When is Fighting Worth it?

By Lloyd Graff

In this time period between Memorial Day and the 4th of July, I struggle with the idea of patriotism. What does it mean to be an American patriot in 2010?

We honor our soldiers during this period, and they are worthy of praise for their sacrifice and service. But we can legitimately ask if ousting Saddam Hussein has made us safer as a country. Has it been worth over 4000 soldiers killed, thousands severely wounded and untold lives disrupted? I am grateful my children have not ended up in the theatre of war, even while I realize that a draft democratizes the suffering of war.

I watched the Memorial Day concert in front of the Capitol on TV. I was moved to tears by the recitations of loss by the widows of the Vietnam and Iraq Wars. With respect, I ask if either war was worth the sacrifice of so many young people.

There is a time to fight for freedom. World War II was a life and death struggle with evil. But I think it is also patriotic to question why American kids volunteer to suffer, and kill and be killed in jungles and deserts year after year. Are we safer from their enormous sacrifice? Maybe we are. But I think the answer is far from clear.

Question: Have the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan been worth fighting?

Image from The Cutting Edge

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37 thoughts on “When is Fighting Worth it?

  1. AvatarAndy Hixon

    Vietnam was obviously not a perfect war, but we did stop communism from spreading. It was literally taking over the world, and we essentially stopped it cold in it’s tracks. It’s easy to justify war when you allow a movement to gain so much power that it is out of control (WWII) but many others were just as important in keeping a tragedy like WWII from happening again.

     
  2. AvatarDanny

    You hit it right on the mark. What a waste of human lives. American and Iraqi. A lot of innocent Iraqi citizens got killed also which is also over looked. Same thing going on in Afghanistan. Horrible, horrible waste. It has brought our country to finacial ruin. Initially we were told the Iraq war was going to cost around 80 billion. I’m quite sure it’s probably surpassed 1 trilion and it’s not done yet.

     
  3. AvatarKurt Wuckert Jr.

    Yes, we are certainly safer since the state-sponsored terror programs of the Saddam government have been vanquished. We joined Iraq’s Pro-American political party in ousting a fascist dictator that had 20 years of history in quietly laundering and funding the dealings of anti-American Islamo-Nazism.

    The war on terror is controversial because it is innovative in the sense that there was no state on which to declare war when we were attacked by what was essentially a well-organized Islamic street gang. Since we couldn’t just declare war on a state, we had to get creative in how to bring the terrorists to justice for declaring war on the United States.

    Just like any innovation, the plan of attack had/has its glitches, but it also was the only viable way to smoke out the vermin that their own countries had no infrastructure to deal with internally. The Afghani’s had a desire to cooperate, but were in the middle of their own pseudo-civil war which fomented the environment of the breading of terrorism, so we joined with the good people of Afghanistan when we invaded. As a coalition, we took out the illegitimate Taliban and then hunted down the street gang called Al Qaeda.

     
  4. AvatarTLT

    In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

    I am proud of my country but oftentimes it seems that the US has this belief that we rule the world and need to control all aspects. We have brought on much of this infliction and we also have a lot of our own troubles to clean up in our backyard before we worry about putting a band-aid on the rest of the world!

     
  5. AvatarLarry Clayman

    Lloyd, don’t make me drag up thoughts about “W” but he is why we spent millions (or is in billions) on a lost cause in Iraq when the efforts right after 911 should have been directed to Afghanistan. Now, almost 10 years after the fact, I don’t think anyone can sense that we have won the war or have even made significant progress towards improving the situation over there.
    With our country in dire straights, how we could use that $$ here.

