Conservative commentary: War: the real thing

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— In case you might have missed it, we are in a war. The real thing.

Whether you thought it proper to go into Iraq and Afghanistan as a response to Sept. 11, 2001, and to insure that we continue to fight "over there" rather than on home ground, it is indisputable that we are in it up to our necks. Further, though George W. Bush was president when we launched this initiative, it is the height of irresponsibility to proclaim it "Bush's war" and act as if there are no consequences to a pre-emptive pullout. Should we do so, America's prestige and honor will suffer immeasurably for decades to come. Many of us also presume that because our enemies respect only power, they will be emboldened to generate more terrorism or worse right here on the Home Front. How do we know? They have told us so.

War is one of the banes of all civilizations. Does anyone like war? Are those of us who believe that we need to win this war really blood-thirsty types who have no feeling for the horrible losses it inevitably brings? As General McArthur famously said: "The soldier above all others hates war because he sees firsthand the terrible price paid by it." But he and all historically literate citizens know that peace is the exception in history, not the norm. Evil lurks in the hearts of some men and we are fools to ignore it. McArthur told us to be prepared for the next war because it will surely come. Indeed, at present, experts tell us there are more than 60 wars being fought as I write this. If anyone can truly make a case that "world peace" is possible with the nature of man being what it is, I would like to hear it.

We invaded Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, atrocities because we knew the Taliban government was shielding Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaida forces who perpetrated the terrorists attacks. We attacked Iraq because all available evidence showed that the dictator Saddam Hussein was pursuing weapons of mass destruction and was unashamedly kicking out the nuclear inspectors and refusing to deny he was actively involved developing such weapons. Indeed, one could eliminate all references to Saddam and Iraq by the Bush administration completely and rely only on former President Clinton and Democrat lawmakers' statements to justify this undertaking. Further, we had solid evidence that Saddam had used chemical weapons on the Iranians in their 1980s war along with killing untold numbers of his own people by these methods in 1991.

Why were these considered WMD in '91 and not so today? Why do we have the liberal media proclaiming that there was "no connection" with Al Qaeda and Saddam when evidence of this is uncovered incessantly from released documents our intelligence is now perusing?

Our enemies know that the bigger war is always political and in the public forum. It is surely how and why we lost the Vietnam War. The domestic foes of that war are still with us today but they just might consider what it wrought for them. I have met with many of the soldiers who are fighting in Iraq. Thank God they are the most incredibly trained, disciplined and committed patriotic men and women we have ever had in uniform. Because they are volunteers and because of their training, the defeatism of those in Congress and others seems to affect them minimally. They can only shake their heads in disbelief at the "surrender crowd" who want their blood and sacrifices to be for naught.

Gary Hofmeister is the owner and operator of Hofmeister Personal Jewelers in downtown Steamboat, a company he founded in 1973. He is a director of the Conservative Leadership Council of Northwest Colorado and a former Republican nominee for Congress in the 10th District of Indiana. He made 18 trips to the former USSR to teach democratic-capitalism during the 1990s.

Comments

Murray Tucker 7 years, 6 months ago

Gary, Have I Got a Deal for You

I just returned from New York City. This is confidential, especially for you. I met a real estate promoter who has a bridge for sale, cheap. I offer this deal to you because I know you are a trusting soul. How do I know this? I just read your commentary.

You claim that it is "the height of irresponsibility . . . [to] act as if there are no consequences to a pre-emptive pullout. Should we do so, America's prestige and honor will suffer immeasurably for decades to come." I am not as prescient as you. What I do know as fact is that America's prestige and honor HAVE suffered from an ill-advised ill-conceived commitment to continue to participate in a carnage of Iraqis almost as grotesque as that committed by the deposed powers.

You further state: "Many of us also presume that because our enemies respect only power, they will be emboldened to generate more terrorism or worse right here on the Home Front. How do we know? They have told us so." I am not going to deny that statement. Instead, I want to quote a former President: ". . . There is nothing to fear but fear itself." I cannot live my life in terror, in fear that the bogeymen of Islam will come sweeping down on us and possibly destroy our way of life and respect for human rights. In many respects, they already have (Guantanamo).

Our freedom has been severely restricted. Our mobility to move around the world, severely limited. Our pursuit of happiness, bulwark of the founding fathers, has been limited, not by crazy jihadists, but by reaction of our not so representative President and support by "conservatives" such as you, a shrinking minority.

