To the Editor:
Where are the students? I was a student twice (undergraduate engineering, later an MBA) and admit that the fraternity, sports, and girls occupied my thoughts more than national issues.
Now, with a better perspective on issues, I am appalled that we may go to war with Iraq. As an engineer, I think of Iraq as a sovereign nation and a member of the United Nations. There are many UN resolutions that are ignored by other sovereign nations.
It is questionable that Iraq required inspectors to leave their country as alleged. Iraq has delivery systems with a maximum range of only 400 miles. The underlying reasons for a US invasion of Iraq do not make sense.
As a businessperson, I view our government as an organization. The Secretary of Defense is responsible for raising, equipping and training the military. When the Secretary of Defense is sent to act as the Secretary of State we are in trouble. The last time that happened Mr. McNamara was the Secretary of Defense. In his book he admitted he lied to support and further the war in Vietnam.
Watch out when politicians say we need to support our troops. They may be making a marketing statement that opposition is unpatriotic, and more money and troops are needed. As a husband and father my thoughts are more specific and humanitarian. In 1961 politicians sent me to Laos to fight John Kennedy’s secret war. That kind of experience leaves one with indelible memories. I recall a soldier shot so full of holes that it was inexplicable that his body would continue a frenzied but losing fight to stay alive.
In 1968 politicians sent me to fight in Vietnam. One experience was rushing to the assistance of our forces caught in an ambush. I walked through the site looking for life. A soldier lay on his back looking at me. I walked over to him and then realized the top of his head had been sheared off.
However incredible it may seem, I thought of a watermelon with the top sliced off. There was a white line around the edge, and the center was a grayish watermelon. I won’t forget that image, and I cannot imagine how it happened. Those wars were promoted as noble and patriotic by our politicians.
In the end the military was the scapegoat and most of the politicians escaped blame for those terrible misadventures. We must remember that wars are the equivalent of meat grinders. Ken and Barbie do not fight our wars on television. We do not have a draft but we could if our politicians need more bodies for the meat grinder. Iraq will be your war, not mine. I think you should make your voices heard.
Former Professor of Military Science, and administrator at CSU