     
  6. AvatarMike McCaul

    No war is perfect, they are all far from it. WWII is justified because the spread of fascism needed to be stopped before the world was taken over by lunitics. To the people who feel this war is unnecessary, I have to ask what the differance is? Hitler was trying to develop gorilla warfare to continue his crusade even after his death. I have to ask what the differance is today? Muslums are trying to get permission to build 2 mosques at ground zero in Manhattan, while they already have a very large Islamic center at an old Burlington Coat Factory that was purchased for $4.85 million cash soon after the 9/11 disaster. If you look at history, all the famous mosques are built on sites where there were important Muslum “victories” over Jews and Christians. Al-Asqa Mosque was built over the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus was built over Church of St. John the Baptist, and the list goes on. It is in their history, and their future. The Muslum faith is not evil or even bad as a whole, but the factions that are controlled by the same type of lunitics as those we faced in WWII must be stopped. Wake up people, in war good young men and women will die, but they are not wasting their lives.

     
  7. AvatarMike Powell

    Well you certainly have broached one of the most controversial questions facing our nation. This is one of our most divisive issues.

    I wish I could feel better about the role our nation has played in the Middle East. If I felt we were involved in a truly noble cause that would really change the face of the Middle Eastern Muslim nations to grant their people freedom, liberty, and peace I would not care if my safety is threatened or not, the cause would be worth the sacrifice.

    I fear that very little has changed in the Muslim world and most of the citizens are only free to obey a very strict narrow set of guidelines set by their theocracies with no freedom of choice.

    I fear we are trying to force change on a people but instead of facilitating societal evolution we have become even a greater catalyst for the fanatical mutation of Muslim principals, values, and beliefs.

    I wish I could believe that all the causalities, wounded soldiers, disrupted lives, and immeasurable resources spent will somehow yield a stable, free, productive, prosperous life for the people in the Middle East and bring peace to the region. I hope I am wrong but it’s hard for me to visualize.

     
  8. AvatarArt Reynolds

    Fighting is only worth the cost if the world is a better place as the end result. Costs are high in all wars regardless of where they are fought. It is just easier to criticize the cost when the fight is not in “your” backyard.
    If we specifically talk of war in the Middle East, we are fighting to stabilize a region that has been under constant turmoil for thousands of years. We are there in a reaction to the growing world popularity of “radical Islam”. As a country, we have lost civilian lives to this movement as well as the current military engagement.
    Whether is our responsiblity to stabilize this area and support a regional leadership that is closer aligned to American leadership can be debated, however, this movement is not regional. This movement is world-wide.
    Even if we stopped fighting and brought all troops home today, in a short time, the fight would show up again in “your” backyard.

     
  9. AvatarRichard Mowris

    After some reflection, my POV is that neither war has made us safer or been worth the enormous sacrifice of the kids killed, injured, etc. The damage to this country has been enormous beyond the human factor. The countless billions of dollars spent on these two wars could have gone a long way to balancing our federal budget, repairing and upgrading our infra-structure of this country, and solving the internal problems of education, illegal immigration, our severely declining manufacturing base and drugs with a different approach.
    The lost opportunity for those young people in harms way and our country is tragic. Isn’t time we stepped back and said simply, “ENOUGH ALREADY!”? Learn from Viet Nam and let’s re-focus on the U.S.

     
  10. AvatarSteve Prahl

    I have a daughter who is a Cadet at the USMA at West Point, New York. I have had the distinct privilige to speak with several Cadets about this very subject. I also have a son who will soon entering the Military in either the Army or the Marines. Both of these young people have decided ot serve their National in a time of war. Am I worried about them getting killed, yes. But the odds are better that they will be killed in a car accident or murdered in any of more than 20 cities right here at home than they could be killed in Iraq or Afghanistan.

