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Lack of historical perspective mars anti-Iraqi war viewpoints

Dan Hartigan - Breckenridge

In response to Tom Schorr’s Aug. 16 letter: That one letter-writer considering you “more scary (properly referred to as scarier) than any terrorist group or rogue dictator” was harsh and uncalled for. Your lack knowledge and compassion for the world around you is disheartening.

As George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Coincidentally, your letter appeared on the same day in history that President Woodrow Wilson declared a policy of strict neutrality, trying to keep the United States out of World War I.

A short time later, Germany began sinking U.S. ships as part of its unrestricted warfare policy. The U.S. declared war on the German government (not its people) eight months later after intercepting a telegram stating Germany’s willingness to help Mexico regain territory in Texas and Arizona.

Isolationism didn’t work in 1916 and it certainly wouldn’t work in today’s global environment.

According to the Human Rights Watch, an estimated 290,000 Iraqis have “disappeared” under Saddam’s regime in the past 20 years. Admittedly, that doesn’t compare to the Nazi’s “final solution” which killed almost two-thirds of the nine million Jews in Europe. But is that because Saddam isn’t a bad guy or simply because he was stopped sooner?

Tragically, an estimated 6,000 to 8,000 civilians have been killed since the war began. However, this number is still below the 40 people per day who were being executed in Iraq prior to the war for their political and religious beliefs.

Reconstruction takes time. Anybody who doesn’t think the Iraqi people will be better off is naive to the past situation.

You stated “people who have nothing to lose can be persuaded into giving their lives for martyrdom easier than those who do not live in poverty.”

Wouldn’t it be in our best interest to remove tyranny and educate today’s youth the world over so they do have something to live for?

Finally, no rational person is pro-war. However, there are irrational people in this world who only understand force.

Dan Hartigan

Breckenridge


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