Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A Few Quick Notes

The Department of Veterans Affairs issued a response to the silliness of the story about headstones. The words Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom are engraved on headstones of the fallen from those operations at Arlington. This led some of the loonies on the left to object that this was political. Here's what the VA says.

The Associated Press account of gravestone inscriptions that appeared in The Post Aug. 24 suggested that the government is inscribing "Operation Iraqi Freedom" on the headstones of service members for political purposes.

The Department of Veterans Affairs, which is responsible for providing headstones for veterans, always has inscribed the names of wars on the headstones of veterans. "Operation Iraqi Freedom" is the official name for the current conflict in Iraq. Inscriptions are requested in writing by families and signed by their representative. The families decide what is on their loved one's headstone, not the government.
No doubt, if the government refused to inscribe "Operation Iraqi Freedom" on those headstones, we would be charged with trying to cover up casualties. Let's be fair. And let's end silly reporting.

Scott Hogenson, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington

Good Idea Scott! I can hear the howls from the left over this next item. President Bush compared our fight in Iraq to WWII yesterday. Hey I got no problem with that. On my second day in Iraq after driving from Kuwait to the middle of the Sunni triangle my company commander turned to me and said.

"This was an evil regime."

We had seen enough in 48 hours to back that up. Ten months just re-inforced that sense. Investigating he Dujail murders, seeing the sumptuous palaces of Saddam and his sons amid the poverty of a nation, being thanked by countless Iraqis for removing their oppressor convinced me that we had done the right thing.

The president had some remarks that should really give pause to the anti-war protesters. It was at the behest of their ilk, that we left Vietnam. An act that damaged US credibility and prestige, elements of soft power for decades. The aftermath of Vietnam included the election of Jimmy Carter and the disasters in Iran. Without those events the war in Iraq may never have come to pass. Think about that when you consider the president and his SecDef's words from Tuesday.

"If the United States were to lose in Iraq,' Bush added, 'terrorists such as Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab Zarqawi would win strength -- and precious oil supplies. "If Zarqawi and bin Laden gain control of Iraq," he said, "they would create a new training ground for future terrorist attacks, they'd seize oil fields to fund their ambitions, they could recruit more terrorists by claiming an historic victory over the United States and our coalition."

"The goal in this war is not complicated. It is victory," Rumsfeld said, later vowing to stay in the fight. "And let there be no doubt: We will prevail."

These are not idle words. These are facts. We began this operation to remove a dangerous tyrant from power. Whether you agreed with that or not, whether we were right or wrong about WMD, these things no longer matter. We have an enemy, and we chose to engage this foe. To have begun the battle and then surrender the field to the enemy, when we can win is the height of folly.

I am not against peace. No soldier who has seen the tragedies of war up close is against peace, if he is sane. But merely choosing not to engage an enemey does not mean peace. Not when that enemy has his will intact. Not when that enemy is bent upon our destruction. I want peace, and I, unlike those who speak the word so carelessly, am prepared to sacrifice so that we can have peace.


Blogger NYgirl said...

You make a great point, going to war does not make a person anit-peace. At times war is necessary to maintain peace.

Wed Aug 31, 08:32:00 PM 2005  

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