    The bottom line is this. We were a nation born from Patriots that SACRAFICED everything they had including their lives for most precious gift that God gave us and that is FREEDOM. We now have become a Nation of people who will sacrafice FREEDOM for the sake of SECURITY and possesions. Thakfully there are a about 1/3 of our citizens who still recognize that we would have none of what we have today be it not for FREEDOM. The Revolutionary War was fought and won by about 1/3 of the Colinists. They won FREEDOM for all Colinists. In the Declaration of Indenpendence, it states that it is not only our right , but our “DUTY” to throw off tyrany when government no longer serves the people form which it derives its power from. We are fast approaching this time when we, Patriot Citizens, will need stand up and be counted, votes and yes, fight if necessary to preserve the last bastion of FREEDOM left on this earth. I only prayt hat there are enough of us left to get the job done so that we can restore government ,under The Constitution, of, by and for the people of this great Nation. We need to fight ALL enemies, foregin and domestic, and we need ot fight until VICTORY is WON. FREEDOM must be paid for in blood. It cannot be purchased for dolalrs or gold. What the West does not understand is that we are enggaed in a religous war. Radiacl Islam is, and had always been, spread by the sword. History has told us that and we have precious little time to get our minds wrapped around this before they infiltrate and destroy all that is FREE and enslave the world under Islamic Law. To answer your queation: YES! We must fight them every step of the way because if we do not, they will kill you, me, our wives, mothers, fahters, sons, daughters all because we do not swear alligance to Allah.

    My wife and I stand to lose our most precious son and daughter to this fight, but that is the price that Patriots have always paid for FREEDOM and I pray to GOD everyday that there are enough of us left willing to make the sacarfice for those ae too selfish to make the SACRAFICE. My children are HEROS and I proud to support them while they put thier lives on the line to protect YOU, so that YOU can live the live YOU lead without fear of political or religious persecution. YOU HAVE FREEDOM! Once that is gone, you have nothing.

     
  11. AvatarRuss Breeden

    How many American lives would have been lost over the last 10 years if we did nothing to stop the radicals that state they are at war with the USA ?

    When a group or country stands up and boldly states “WE ARE AT WAR WITH THE USA”
    Do we sit on our hands and do nothing and ignore them ?

    I would personally prefer to take the battle to their soil like GW did than have to fight on American land .

    If your milling machines starts to rust , do you not do something about it ?

    If your prize rose bush’s have pests on them , do you not break out the bug spray ?

    Should we let North Korea take over S Korea ?

    4000 American deaths wont compare to whats coming ppl .

    Wake up or shut up people !

    And Lloyd , i lost a little more respect for you AGAIN today .

     
  12. Avatarmark makulinski

    we made a huge mistake going into Iraq. Sadaam Hussein was a terrible despot but poised no threat to USA. He was actually our ally in our fight against the Taliban. The taliban hated him worse than we did

    If we, rather than attacking Iraq, concentrated our efforts in rebuilding Afghanistan, many of the lives would not have been sacrificed and the funds spent in Iraq could have developed a new Afghanistan that would have eventually led to peace in Pakistan as well.

    W could have been one of our best presidents rather than one of our worse.

     
  13. AvatarDennis Trammell

    I have read your editorials over the years with lots of questions as to what country you really support, Bragging how none of your family has ever served in the military,and then questioning anything about being a patriot is total BS.
    People like you should leave this country and take your Korean car buying sons with you!
    I am not surprized that you voted for the idiot that we have as president,but then again you do live in chicago dont you?
    Steve Prahl has it right,you dont have a clue.

     
  14. AvatarBryan Herter

    One thing that people need to remember is that the terrorists attacked us first going all the way back to the Beruit Marine barracks bombing, to the USS Cole bombing, to 9/11. We didn’t start all of this but when a group states that they are at war with the U.S, and then take actions that cost us citizens or soldiers lives, I think that we are justified in responding. And if you insist on blaming President Bush, just remember that our Congress, both Liberal and Conservative, looked at the same reports that he saw from the CIA and voted for the war plans. Soon after, of course, some lawmakers like Hillary Clinton came out and said that their “yes” vote was a mistake. How cowardly!! If you want to be a leader of a great country like this, then LEAD! Don’t be a coward and change your mind after a few groups who support your campaign get critical of your decision. Right or wrong, you always knew where President Bush stood on an issue and he didn’t get wishy washy after things didn’t go the way he thought. Which is more than you can say for the President we now have.
    I am very proud and thankful of the men and women who put themselves in harms way to protect this great nation

     
  15. AvatarTheron

    Lloyd, I consider you a friend, so consider my comments in that light.

