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Let's welcome the Guards

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The exact time and date haven't been set yet, but word is that there is a homecoming planned for the six members of the Storm Lake garrison returning from Iraq at the end of this week.

Seven left, and six are returning.

I cannot stress enough how important it is that every person that possibly can needs to attend the homecoming tentatively scheduled at Storm Lake High School. We all need to be there to show our support. And by we I mean not just the people of Storm Lake but the people of the surrounding area as well. It is really important that you attend. Please stay posted for details.

I've heard some people say that they support the military but not their mission. Personally, I don't see how you can support one without supporting the other. Criminy sakes, how can you tell a soldier that you support him or her but not the cause that person is fighting for.

The insurgents are desperate. Their way of fighting has no honor. They have resorted to almost exclusively using IEDs. That's not war. It's terrorism, plain and simple, the same sort of terrorism that they used on America in New York and Washington, D.C., and failed to use when the passengers of a flight over Pennsylvania defeated the terrorists and saved the lives of who knows how many congressman and senators and possibly the President himself. The Medal of Honor has never been given to a civilian, but I think an exception should be made for every single passenger of that flight over Pennsylvania who may very well have saved our form of government and possibly the cornerstone of civilization itself.

One thing I do agree with is that a military solution alone is not enough in either Iraq or Afghanistan. When Saddam Hussein could get terrorists to turn themselves into bombs by paying their surviving families $3,000, something is terribly wrong.

I don't know that Israel's policies toward the Palestinians have done America a whole lot of good. Perhaps we as a nation could change the course of social change in the Mideast by giving its people something to live for rather than something to die for.

Our agricultural technology and other technological expertise could be used to help the Palestinian peoples, and others without hope, find new ways of harvesting food from the land and sea.

Military force alone is not enough. We must show these oppressed peoples hope by building schools and hospitals and renewing their hope in life.

We need to eventually bend our swords into plowshares. It's not welfare. It's an investment in the future of not only those who are in need in the Mideast, but in ourselves as well.

We've certainly shown people in Afghanistan and Iraq that we're the most powerful military force in the world. Now it's time to show them that we're also the most forgiving and benevolent nation in the world. It only makes sense that you reap peace when you sow peace. The seeds of war only create more war, unless there is something better put in place than what existed before war began.

* Mike Tidemann is the Pilot-Tribune's assistant editor. He can be reached at mtidemann@stormlakepilottribune.com