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Letters to the editor

April 05, 2008

We must fight the dictators

To the editor:

In the March 30 edition of the Herald Mail, Elisabeth Smith made a statement which needs clarification. She wrote Iraq had nothing to do with Sept. 11, 2001, and al-Qaeda was not in Iraq at that date. And then points out al-Qaeda is in Iraq now because the U.S. is.

This is, on the face of it, quite true. But a point is trying to be made that fails the test of critical thinking and the historical facts.

The contention was never that Iraq had anything to do with 9/11, the contention was Afghanistan did. We knew for a fact al-Qaeda was in Afghanistan and we ran them and the Taliban out. Though neither group is giving up, no one expected they would just roll over and go away.


We went into Iraq publicly because of weapons of mass destruction. Not especially nuclear weapons, but chemical/biological weapons, which had been used before by the regime. At a deeper level, we went because they had in fact invaded Kuwait and threatened the world oil supply by threatening to also invade Saudi Arabia.

Iraq scared the oil-producing and oil-consuming nations of the world, and for good reason. It doesn't matter if you think oil is a good reason to invade Iraq, because the truth about the U.S. economy, and the industrialized world in general, is nothing works without oil. Not your homes, not your cars, not your supermarkets and not your libraries. None of it works without oil.

We went to Iraq because we believed they were rebuilding after we ran them out of Kuwait (they were) and because we thought they might use WMDs against either Kuwait or Saudi Arabia in the near future. Nobody has proven such a thing wouldn't happen, and Iraq had given plenty of advance notice of what they intended to do in order to gain domination of the region.

As for al-Qaeda, it's true they weren't in Iraq. Saddam would not put up with them, though he might have sold to them or even funded them. As long as they stayed out of Iraq, he would have been happy. And yes, now Iraq has an al-Qaeda presence, because the U.S. went there. But what the writer failed to note, is al-Qaeda has been roundly defeated in Iraq, reduced to a shambles, with no effective command and control, nor much capability beyond suicide bombers.

The Shiite miltia is a far more dangerous presence in Iraq than al-Qaeda these days.

So al-Qaeda went to Iraq, to take the U.S. on, and they paid dearly for it. Not that we haven't, but we lost more men on D-day than in five years in Iraq, and I'm not willing to say Iraq is less important to the future security of the U.S. than D-Day was so long ago.

The freedoms we have to say what we want, and pretty much, within reason, do what we want, in this country have been purchased with the spilled blood of U.S. military forces. It has always been like this. When the Spartans led 1,400 Athenians against the Persian juggernaut, they all died for one reason. To keep their countries from also dying.

If you think anything has changed since then, other than national boundries having become largely irrelevant, you are sadly mistaken.

We have to fight dictators, and terrorists, wherever they are. And every democracy we can help arise, we need to do it. Because the alternative is a religious dictatorship much like the Persians wanted to force upon free Greece, which is no more acceptable to those who accept their responsibility to resist it.

John Hamilton
USMA 1974

Do the Democrats approve of anything?

To the editor:

I have watched Hillary and Obama stand on a stage and scream how rotten America is.

Thay have attacked and smeared U.S. oil companies. They have accused them of price gouging - while denying them the ability to drill and refine more oil. Hillary said she wants to take the oil companies' profits and use them the way she wants.

They have gone after financial institutions - banks, mortgages companies, and investment brokers are all out to wreck you over, according to the Democrats. The left says they stalk poor people and force them into accepting their terms.

Pharmaceutical companies, which invest billions in new drugs that save lives, are also targets of the left. In their opinion, these companies make way too much of a profit and need the government to have more control over them.

Liberals are not proud of the U.S. health-care system. They say it stinks and costs too much. The Democrats say, "No problem." They will take it over and give you "free" health care. Wait until you see how much "free" health care will cost you.

Liberals are also at war with the world's largest corporation - Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart refuses to allow unions into its company and that is unacceptable to the left. So they attack Wal-Mart every chance they can.

The U.S. military is also a target of the left. They have accused our men and women of torture, rape, murder, and other war crimes. Hollywood has made several films depicting them in this manner.

So what the heck are liberals proud of when it comes to America?

Terry Weddle
Fayetteville, Pa.

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