    Sacrifice… is sacrifice worth it? First I must say that most of us have never really been faced with having to make that choice to truely sacrifice, where our life are at risk. Yes, WWII was I believe was a just war, one worth all the sacrifice and there was lose, pain and heartache but you and I still believe it was still worth it, I surmiss by your comments. How about the sacrifice that the early Americans layed down to free ourselves from the tryanny of Britian, was that worth it? I have a great, great grandfather who we know layed down his life against the British Redcoats. For this I am proud of, because it was that sacrifice which many made to establish this country where all men and women are free. Where we can pursue our dreams, chase our stars and fail or succeed. Is the sacrifice worth it…yes. Many of us have lost our way, our sense as to what it is to be an American…which I am proud to be. The struggle, the sacrifice, the creativity all this is what in many ways differentiates us from the rest of the world. We are willing to sacrifice, to rush to the fray, first to the fight. I don’t want to be the rest of the world. I don’t want to be a German, English or Chinese. I want, an AM an American. I want to live free, pursue liberty…this is our spirit, our call. I wish that we could live in peace with all mankind, but it is not working that way is it? Look at little Isreal, fighting for the peace and their right to exist surrounded by enemies is their fight worth it? We do live in a Global society, but this does not change the heart of men or women. There are still those bent on global evilness to do harm to their neighbor, to dominate, to enslave and destory. Sacrifice…an early patriot in American said this: “All it takes for evil to truimph is for good men to do nothing”, Edmund Burke

    P.S. My son is a soldier and a university student, I am proud of his service as I am of Aaron Horn who layed down his life against the British. It is worth it!

     
  16. AvatarMike McCaul

    Bryan Herter is incorrect about us being attacked first. Well….thats to say the DATE is wrong. In 1805, the US Marines attacked Tripoli to free American SLAVES held there by, you guessed it, Barbary Pirates, who were Muslums. They had been attacking American and European ships for years, the US just got tired of it. It was the first American military action against a Muslim group. “From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli…”

     
  17. AvatarTim

    We needed to do something about al-quida and going into Afghanistan for that reason made sense. iraq was about revenge and some people will have to answer to their maker someday for that mess. The problem with both is that from the start they were mismanaged. I’m not saying I could do better but I’m not the public servant leading us into war. Every person’s life is worth a greaat deal and should not be spent casually.

     
  18. AvatarMike Powell

    There has been a lot of discussion about us being attacked first. Most of the 9/11 attackers were from Saudi Arabia, not Iraq.

    What was certainly under attack long before 9/11 was our rule of law. Even today we are not protecting our borders or enforcing our laws.

    Had we been enforcing the laws prior to 9/11 most of the terrorist would have been sent home. Most (if not all) had outstayed their Visa’s and were here illegally.

    I don’t believe we are responsible for the actions the terrorist took or actions that other extremist have taken and will continue to attempt.

    What we are responsible for is to enforce our laws, protect our borders, and maintain a second to none intelligence system.

    I sincerely don’t understand how we think we can build nations and set up rule of law if we can’t protect our own nation or follow our rule of law.

    I have served my nation through military service and am proud of those serving today. Going into Afghanistan could have been the right action. I’m uncertain about going to Iraq the second time.

    I am certain that any true patriot would agree that before we tackle nation building we should practice what we preach and enforce our own rule of law and protect our borders first.

     
  19. AvatarJoe Leslein

    Yes Lloyd, I feel the wars are worth it. Even though my oldest son did two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, and was exposed to life threatening danger, my sense of patriotism pervades. I thank God we live in a country where our young people volunteer to risk their lives for the greater good of us all. I feel the big picture is that as a country, the U.S.A. has a role to fill in this world, a role that potential troublemakers have to think long and hard about dealing with, should they contemplate whatever crazy idea they come up with.
    God Bless America!

     
  20. AvatarEd Gnifkowski

    Whether we like it or not, we have become freedoms policeman. As a Korean Vet I will always take exception to second guessers that haven’t “been there done that”. After 911, I’m ready to take anyone down that threatens us. If I have a problem, it’s that we’ve been too soft on doing that. In some eyes that makes me a war monger, but I can handle that. That being said I thought that Viet Nam was a realliy stupid blunder on many fronts.

