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Gudmundson's Letter To the Editor,


Fri, Nov 8th, 2002
Posted in Letter to the Editor

I was very troubled by an editorial a few issues back about a possible war with Iraq. It invoked up the specter of Vietnam as if our experience there ought to be rationale for not confronting Iraq and its murderous regime.

I can assure the last thing any of us wants is another Vietnam. After Vietnam the military went back to the basics and incorporated the lessons learned there and from strategists and theorists who have gone before. Most important, if the military has to fight, there must be clear objectives. Unlike Vietnam, there is no way that we would engage Iraq and not fight to win. We would never conduct combat operations to send signals or try bring the enemy to the negotiating table as we did in Vietnam. There is no substitute for victory and we will use the necessary force to win in as short a time as possible if it comes to that.

The editorial also invoked the United Nations as if it were some panacea in solving the world's problems. Keep in mind that this is the same crowd that kicked the United States off the human rights commission. Their track record is not especially distinctive. We have the right and obligation to protect our country.

One of the other things pointed out was the 50 thousand plus American deaths in Vietnam. What the editorial failed to acknowledge however, were the deaths of millions in Southeast Asia who were slaughtered after the United States left. And for that I blame the cowardly U.S. politicians who didn't have the courage to do the right thing in the first place and the peace movement.

The peace movement is complicit in murder. I know what you are thinking. How could anyone say anything so outrageous about people who care so much about human life, our environment, and the world we live in? Most activists seem to feel that war is so terrible that, with the exception of an outright attack on the U.S., there are virtually no conditions where we should go to war.

For 30 years I wore a military uniform and on a number of occasions went into the valley of the shadow of death for our freedom. Not just for ours but for the rest of world as well. We should have won the war in Vietnam. At the end we weren't allowed to provide any assistance to the South even when the North Vietnamese invaded with tanks and infantry in what is defined as classic conventional warfare. Winning in Vietnam and ensuring that southeast Asia was safe from the Communists would also have kept Pol Pot and his vile henchman from slaughtering the innocents in Cambodia. The peace crowd however, kept us from doing what should have been done. Even McGovern thought we should have intervened in Cambodia.

The peace crowd also decried our attempts to resist the guerrilla movements in Latin America and to this day whine about the terrible legacy we left behind. But if it weren't for Reagan and a little luck in Central and South America and Pinochet in Chile, millions more, in all probability, would have died had the communists taken over additional countries and instituted their vile programs. In Chile, the East Germans had begun to set up a "security apparatus" before Allende was overthrown. In all likelihood, had Allende been successful, there would have been hundreds of thousand of dead Chileans as a consequence. Is there room to doubt here? Not if you consider the empirical evidence provided by Cuba, Ethiopia, Angola, Tibet, North Korea, Russia, China, Cambodia etc. Obviously, a communist government in Chile would have had profound and deadly implications for the rest of the Americas south of our border with Mexico. By the way, Pinochet brought in Chilean economists who trained under Noble Prize winning economist Milton Friedman at the University of Chicago. As a result Chile now has the strongest economy in Latin America and is one of the more solid in the world.

Assyrians still live in Iraq and apparently are mostly Christian, not an especially popular religion to be there. I met two of them 24 hours after they had escaped. Because of what I did for 30 years there were times when I was afraid and times when I met others who were afraid. But I have never met sheer and utter terror before. It is indescribable. That haunting experience will never leave me. Yet the peace movement in its so-called love for humanity would ignore people like these even when we as a country have been attacked and in the face of mounting evidence linking Iraq's dictator to terror. Yet the peace crowd is against the recently passed resolution giving the President some latitude in dealing with this menace. As I said, I consider the peace movement to have been complicit in evil and in murder in the past and still they don't seem to have learned anything. These people seem so enamored of "peace" that they completely ignore the consequences of their vision of "peace". But what is even worse is that they refuse to accept any responsibility for the vile legacy they have left us with.

Stan Gudmundson

Colonel, USAF (Ret)

Peterson, MN

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