Readers Respond

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Letters to the Pilot

Reflections on Iraq

I was rather disturbed by Kathryn Lopez's column "Read, Before You Surrender" in the Aug. 2 issue of the Storm Lake Pilot Tribune. The column read like nothing more than pro-war propaganda to me.

Mr. Yon, a self-proclaimed independent journalist/Internet blogger featured in Lopez's column, claims that American troops should stay the course in Iraq. I respectfully disagree with him.

First of all, many researchers claim the name al-Qaeda was made up by a variety of American functionaries as an all-purpose villain the U.S. could blame as a convenient reason for its military adventurism. If you disagree, prove it!

According to British parliamentarian George Galloway, every factually informed person knows that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; that Saddam Hussein had no connection to 9/11; and that al-Qaeda did not have any bases in operation in Iraq. "Because of Bush's war, however, al-Qaeda is now quite active in Iraq, meaning that Bush has provided recruiting incentives for terrorists," said Galloway. He also pointed out that for those who conjure up the specter of bloodshed and destruction should American pull out of Iraq, he has observed that bloodshed and destruction are increasing in that country because of American presence.

The only question that remains is will the American public awaken to this murderous, treasonous scam before the perpetrators achieve their objective and bury the whole planet in the flames of their insane perfidy.

Unfortunately, many Americans blindly follow like little sheep with the faith that President Bush is doing the right thing in his crusade to fight an illegal war against terrorism. Of course, eradicating the evil of terrorism coming from the Bush Administration sounds hollow given the U.S. government's own record of support for terrorism. During the 1980s, the U.S. supported terrorists in Afghanistan including Osama bin Laden in their struggle to drive out Soviet invaders.

America is the only country that claims the right to deploy troops and war planes in any corner of the globe in pursuit of what our political leaders call "vital national interests." What is needed now is not a vengeful crusade but coherent, reasoned policies based on sanity and justice.

We can't afford much more cannon fodder. If push came to shove, the Chinese could afford to lose 100 million soldiers and still have a problem with overpopulation. How many more of our soldiers could we lose before everyone started screaming, "Stop the war"? We've lost too many.

Unfortunately, many Americans will doubtless continue to accept what their political leaders tell them. When are people going to listen to people like Sue Dinsdale, the mother of an Iraq War veteran, whose letter pleading to stop the war appeared in the Pilot Tribune the same day as Lopez's column? I think a mother of an Iraq War veteran carries more credibility than an Internet blogger who refers to himself as an "independent journalist."

Fortunately, there is a rapidly emerging network of opposition to the Iraq War which, contrary to the screeching war lovers, is not confined to left-wing groups. According to Butler Shaffer, a teacher at Southwestern University Law School in Los Angeles, Calif., a growing number of people representing all political parties are discovering that the integrity of their souls can no longer withstand the burden of their support for a war against the innocent.

Shaffer says: "We must pull the rug out from beneath the feet of those who shed crocodile tears for the continuing deaths of American troops while calculating the slaughter of foreigners."

I, myself, believe there needs to be a greater public awareness of history and world affairs, and a greater sense of public responsibility for the policies (behind) ...the illegal invasion of Iraq in the first place.