     
  21. AvatarJanie McCann

    Yes, Americans are safer because of soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Only a fool would not realize this!
    There will be wars until the end of time. Bad leaders, Hitler, Saddam, etc. will target the weak first. It is still well known we are strong, but unless we show we are willing to use it, the respect needed for peace is not there.

     
  22. AvatarJerry Johnson

    Lloyd & Guys;

    Let me set the current record straight, and I am not doing so entirely from my perspective.

    Given: The United States of America has become by default the protector of the “free world”. All other nations have intentionally abandoned their military responsibilities in order to channel the costs of fielding defense forces and equipment into other areas of their Socialist economies in an attempt to survive . (Read – Robert Kagan’s book “Of Paradise and Power”). The EU model is a perfect example. So………given that conscripted responsibility, the United States of America must maintain our dominance as a Super Power.

    Like technology in the machine tool industry, the technology of making war changes – sometimes exponentially over a very short period of time. There needs to be an arena within which to test and measure this new technology. The research and development lab for new war fighting technology is the battlefield. We, therefore and by necessity, will find an already active war zone within which to test this new technology, or as was the case with Vietnam, we will create one. Remember that just prior to the beginning of the Vietnam war, the United States Military had just transitioned from an Airborne to an Air Mobile concept. We needed an arena within which to test (among many things) the helicopter and confirm its viability in combat. The Generals and Admirals went “politicking”, and once the Kennedy obstacle was overcome, Johnson gave them their arena. The rest is history, including my 13 months of command there watching this unfold.

    Of course, it seems to never be worth the taking of a single life. But, that part of it, unfortunately, goes with the territory. The new technology gets tested, modified, refined or abandoned to pave the way for other “new stuff”. Wars (like Iraq) eventually conclude.

    And then, the cycle will start over.

     
  23. AvatarLaurie

    Definitely not worth fighting for. We’ve only made ourselves a target for extremists. You don’t create peace by waging war. It’s an archaic mentality fueled by greed and self righteousness.
    We’ve probably as a nation killed and/or tortured as many Iraqi’s as Saddam himself.

     
  24. AvatarEllsworth Philbrick

    Being a history buff and the son of a WWII veteran that like many of that era, did not speak a lot about their experiences. I decided to study as much as I could. Simply put, Hitler, like Sadam,started out bullying neighbors and making treats and we know what that lead to. With nuclear weapons readily available to such leaders, when do we consider their treats worthy of a few thousand to prevent the slaughter of a few million. If we had found evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, I’d bet that done of us would question the price we paid to eliminate them. In the late 30’s, 1940 and early ’41, we tried to ignore, play it down and in every way blow-off the “issues” in Europe and Japan, ( we don’t hear much about what Japan did in China, but it was horrible) and we knw what it GREW into. So, when do we take the leason learned and step in and stamp out a camp fire before it turns into fire storm. If only we had a crystal ball.

     
  25. AvatarSteve Hasty

    It is heart wrenching to see the images of those who have lost loved ones in the service to our country on Memorial Day or any other day. When you ask the question “is it worth it” you must also NOT forget the images of suffering and loss from 9-11-2001 and ponder what other attacks America may have suffered if we had not taken aggressive action to protect ourselves. I am firmly convinced that without our initiatives in Afghanistan and Iraq we would have experienced many other catastrophic 911 type of events with more bloodshed and sorrow on American soil. Freedom and security are not gained or maintained without sacrifice. Those that died for our country in those foreign lands were volunteers who understood the burden and sacrifice that they would possibly have to make yet they did their duty anyway.
    America has never had a struggle that was totally “clear” in every perspective. There were many who did not agree with our struggle for independence and returned to England. Those who felt the effort was worth the sacrifice started a pretty good nation-even in the absence of total clarity.
    I am qualified to speak on this subject. I face the possibility of this sacrifice and the merit of this question daily. As I write these words, my son Zach is on his second deployment to Iraq as an Army reservist (citizen soldier-just like our forefathers). He has interrupted his education to serve our country. He knows the cost. As my son says, ” Dad somebody has to do it! (Protect our country). I would rather it be me than my friends or family. I am prepared to pay the cost.” He is my hero and a true American patriot.

