Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - October 28, 2007

Father of soldier calls for withdrawal

I feel compelled to respond to John Cauthen's recent letter concerning the efforts of Democrats, among others, to bring an end to the horrific "war" in Iraq. I write this not only as a patriotic American who is deeply ashamed of the actions of President Bush and saddened by the loss of America's status in the world, but also as a father whose son is now deployed to Iraq. To paraphrase a Southern saying, I do have a dog in this fight.

To begin, we are not at war, nor are we in a war. We are occupying Iraq, an occupation based on the lies told to us by President Bush. No amount of conservative rhetoric and spin can change that fact.

Bush played on the collective grief of this nation when, ignoring the real evidence and the advice of those people who knew what a disaster this occupation would be, proceeded to remove from power the one person who was holding Iraq together and preventing all-out civil war. Saddam Hussein was a dictator and a tyrant, but he posed no threat to us and, as the evidence has shown, had no WMDs or connections to terrorist groups. Now, we are stuck with that consequences of that very wrong decision.

Mr. Cauthen believes that withdrawing our troops will give the terrorists "victory." The truth is, our occupation has already given the terrorists a victory, in that we handed them the perfect recruiting tool. Their numbers have swollen, thanks to the actions of President Bush. Our nation, and the world, will suffer for a very long time because of this.

It is not just Democrats who want our soldiers out of Iraq; a great many Republicans and independents have joined to say, "This is enough, it has to end or it will never end."

In truth, the only real "victory" is in getting out of this quagmire as quickly as possible and allowing Iraq to follow the course it chooses to follow. Vietnam should have taught us this very important lesson.

Thousands of our soldiers have died in vain. They did not die for a glorious cause; they have died for the ego of President Bush, who lacks the moral integrity to say, "I was wrong. I lied to you, and I was wrong." Thank God that man leaves office soon and we will be rid of him and his ever-shrinking band of followers.

Finally, Mr. Cauthen, taking in new data and changing your mind is not "flip-flopping." It is called the thinking process, something that conservatives seem to be completely unencumbered by. How typical of those conservatives to denigrate one of God's greatest gifts -- a rational mind, which can clearly see how disastrous the Bush administration has been for the nation and the world.

Richard Johnson

Rock Hill