I enjoyed Bill Dring's heartfelt comments (Letters to the Editor, Jan. 10) on the war and particularly on the proposed troop increase. I agree with some of his thoughts and disagree with others. I believe the Bush administration, operating on the worldwide intelligence system and the impotence of the United Nations, made the correct decision in taking out Saddam Hussein.
Bush was accused and later cleared of misleading the public or lying by all the congressional investigations the loyal opposition party put together. Unfortunately, this accusation continues by members of Congress and the media. There's an old axiom that if you tell a lie often enough, to the many uninformed or the politically motivated, it becomes the truth.
I firmly believe President Bush is unable to lie or intentionally mislead. Was there a little arrogance here? Possibly. I also believe the president and his advisors had little idea of the depth, dedication, fervor and direction that the Koran instructs its followers to implement, hence the difficulty in truly democratizing any Islamic nation. As this conflict has continued, I believe a true sense of history has now come into play, because whether we want to believe it or not, we are in World War III. Remember what the initial appeasement of Hitler ultimately cost us.
The casualties in any wars are horrible, but to put this war into prospective, we lost 405,400 lives in World War II, although no one invaded our land; 58,152 in the horribly mismanaged Vietnam war; and even 36,516 in the Korean war. To further put this into perspective, in 2004, 14,100 people were murdered in America.
It is my belief that if the Iraqi people and we do not prevail, the disaster for the peoples of the Mideast and the Western world will ultimately be unbelievable, particularly as more in the world go nuclear. As far as the current redirection strategy goes, including the troop increase, I believe we have to let those who are closest to the situation guide it. Our long-term future demands that we prevail in Iraq rather than later in America. I find it interesting and heartwarming the unusually high re-enlistment rate of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. I am so proud of our men and women of our armed forces. I, as a 20-year veteran who served in Vietnam, know war and of its ugliness and waste, but sometimes it is forced on one.