In James F. Rinehart's recent letter, March 1, 2005, the only thing I think he got right was the correct numbering of his points one through six.
The world we live in is smaller and there are times when a president must act immediately, without a Declaration of War, in order to protect our country. A Declaration of War leaves no doubt in an enemies mind that we are united in our resolve to defeat them. However, President Bush's successes in the recent elections have served this function satisfactorily.
The lives lost in Korea and Vietnam were not lost in vain. I do not like the way these wars were fought, but our leaders were forced to walk a tightrope between total nuclear war and limited conventional war. If we had not stood up to the communists in Korean and Vietnam we would not have won the Cold War.
I strongly support the war in Iraq. My father served in World War II. I have a son and son-in-law in the military, both have served in Iraq. I have also served in the military. I do not think this makes my opinion more valid than a person who has not served or does not have family serving in the military. Any citizen in this country has the right to their opinion and should not be called a contemptuous name such as "chicken hawk" purely because they support their country in war.
Just relying on the standard news sources will generally give one a pessimistic view of our situation in Iraq. However all one needs to do is a Google search on the internet and many sites come up showing accomplishments. Here are a few that are listed.
Nearly all of Iraq's 400 courts are functioning. All 22 universities and 43 technical institutes and colleges are open, as are nearly all primary and secondary schools. Coalition forces have rehabilitated over 1500 schools. Health care is now 26 times what it was under Saddam. All 240 hospitals and 95 percent of Iraq's clinics are open. Distribution of medicine has reached 12,000 tons and over 22 million vaccinations have been administered to Iraq's children. Nearly three-quarters of Iraq's 27,000 kilometers of vital irrigations canals were weed-choked by years of neglect. Today over 18,500 kilometers of canals have been cleared, bringing water to thousands of farmers and creating jobs that boost the economy.
Best of all Saddam's mass graves are no longer open for business.
It is very foolish to believe we can ignore the Middle East. Our civilization requires oil to function. I like and appreciate our standard of living and want it to continue. The 1990's showed that a limited response in dealing with our enemies, will not work. This failure to act led the enemy to believe we were weak and would not fight.
The most heartening news coming out of Iraq is the Iraqi people are standing up to terrorism. Last week after a suicide car bomber killed 125 in Hillah, mostly Iraqi police recruits, 2000 people showed up the next day to protect the killings. These brave citizens showed great courage. They were telling the terrorists their murderous tactics will not work anymore. I believe, as the Iraqi elections have shown, that nations everywhere prefer freedom to tyranny.
It is America's duty, as the leader of the free world, to help people in reaching this goal.