     
  26. AvatarRaymond T. Frattone

    US Active Duty Military Deaths, 1980 Through 2006
    Part I, Total Military Personnel

    Enlarge

    You will note that the military’s current casualty rate is just about at or even under that of the average during peace time.

    One has to take into account that the size of the military has contracted over the years, thanks to Mr. Clinton.

    Still, for the year of peace 1980, the fatality rate (2,159,630 divided into 2,392) was .11%.

    Compare that number to the fatality rate near the height of the “insurgency” in 2006 (1,378,014 divided into 1,858) which was .13%.

    And with the “surge” of course these numbers have gone down tremendously in the last year.

    From the Department Of Defense November 1, 2007 briefing:

    So why isn’t this amazing news being shouted from the rooftops?

    And speaking of our unbiased media watchdogs, remember the recent reports about the uptick in suicides in the military in recent years?

    As it happens the next chart in the CRS report speaks to that claim:

    US Active Duty Military Deaths, 1980 Through 2006
    Part II, Cause of Death

    Enlarge

    It would appear that the number of self-inflicted deaths is actually going down.

    Of course the steep decline in the number of men and women on active duty and the tremendous reduction of accidental deaths are contributing factors here.

    But still, how many people on the street would believe that we lost more solders in 1980 in a time of no war, than in 2006 when we were fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

    Meanwhile, we have people (well, Democrats and other America-haters) who claim to be so despondent over the numbers of soldiers dying in the war on terror.

    And yet, sadly, US soldiers have been dying at roughly that same rate for at least the 25 years — in times of peace and times of war.

    Where was their concern for human life then? Or are these folks only concerned about the deaths of US troops when it can be used to hurt America’s interests?

    These are rhetorical questions, obviously.

    (Kudos to the poster at Free Republic, InfantryMarine, who first got hold of this CRS report.)

    Sincerely,
    Ray Frattone

     
  27. AvatarPeter

    after reading that article… wow. What is our motivation for war? Is our motivation to save lives, protect our own hides, or protect our interests? Morality and war are difficult to reconcile, however there is one truth, Saddam was evil. The truth is he personally had many people killed, tens of thousands! From a humane perspective Saddam was evil so what do we do?

    We can sanction Iraq however they have oil. American’s act all high and mighty but when gas prices hit $4.00 a gallon we all start to cry! Truth be told, we were soft on Iraq because of the oil.

    Our solders deserve nothing less than our complete support, period. The Iraq war has removed an evil dictator, this is good. We need to encourage them as they strive to rebuild that region. We need to remind them of the good thing it has been to remove Saddam. We need to apologize to each of them for our selfish greed every time we fill our tanks.

    This war is not the ‘fault’ of one party or the other, any fault lies squarely on the American people for not choosing to reduce our dependency on oil imports from countries whose values do not align with our own.

     
  28. AvatarBryan Herter

    Peter, I don’t agree with you. Why do so many Americans (including our President) think they have to apologize for our country? We didn’t steal any oil, it is bought on the world commodities markets and processed into many useful products here in our country and world wide. The money that is paid for the oil goes to governments that don’t use much if any of the money for the people. It goes into
    R & D for finding more oil, or palaces, or other luxury items for the ruling people, but it seems that little ever trickles down. And yes, we do have a lot of cars per capita, a lot of houses per capita, a lot of everything per capita. But we got that way by a capitalist system which says to work for what you want, not have the government give you e everything. Is it sometimes not fair? Absolutely! But it is still the best system on earth and nobody said life was fair. If we are such a bad country, than why is the rest of the world trying to get into it?

