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Letters: An Iraq war refresher

Compiled by Vail Daily staff
Vail CO, Colorado

Veterans’ sacrifices

Thank you to our local Veterans of Foreign Wars who spoke at Eagle Valley High School on Tuesday, Nov. 13. The incredible sacrifices these brave men and women made for our country humbled students and faculty alike, reminding us that “freedom isn’t free.” Listening to the highly-decorated WWII veteran, Herb Rubenstein, was a special treat for the entire audience!

Thanks to our inspiring veteran presenters: retired Lt. Col Buddy Sims, Eagle Valley High’s own Larry Roush, Butch Mazzuca, Kenton Krohlow, Amy Van Goey, Patricia Hammon, John Perkins, Dan Smith and Ray Lloyd.



With gratitude,

Nicole E. Dewell

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.



Eagle Valley High School

Iraq war, explained

This is a reply to David Le Vine’s letter with the title, “Bush doing no good” of Nov. 12. Allow me to comment and educate Mr. Le Vine about a few points that he brought up:



1) Refer to: “Mr. Bush chose to invade with the pretense weapons”

Reply: How conveniently you forget. Saddam Hussein did have weapons of mass destruction. After all, he used WMD chemicals during his war with Iran, on the Kurds in the north of Iraq and revolting Arabs in the south. You forgot?

Shortly before the start of the Gulf War he DID have a nuclear arms program. Those facilities were taken out by Israeli jets. You forgot?

Furthermore, after we liberated Iraq (yes, “liberated”) we DID find tons and tons of chemicals that could potentially have been used for a weapons program. It so happens to be though, that these chemicals have a short half-life and could no longer be considered “weapons” grade.

On top of that, after the Gulf War in 1991 Saddam was required by the United Nations)to disarm and give full disclosure of his weapons programs. He choose not to play along and routinely kicked out the UN inspectors.

For 10 years our planes that were patrolling the Iraqi skies (to protect the above mentioned Iraqi “rebellious” groups that had been bombarded by Saddam’s air force) were routinely shot at. During Pres. Bill Clinton’s years the U.S. regularly retaliated by attacking Iraqi-suspected weapons of mass destruction sites for that reason.

Combine all of the above with Saddam’s continuing support for terrorist groups (albeit a direct connection with al-Qaida could not be substantiated) and you have a potential lethal combination.

In that environment and with that perspective he had to be dealt with, sooner rather than later.

2) Refer to: “Proclaiming we must win without having to define win”

Reply: Let me help you. Win = Defeating the Enemy.

How much clearer can this be? But I am sure that those on Mr. Le Vine’s side can only rest when their own definition has been met: Run, and negotiate terms of surrender with al-Qaida.

3) Refer to: ” Violation of our Constitution … Geneva Convention”

Reply: The U.S. Constitution applies (only) to U.S. citizens. Example, when a criminal and citizen, of say Zanzibar, claims in court: “Oh, but the U.S. Constitution says … x, y, and z” it is in fact irrelevant in their courts.

Geneva Convention: Applies to soldiers in uniform and of an enemy country. The terrorists that we are talking about don’t have either claim. Example: World War II and German spies. They were brought before a military court and then executed. (“That is so wrong you say!” emotionally) OK, then go and change the Constitution and, in this case, the Geneva Convention, but don’t appeal to them when they just do not apply.

4) Refer to: “Bunch of thugs … Blackwater”

Reply: They are a private security firm comparable to say the security guy at Wal-Mart. Better armed, better trained and better paid, to be sure. But they are not an “army” or part of the U.S. army. They are hired privately to protect private citizens and private companies. Put things in perspective: Not too long ago a convoy of Blackwater SUVs was ambushed. Not only were most of these guys shot to death but five of them hung from a bridge in Baghdad. Did you forget? That is the environment they work in, constantly being shot at by terrorists from behind citizens. Because that is the way terrorists operate, to hide behind the skirts of women and behind children so that in the “fog of war” innocent bystanders get hurt, so that in turn, you can blame Bush again. For you to insinuate that they deliberately shoot at citizens is just, shall we say, uninformed.

5) Refer to: “Our reputation”

Reply: Just imagine the harm to our “reputation” when we cut and run. Not

only will be a joke around the world but our weakness will encourage other would-be terrorist groups and enemies to take a shot at us. Again.

6) Refer to: “Will of the people”

Reply: It is doubtful that the “will of the people” is to go down in defeat.

7) Refer to: “Threaten a strike against Iran… unite the Muslim world” etc.

Reply: It is Arab Muslim states in the Middle East that do not trust Iran with nukes. Yes, they may have the Muslim faith in common, but don’t forget that Iranians are not Arab. Persians (Iranian) and Arabs have been distrustful, at war and at odds with each other for hundreds of years, to say the very least. If Iran is not denied having its nukes, a nuclear arms race with surrounding Arab states will follow. Egypt made this already clear recently. Combine this with how Israel would be threatened and you have a volatile situation that could easily spin completely out of control. A do-nothing attitude will not make this situation automatically go away.

“What in the world are we doing?” I hope the above replies to each of his points and answers David Le Vine’s rhetorical question.

Carl Veringa

Leadville


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