Taking on Hertzberg’s historical context for war
As I have stated before in a published letter to the Summit Daily, I really appreciate the insight and balance regarding the war against terror provided by your Summit Soldier contributor. However, the best part of the column is that it has brought out such amusing letters such as recently provided by Martin and Ruth Hertzberg. Despite having Ruth’s left-wing anti-Bush/Iraq war tirade thoroughly devastated by the Summit Soldier and Morgan Liddick from Breckenridge, her husband has picked up her lance and offered some more rather feeble “historical” arguments to support their defeatist, “blame America first” mantra. As a former Army officer and a consummate student of military history, I find Martin’s argument that terrorism/insurgencies cannot be defeated by military force ridiculous. There happen to be so many examples in history disputing his claim I cannot enumerate them all. Anybody remember how Rome handled Spartacus? How about the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe for more than a half-century? How about the ongoing survival and determination of tiny, democratic Israel?Martin’s own examples are seriously flawed. For example, the British are still definitely in Northern Ireland and the IRA is thoroughly discredited, as witnessed by Sinn Fein’s current cooperation with the British in finding a peaceful resolution of their bitter differences. (Give Clinton credit here.) The turning point may well have been the IRA’s mass murder of Protestant funeral mourners. Enough is enough! Anybody draw a parallel here to the recent al Qaida attack against fellow Moslem wedding goers in Amman, Jordan, recently? I think Jordanians are saying “enough is enough” as well. As for his French Resistance argument, I submit that the Resistance did not defeat the Nazis. I seem to remember the Allied invasion of Normandy having been a little bit more of a contributing factor! Without that event, I am sure the Resistance would have been crushed. After all, so many French, including later French President Francois Mitterand and WWI hero Marshall Petain, were more than willing to collaborate with the Nazi occupation. Furthermore, the Afghanistan insurgency defeated Russia only after foreign military intervention; specifically, the Reagan administration’s introduction of American Stinger missiles which eliminated Soviet control of the air. Currently, I see that our forces are definitely defeating the Taliban insurgency, although Moslem Jihadist fanatics will no doubt continue to be a bloody annoyance for awhile. Mr. Hertzberg’s assertion that the morality of a conflict is determined by whether we are fighting on our land is also ridiculous. Examples include: President Johnson’s invasion of the Dominican Republic; Clinton’s invasion of Haiti; Reagan’s invasion of Grenada; Bush’s invasion of Panama; and Clinton’s bombing of Serbia. All of those military interventions were successful in that they eliminated terroristic criminal dictatorships. Saddam’s elimination was certainly justified as well. And, we may well have to take on Syria and Iran in the immediate future. Civilization might just depend on American intervention. To allow the Jihadist’s victory in the Middle East would be a disaster of epic proportion. You see, that is where the oil is! And, for now at least, the whole planet depends on oil. I believe the Summit Soldier correctly states we are indeed winning. As a student of military history, I can also attest that our casualties, although certainly regrettable, are rather minimal considering the large scope of the mission. To put it in perspective, we lose more people per year to gunshot wounds in the Los Angeles-metro region alone. Should we cut and run and pull our police out of these cities?All considered, I say our troops our doing a very effective job and will indeed prevail, despite the misguided lack of support and downright undermining of the cause by the left-wing elements of the Democratic Party. Rather, I expect the Democrats to take a major beating in the next national election. You see, Americans like winners.
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