Nonvets not qualified to speak about Iraq |

Nonvets not qualified to speak about Iraq

Doug White

Dear Editor,

Armies of the past were no kinder, by default or otherwise, than they are today. The historical ramifications of the Spanish conquest of Central and South America, vicious and genocidal as the were, have no place or context in the ongoing issues regarding Iraq, Afghanistan or any other Third World country that we disagree with. It is sadly true that a major portion of the root of modern war is cheap and easy resources.

But if Mr. Stewart actually believes that we are going to give them something of social, economic or political value in recompense for destroying their cultures, countries and ways of living then he need to rethink the history of warfare. Not just the last few hundred years but the last couple of thousand.

There has been a great deal of downright vitriolic – and often just plain ignorant – comment lately, not just in our little local paper but worldwide. We seem to have forgotten. Perhaps it is that there is a sizeable group of us who never HAD to serve, let alone actually volunteered.

But the thing that has been missed, over and over in what I am seeing here in the PI, is that most of you letter writers have no idea what warfare is all about. It is nothing short of ugly, brutish and vile. Whether we are fighting terrorists or regular armies it is simply a kill-or-be-killed proposition; there is NO honor in killing people, nor glory in dying for the cause. If you can’t see the simple truth in such a statement, then somewhere along the line you have missed one of the great truths in life.

And, just to fend off some of the usual name-calling that seems to be the intellectual equivalent of disagreeing around here, I will point out that I spent 4 years in the Army, was well decorated and served in some difficult and dangerous places.

I can say with experience and conviction that the majority of the men and women in our Armed Forces are there for what they believe to be the right reasons. I also believe that, if told to do so, they would go where ordered and serve with honor and distinction; that’s just the sort of people they are.

Those of you who wish to share your virulent opinions (I don’t think we need to invade Iraq) need to give some thought to walking in their boots. And, to be brutally honest, those of you who have never served, as entitled to your opinions as you are, really don’t know what the hell you are talking about getting us into.

We live in the freest and wealthiest nation on earth. Use some of that wealth and freedom to learn a bit about what is going on and just why the government is so set upon expanding our warfare in the Mid East. There is much more there than propping up a puppet state such as Israel.

Doug White


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