Archive for Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Letters to the editor: Cherishing victory

August 1, 2007

In her recent commentary, our honorable Congresswoman Nancy Boyda hit the nail squarely on the head. Regarding the Democratic proposal to change the military mission in Iraq she said, "I am not expert enough on the situation to say what that mix should be."

At least in Congresswoman Boyda's case she is willing to admit her ignorance. Sadly, most of her misguided colleagues carry on as if they know far better than anyone else how to plan and conduct theater-level military operations in Iraq. I shudder at the mere thought.

The United States military has never simply "quit" an entire theater of operations in its history. Our aging veterans will gladly remind us how places like the Philippines in 1942 are still a bitter pill for that generation to swallow, but these were "tactical-level" defeats under fire -- not a sudden wholesale retreat which abandons an entire theater of war.

Our slow departure from and ultimate defeat in Vietnam literally destroyed the fabric of our military. I spent an entire career watching the transformation as our Army moved from demoralized, draftee rabble, to the most admired military force in the history of the world. My tour in Iraq taught me quite clearly what a "withdrawal" before some measure of success is achieved would do to our great national experiment called "the all-volunteer military" -- it would end it.

YOUR Army is revered the way it is because it is filled with Americans who cherish victory more than they fear death. Selfish politicians who would shatter that ethos in the arrogant pursuit of election year politics gravely insult the very institution that has sworn to "support and defend" us since 1775.

Congresswoman Boyda would do well to consider this before she votes for our military to "take a dive" in Iraq.

Tony Baker
Lawrence

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