     
  29. AvatarBill Hopcraft

    In all the years that the fighting has been going on, I have yet to hear anyone define our country’s mission in concrete, measurable terms. How can we know if a goal is worthwhile without knowing what the goal is? Our leaders have certainly done plenty of flag-waving and talking of ‘establishing democracy’, ‘freeing people from oppression’, and countless other similar catch phrases, but these things are way too nebulous to justify the terrible sacrifices made by our brave men and women in uniform.

     
  30. AvatarJack Frost

    Lloyd: Your question is profound. What makes it a good war and what makes it a crime. Lloyd, I go back a little further than your questions. I am a WWII Fighter Pilot and I stayed in combat for the full time of the war. I was in the Good War because I was fighting the enemy that attacked us. I asked the question then and I ask it now. Why did FDR send all of our assets to Europe, when we were not attacked by Germany, and leave me and my comrades to fight with second class equipment and a shortage of men. I flew missions from Brisbane, Australia to my last combat covering the second atom bomber (Bart’s Car) from enemy attack. Why did I break my back in fighting for the Freedom of whom. The worst blow happened when the WAR Department gave us what they considered a secondclass airplane. When we proved their superiority, they took them and sent them to Europe. For Whom? When making a massive strike we could cobble up 25 or 50 heavy bombers, a like amount of Mitchels a mixed bag of obsolete Kittyhawks, Air Cobras A-24s and we subdued the enemy. When our Allies the Aussies were through fighting Rommell, the Brits let them come home to fight the Japs. We had malaria and dengue. Not the runs that was popular on every 29th mission. I didn’t lose a single bomber that I escorted over 2 and a half years. Nobody invited me to the White House for a Gold Medal. And when it was over they traded my rights to seek compensation for abuse, but they gave those rights to the European immigrants for slave labor claims in our Federal Courts. It was a civilian army then. Today it is volunteer and represents about one percent of our population., yet 95 percent of our population have social engineering for them. What a bunch of slobs. They gave up their right to be involved in the lives of our military when they spit on the returnees from VietNam. During WWII most of the countries south of our border were neutral. They often were havens for the enemy engaged in operations against us. I didn’t see a Mexican Division fighting on our side. No not even a regiment , nay not even a platoon, but their descendents demand the freedom my generation won. Who the hell do they think they are. We hear never again and we are visited with the sins of the German fathers every year even until the fifth generation. Why don’t we say to illegal immigration, no not now never. You have asked a profound question but I haven’t given you a profound answer. It is very pragmatic.

     
  31. AvatarDavid McLindsay

    It appears you have forgotten the number of people killed or affected by the attacks on American soil on 9-11-01. Click here to remember.
    Maybe we should have just cleaned up the mess and waited for the next attack instead of taking the war to their country.
    Maybe you have not read of the unthinkable things Saddam did to the people of Iraq.
    If you think that Saddam would have been content torturing his own people and leaving the U.S alone, you are sadly mistaken.
    Republicans and Democrats alike believed the intelligence that Saddam had WMD’s, but when none are found, blame Bush.
    I’m not in the military, but like our soldiers, I would give my life in a second to protect this country and I would rather the war was not on US soil.

     
  32. AvatarJerry Johnson

    No WMDs in Iraq?????? Get real, and unlike the press, tell it like it is !!! In 1988 it’s estimated that upwards of 100,000 Kurdish adults and children were killed by Hussein when he “cleansed” Northern Iraq using Sarin and Mustard Gas. It doesn’t have to be a Nuke to be a weapon of mass destruction.

