I love my country but….

Posted: Monday, July 2, 2007 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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After longtime CBS news anchor, Walter Cronkite returned from a trip to Vietnam in 1968 and reported his observations on the air, many people began to change their minds about that war.
Cronkite concluded that our military leaders were not telling us the whole story and U.S. involvement in Vietnam, in his view, could no longer be justified.
 
I’m no Walter Cronkite and I certainly haven’t been on any fact finding missions to Iraq but I watch and read the news and have finally joined the throngs of Americans who initially supported our escapades into Iraq and now think it’s time to get out.
 
Like most of us, I believed President Bush in 2002 when he barnstormed the country warning that Saddam Hussein had those weapons of mass destruction and wasn’t afraid to use them. It was time to finish what his old man, George Sr., started ten years earlier… take the dictator out and bring freedom to the oppressed Iraqis.
Oh, yeah..we’re going into Afghanistan too and destroy Osama bin Laden..mastermind of 9-11 and all of his terrorist  disciples.
Now, five years and 35 hundred American lives later, Osama remains a slippery shadow we can’t catch, Saddam is dead and gone but we’re still over there trying to force feed democracy down the Iraqi’s throats while a fanatical insurgency, that apparently none of our leaders anticipated, kills and maims more American military personnel each day including another young Sioux Falls man this week.
 
I believed and supported the president when after the attacks on America in 2001 he said we were going to wage all out war on any country that harbored or supported terrorists.
He warned that it was going to take time but said Americans have a powerful resolve to achieve what we set out to do no matter how long it takes.
No..I don’t think we do. 
That resolve fades more each day that we’re bogged down in Iraq..being sucked dry financially (approaching a half trillion dollars) with no clear objective for our soldiers other than to be targets of fanatics who refuse to stand up and fight but are willing to kill themselves for their cause.
It’s clear that the war against terrorism cannot be won with big powerful armies.
 
Maybe I’ve read too many Tom Clancy novels, but perhaps it’s time to put our resources…some of our American bravado, brains and technology to work in coming up with other ways of locating and taking out those who wish to destroy us.
 
I have never apologized for being a flag waver. Over the years I’ve done dozens and dozens of stories and features on veterans and have nothing but admiration and appreciation for those who willingly answer their country’s call..which my Grandson, Taylor is about to do as he leaves for the Marine Corps this month.
But for God’s sake..somebody in Washington needs to carefully explain why it is so important to the freedom, wellbeing and safety of this country to send yet another Humvee full of American soldiers down a dangerous road in Iraq.

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