants to give up their SUV or any business that could overnight significantly reduce its consumption of petroleum products. Therefore, it is vital we find a reasonable solution to the problems in Iraq, thereby, ensuring a more stable Middle East. It is just as vital that we not allow Iran to become the dominate power in that region.

James G. Smith, Public Relations Officer

The American Legion Post 20