     
  33. AvatarDan

    I struggle with the question myself. I am the son of a veteran of Korea, a veteran with 10 years active service during the Cold War, Grenada, Panama and Desert Storm. My son currently serves and will head back to Afghanistan for a third tour next year. My personal belief is that our soldiers serve as a function of our faith. Faith in our form (not necessarily the party in power) of government and faith that the American people will ensure that the government is monitored by the taxpayers and voters well enough to assure the will of the people and our national interests are followed. Many argue that wars are about money, and therefore, support the rich. I disagree, while certainly there is oil in Iraq, there are also a lot of American interest in keeping the area stable. With an unstable Middle East, there is more likely an interruption of the American way of life. When asked why I support the wars, I like to respond that my asker’s moral outrage doesn’t seem to force him to park his 2nd car, usually an SUV, doesn’t make him stop buying water in tiny plastic bottles that are made from oil, doesn’t stop him from exploiting the gains that we, as an industrialized nation net from the oil taken out of the Middle East. While none of these material things equate to a single American life lost, our military has gotten smarter and more tech savvy when protecting their investment in soldiers. There are very few mano a mano pitched battles anymore, very few forward deployed assets. Our troops are now more heavily armored and well protected than at any time in history. That being said, I am always sad at the loss of a single soldier’s life. In closing, I believe that we must always respond to aggression with aggression. The argument that the Iraqis were not involved in terrorism is a weak one that merits no space here. Libya learned it’s lesson about sponsoring terrorism, I think Iraq has too. Remember that the fundamentalists behind the initial campaign had no one country they represented, they were a ragtag conglomeration of idealists. This conglomeration still exists, and thanks to our resolve as a country, we have been able to prevent a second attack like 9/11. And if you think that our presence in the Middle East is not acting as a deterrent, I think you may be naive.

     
  34. Avatarthink

    ” ….You don’t create peace by waging war. It’s an archaic mentality ….”

    this is completely naive. Is it “archaic” because our world has finally eliminated evil from itself. If the above statement is true, then there’s no reason for police to carry weapons. How can any form of justice prevail if there’s no ability to enforce it?

    Did WWII and Hitler happen because good enough diplomacy and sanctions did not exist back then? Wake up people, Hitler wasn’t a one time unique anomaly which can never repeat itself. At any given point in time there are hundreds (if not thousands) of power zealots in this world that would jump at the chance of picking up where he left off. What stops them?

    I believe we should step aside and let Iran develop whatever nuclear capabilities they wish … they only want to use those resources for “peaceful” reasons. Besides, if they decide to slip something to one of their friends in Syria at some point that ends up taking out a chunk of Israel, what is that to me? If the device isn’t launched from Iran why should they be held accountable for what someone else chooses to do with it?

    I don’t live in Israel and don’t know anyone personally there that would be killed. This is the new American Patriotic thinking …. why sacrifice if there’s nothing in it for me or directly affects me personally. Even that thinking is usually shortsighted because inevitably and given enough time- it WILL affect you.

    I think our execution of wars past and present could be better. But that’s like being a monday morning quarterback. Of coarse with hindsight, and not being the person needing to make decisions in the moment when it matters- almost any rational person can make a correct decision.

    I could tell you exactly how you should have invested your money six months ago – now.

    We don’t know what could have happened had the US not responded with force. One thing that can be certain … when tyrants and crazies no longer have a counter force to hold back what they really are bent on doing, they will without doubt carry out whatever they want. When that happens (and I believe it will), whatever misery our world contains now will seem minor compared to then.

     
  35. AvatarJohn

    I have been blessed to live through some great times in the Country I was born in. (USA) I spent 3 years of my life during the Vietnam War in the US Army even though I didn’t serve in Vietnam. It was a shame what treatment we went through during that time being in the USA military. We as Americans have always been the country everyone wants to go to and why do you think that is? Maybe just maybe its because we have something everyone wants. Its the freedom to even ask the question if we should be envolved in wars around the world. Its amazing to me that when you look on MSN and see the headlines reading that Americans have found riches in Afganistan worth trillions. Ever ask yourself why “Americans” find this? Do you think they just happen to stumble on some Lithium while they were looking for Bin Ladden. I don’t think that most people are so stupid they can’t figure out whats going on. I was in Cleveland a month ago and a business was telling me how they had just set up a large machine in Vietnam for manufacturing tires, so I do believe that we have a lot of soldiers who loose their life for a lot of others who benefit from it. Now you tell me is the war worth fighting for? All depends what your receiving for your investment. We could put up a large wall around the US and have our Government cut off all outside world information. Then we could just take care of only those who live and work and do business in the United States of America.

     

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