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Wrong War, Wrong Place, Wrong Time?
J. D. Pendry
In 1971, John Kerry anti-war protestor, called the Vietnam War a mistake when he asked how you could ask a man to be the last one to die for a mistake. In recent days, he said the war in Iraq is the wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time. John Kerry anti-war protestor sounds alarmingly like John Kerry presidential candidate.
This should be a week for reflection and to remember where we are currently in the history of the world. Unfortunately, one who would lead us in the World War against terror has raised serious questions with his statement. He must answer these questions.
Is there ever sufficient reason to go to war for Senator Kerry? He was anti-Vietnam until it appeared war hero status played well on the political scene. He voted against Gulf War I and, for now anyway, opposes the war in Iraq. In Vietnam, we hoped to provide a people the opportunity for self-determination and a way out of submission to an oppressive communist dictatorship. Thanks largely to the activities of John Kerry anti-war protestor and others, millions lost the chance for self-determination and their lives. In Gulf War I, we confronted an aggressor that invaded and pillaged an entire country while threatening to destabilize the Middle East and the world. Fortunately, most of America and the world thought it the right thing to do and did not join Senator Kerry’s protest. The war in Iraq is not a separate, off-track adventure as some would have us believe. Continual insistence that it is by those who would lead our country, demonstrates a level of naiveté that is dangerous to us and to the civilized world.
On 09/11/01, Islamic terrorists bred in the Middle East on a fanatical abomination of a religion attacked our country. Our military removed them from power and safe haven in Afghanistan and the country is on it’s way to free democratic elections in little more than a month. Sadaam Hussein’s oppressive regime was a known enemy and threat to our country. He used chemical weapons in the past and was known to have them as well as biological weapons and was pursuing nuclear weapons. Logical and rational thinking recognizes the threat. Following 09/11/01, it would be derelict of our Commander in Chief to not remove it. Considering the warrior side of Senator Kerry, one must assume that he knows the importance of establishing a beachhead. Iraq is an extension of the beachhead established in Afghanistan from which to confront our sworn terrorist enemy. Democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq are the most lethal weapon we can employ in the war against Islamic fascism. Could it be that Senator Kerry simply opposes self-determination, freedom from oppression, torture, prisons, rape rooms and mass executions? Please review the Cambodian killing fields and the millions of murdered and imprisoned Vietnamese following anti-war protestor aided communist victory.
Taking a quick survey of the globe, I’m curious now if Russia believes it was the wrong time. Was it the right time following the first World Trade Center bombing? Was it the right time following our embassy bombings in Africa? Was it the right time following the bombing of the USS Cole? Do you believe the 350,000 souls in Sadaam’s mass graves think it was the wrong time? Do you think 5,000 gassed Kurds believe it was the wrong time? Senator Kerry tells us that his approach will be to respond to attacks. Senator, in our new world, responding to threats is the right time responding to attacks is too late. For emphasis please review the events of 09/11/01.
History has taught us that that the world’s two major competing political philosophies of communism and democracy, which represent the civilized world, cannot coexist for long periods without armed confrontation. It may be direct confrontation or it may be confrontation largely waged through surrogates. Still, our philosophies can compete without the complete destruction of one or the other and the periods of peaceful coexistence seem to be increasing. The civilized world cannot coexist with terrorism. For either to survive, the other must be destroyed. We need leaders that see this with clarity and know that we are fighting the right war and that the right place is wherever the terrorists or a threat exists and the right time is now.
“We Will Not Forget”
Captain Edward W. Luzadder, Jr.
“The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what happened. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. That we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
President Abraham Lincoln
From The Gettysburg Address, 1863
September 11, 2004, Iraq.
Today the 197th Field Artillery Brigade (composed of units from New Hampshire, West Virginia, South Dakota, and South Carolina) and Camp Cedar II took time to remember the almost 3000 people lost in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. It was a simple ceremony with deep meaning to those of us fighting the “Global War on Terrorism” which soon followed the brutal attack on our country.
Most will remember where we were that day, as many can remember where they were the day President Kennedy was assassinated. We were in our homes, offices, and schools. We were commuting to work, riding a bus, waiting for an appointment and some were sleeping after a night at work, to awaken to a living nightmare. Soon after the attack, our country was awash with American flags, as pride in our country exploded. That was three years ago.
“Like so many others, I was called to help in the aftermath. As I ministered to the soldiers and the urban rescue teams that combed the ruins of the Pentagon, I remember seeing that American resolve in the eyes of each one. As truckload after truckload of debris was spread out in the vast parking lots surrounding that building, I picked through the rubble with the recovery teams who tirelessly sifted through the debris searching for human remains. I stood and prayed, day after day, in the Morgue with FBI agents as they tediously and dutifully and respectfully handled and photographed and catalogued the remains that were brought there in body bag after body bag. I remember watching as the evidence numbers mounted higher and higher. I remember sitting on the muddy ground with young soldiers waiting like an attack dog at the end of a chain for their turn to go into the shattered building and join the search. American resolve was everywhere around me.
Chaplain David Grover
Brigade Chaplain, 197th Field Artillery Brigade
Remarks remembering September 11, 2001
Today we also reflect upon over a thousand Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine personnel who have given “…the last full measure of devotion” in Iraq, defending our nation against a terrorist threat that is ever present. We no longer see the flags waving at home, as the flags have long since faded, and the memories of September 11 have faded even faster. A people once united in the defense of our country has quickly forgotten the reason we are where we are, and doing the things we are doing to preserve freedom. Yet, our resolve, as soldiers, has not faded, and in fact it is renewed as we remember why we are fighting this “Global War”, and we remember those who went before us.
On a closing note, this weekend the images of that tragic day will be replayed over and over, as numerous so-called “experts” will put on their “Monday Morning Quarterback” helmets to help us understand the point of view of the media outlet paying the bills. Listen, learn, and decide for yourself which “version” is closest to the truth. Remember, we are at war, much like we were in 1970-71, and the media is doing as much damage to our morale and security as a certain Senator did when he met with the North Vietnamese while still a member of the Armed Forces. But who am I to judge, I am just a soldier.
God Bless the United States of America.
Copyright © Ed Luzadder, 2004, All Rights Reserved
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J.D. Pendry is author of The Three Meter Zone, Random House/Ballantine.
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