As to the Vietnam War, it, too, was a civil war. Unfortunately the WMD argument then was the Domino Theory. No other than Barry Goldwater (a real conservative) considered our participation in Vietnam meager at best and felt that if we really were in a war, we should throw everything we had at the enemy. Richard Nixon (a not so real conservative) ran against Hubert Humphrey (the last of the flaming liberals) intimating that he, like his mentor for the Korean Police Action, President Eisenhower, would find a way to end our involvement in Vietnam. It was only after he convincingly won reelection in 1972 and after 25,000 more servicemen had to be added to the wall, that he began to find the answer, pull-out, it ain't worth it. He knew this fact in 1969.

Pogo said it: We have met the enemy, and it is us. Sorry Gary, but you are just plain wrong. Incidentally, the price of that bridge has gone up from $1 to $5 just in the time I've written this. Better get a move on or you'll miss future profits.

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JQPUBLIC 7 years, 6 months ago

Way to go murtuc... spoken like a true democrat! You sound like you would fit in perfectly between Ms Clinton & Ms Pelosi.

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Murray Tucker 7 years, 6 months ago

I am a registered Democrat and proud of it. But you might note that I was very complimentary of Republicans: Eisenhower, Nixon, Goldwater. I was also not complimentary of Humphrey and really won't say anything about Carter except that I did not vote for him.

So why am I Democrat. The short answer: Hobson's choice.

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Murray Tucker 7 years, 6 months ago

Spectator: First, I was a Republican until Nixon showed his true colors (not much different from Bush except he spent us into oblivion). I was supported for office by Hugh Scott, then minority leader of the Senate and Senator Richard Schweiker (Ronald Reagan's first choice for vice president). Don't preach to me. Respond to what I wrote.

You say I am indoctrinated. Look at yourself in the mirror and what your references are.

I never claimed Sadam was a saint, in fact my friends will tell you I referred to Sadam as So Damn Insane for many years.

Your view of the Vietnam War is bunk. Just as Bush is pursuing a foolish war policy against heavy public opposition, Nixon could have done the same. He, a Republican President, chose to pull out.

As to Sadam and Al Qaeda, you have more info than the CIA.

I surmise that people like you and Gary are so indoctrinated that you cannot see the real problems facing America. Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of people throughout the country can see how bankrupt the Republican Party is. Many stood in line for three to four hours this past November in an off year election to voice their protest. I only wish that things could be more positive, that the election of a Democrat Congress could have been on moving this country in a positive way, much as the election of a Republican Congress in 1994. But then there was a bright guy in the White House who saw the political wind and went with it.

By the way, I expect Colorado to be almost completely D by the end of 2008.

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Murray Tucker 7 years, 6 months ago

I need to correct the use of Hobson's Choice. Actually, I should have used Hobbesian choice. You have "free choice" between two alternatives, like "your money or your life." The Republican Party has taken my money and like an addict, spent it on a war. Fortunately, I am still alive.

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bluntman 7 years, 6 months ago

big congrats to herr hoffmeister. your sickening, turgid rhetoric has convinced me as to what a successful business model the former USSR has become. without a doubt the misguided bloodbath in Iraq will be even greater.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7736703137003691886

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Murray Tucker 7 years, 6 months ago

Spectator: Clifford Case of Case-Church was a REPUBLICAN. Get out of Vietnam was a bi-partisan declaration of duly elected representatives.

Neocons like you and Cheney are war mongers who sell the war in Iraq through the MEDIA. W and Cheney have tremendous access to the press. It is only in the last five months that the anti Iraq war has begun to get equal time on tv.

If you want to vilify Saddam for having had conversations with al Qaeda leaders, think about the weapons H.W. and Ronnie provided to the Taliban that are now used to kill our troops in Afghanistan!

If you believe everything the CIA reports, you can buy the bridge in New York City. Price is now $10.

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Murray Tucker 7 years, 6 months ago

sbvor

We don't have to look into the last generation that killed off 50,000 decent human beings and permanently disabled 100,000 (or more) and reduced the genetic stock of America to blame a Congress controlled by Democrats. Congress' support of the attack on Iraq (also a Democrat majority) is a modern blunder. Of course, if you are one of those who doesn't hold to the theory of evolution I can understand your desire to fight wars. Economies always boom in times of war.

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muscleman 7 years, 6 months ago

I, too, can create my own self references (forums) and call them FACTS. Have you thought of running for office??? You'd fit in well with republicans and democrats and get nothing done.

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