Letters to the editor

March 24, 2007

Those in the profile have a right to back President Bush

To the editor:

Gene Weingarten's column (Feb. 18) reports that a mere 17 percent in this country strongly supports President Bush's work. He then embellishes his comments by profiling a typical member of this group as closely resembling Foxworthy's "You may be a redneck if..." To his credit he portrays at least one member accurately.

I was raised in the hills 70 miles west of Hagerstown. I had read the Bible cover to cover by the age of 12.

I own four guns and was well-versed in the use of outhouses. Some of the cars that I owned should have been on blocks instead of the road and I repaired air-conditioners for a living. Once or twice a year I read The Washington Post as a reminder that even prodigious publications are poor sources for unbiased news.


President Bush is an idealist. He is convinced that people freed from tyranny and given the chance to adopt democratic law will do so. He has in fact, accomplished this in Iraq while driving bin Laden to self-imposed exile at the same time.

Idealism is not a strong point with U.S. presidents. The 15 that preceded Lincoln did not have abolition of slavery on their agendas. Had the Confederates agreed to remain in the Union provided Lincoln did not outlaw slavery, even he would not have issued the Emancipation Proclamation and slavery might have endured for decades. FDR claimed that Pearl Harbor suffered a sneak attack.

Huge ships crossing 2,000 miles of open water for two weeks are not sneaking. Not only was he unaware of the Japanese threat but misread Hitler's intentions and delayed sending troops to England for two years.

JFK failed to provide expected assistance to the Cuban exiles in their bid to oust Castro for fear of how the Russians might retaliate. No president since can deny that his attitude toward the Cuban citizens is similar to Marie Antoinette's "Let them eat cake."

The loss of American lives is tragic. But that is what armies do; they take lives, they give lives. Some activities, both military and civilian, have built-in consequences; drunken drivers are examples of this give-and-take in civilian life.

The foregoing comments may appear to come from a bystander with little compassion or firsthand knowledge of tragedy. But I have seen bodies blown apart. I was with the 42nd Division when it and the 45th liberated thousands from the Dachau concentration camp and I know what it is like to lose a family member to violence. My brother was in an Army tank unit. Ironically, he was not killed in combat but was murdered within 10 blocks of the U.S. Capitol building.

Perhaps negotiation is more productive than force. Maybe Jimmy Carter should be re-elected. Times are topsy-turvy now.

John Wayne is an awkward oaf and Elton John is a knight. Women dress more seductively now than ever, yet Viagra sales increase. English is the worldwide language used in commerce while we become bilingual.

I respect Weingarten's right to his profile. He may be right; we strong supporters may be as outdated as outhouses. But for now I say, "Hail to the chief."

F. Burkett

Soldiers are the reason we're free

To the editor:

As an American citizen, granddaughter, daughter, wife and mother of United States military veterans, I am extremely frightened at the direction and message our current, newly elected political figures and the media are sending to our troops and others. Our U.S. military personnel are the best and brightest in the world. These brave men and women volunteer on all of our behalf, to serve and protect our precious freedoms. They help others gain these gifts from God. It's a very sad day when our own government votes against our commander-in-chief and our troops. What happened to "united we stand?"

Their next step will be to take our troops' funding away. Please stop saying our newly elected government officials and media support our troops. Their actions speak differently. What message are we sending to our military, our allies - the Brits and the Australians - and most of all our enemy?

America better wake up, because this is no time to play partisan politics. It's almost as though Sept. 11, 2001, never happened. We have forgotten!

Our media and the "new" crowd in charge of our government should be very ashamed. Which side are you on? In World War II they would have been labeled "traitors."

The truth about the Iraq war has never been told to the public. The media wants us to lose. It's Vietnam politics all over again, with the lives of our military members hanging in the balance.

It's a sad day in America to know the truth from loved ones who have served in Iraq and then watch the news and see nothing but lies. All the good things America has done and continues to do on a daily basis is unimportant.

We as Americans need to give our U.S. military all the support they need to get their mission accomplished. As a united country, we sent them to fight. Whether you agree with the war or not, we are in it! Now let's get the job done! Why let partisan political figures and the media dictate the outcome of Iraq and Afghanistan?

God bless our true American heroes - our United States military members! Lest we forget, without them we would not be the "land of the free."

Lynn Jones

(Editor's note: The Herald-Mail has repeatedly invited local soldiers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan to share their stories. To date, few have, even though the invitation was renewed in a number of holiday cards sent out in December 2006 through the South Washington County Military Support Group. We again invite the families of local soldiers to ask them to share their stories.)

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