No War Now!
A Veteran against
Mar 24, 2003
Even though the war is now on in full swing, I stand behind my initial comments. They still reflect my thoughts and feelings about this war to "liberate the world and the Iraqis from Saddam and his regime."
What I must make clear here before you read the rest of this is that I fully support our military forces. It is their leaders, our president and top cabinet members, who are directing this war, who started this war; it is they whom I do not support. I believe fully that the war is unjust and should be ended as soon as possible.
My prayers are with those doing the fighting. God protect them and bring them home soon. And God protect all Iraqis as well. People are getting mamed and killed on both sides out there. This is real war. Until our leaders regain their senses, God help us.
February 9, 2003
I have something I must say even though I know the intercept boys will probably not understand my true patriotism to America and the American way of life.
I am quite against going for a pre-emptive strike against Iraq. There is just no good or even sane reason to do so. We haven't been given any good reasons before and General Powell gave us none last week. In any sane vision, Saddam is only a particularly bad local bully with some bad weapons. That gives no one any right to take them from him if it means killing even a few Iraqis and Americans, let alone the thousands that will surely die and the many more that will be maimed, to say nothing of the long-term chemical effects both will suffer. And that says nothing of broken international and moral law. It scares the Hell out of me.
I recently heard of a European plan to increase the number of arms inspectors, import a UN Peacekeeping force, and make all of Iraq a no-fly zone. Not a perfect plan, but surely not the god-awful, imbecilic one our regime is putting forward.
Lest you think I am anti-military or worse anti-war, I am in no way either. I was in the army for four and a half years. I am proud of all the men and women who give their time and dedication and sometimes their lives to the service of their country. But they should not be asked to give that ultimate service for a very short-sighted and immoral cause.
I am not terribly proud that I was in Viet Nam. But I went because in those naive days I believed I had no choice, perhaps that we as a nation had no choice. And in the years since we have learned that our government and military lied to each other and to the American people time and again. Johnson's own taped conversations tell us some of it from the highest office. It is precisely because of this earlier war where government officials constantly mislead us that I am very cautious now, in particular when it comes to putting our service men and women in harm's way, especially in such an ambiguous situation. No, I do not trust my government regarding war. They have to prove a clear and present danger to us all and they haven't done that.
But I am supposed to trust all these people on government "because they know more than we do." In addition to my healthy general mistrust, I have a hard time trusting when I but look at who George W. Bush is. If he is not in the pockets of the oil companies and the industrial-military complex, he is terribly close. We all know the latter have to go out and test their new weapons every ten years or so and destroy a bunch so we can make some more (That is not cynical, it is real, look at our history for the past many years). And little has to be said of the oil companies, we know this would be good for the American oil companies. These gentlemen do "know more than we do." But I suspect it is more to their advantage than to ours.
The arguement now is that there appears to be information that terrorists who have attacked us and our allies, are supported by Iraq. This one I really do not think is true. It may happen if we were to strike first, but Saddam is too much of an autocratic tyrant to supply any weapons to any terrorist organization, much less the Taliban which would love to overthrow him themselves. They hate each other as much as the West hates Saddam and he us. So why would he give them anything, except in desperation--don't give him that excuse. (And, Yes, I am dismissing that one report from Powell as probably not of any consequence if it means anything at all.)
In Iraq, we clearly have a choice and have no right to go into that sovereign nation and kill numbers of its population along with our own youth. This guy Saddam is very cunning, he has waited for ten years for us to come after him so he could play the martyr on the Arab stage and win sympathy. But wait for him in the wings. He'll do something ultimately stupid some day. Didn't the original Gulf war show us we could extinguish his military machine in a few weeks--surely shorter than if we were to go in with a first strike. And he may not even strike, maybe he will die on the vine (probably fat chance! I suppose.) But isn't the life of even one service man, one Iraqi child, worth that? And if Saddam does his deed, we would have him and there would be little argument against wiping him out. ...If we do the first-strike deed, ....
As for Saddam being Hitler in the 30s, I'm sorry but Saddam is no Hitler, not in any way. Don't give him the prestige. He is a regional tyrant who does not cotton to our orders. If he attacks someone, squash him. He doesn't have Nuclear weapons and he has only delivery mechanisms to project his biological and chemical weapons a short distance. And he is not going to give anything to Al-Khaida. So let's wait him out. I think he is to afraid to attack and he will just do nothing. He wants the prestige of us attacking him. Do not give it to him.
As a Veteran I ask you sincerely, Mr. President, please don't do it. Seriously think about the European plan, I know it has holes and it isn't yours and you'll probably have to eat a few crows. But a crow or two eaten is a lot better than a morgue filled with our service men and women and bomb craters filled with Iraqi women and children.
I'd like to close with a quote of someone who read an earlier version of this open letter. I could not say it better: "I also fear that our actions risk street riots and possible emergence of Taliban-style governments in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan (especially), and other smaller states. Worse, if I were the honcho in China, I would be thinking: when will there ever be a better time to blitzkrieg Taiwan? If not now, when? I hope I'm wrong."
The following links are to a Veterans for Common Sense site and for a more general anti-war site MoveOn.org. Both have several additional links. View them if you will. Or simply exit this page, if you are not of a mind to join us.
And here is another to-the-point article Intelligence Professionals call for Second Look, Question Powell Case for War
I am open to any dialog you'd like to share with me, whichever side you stand on. To contact me click Ask Mike on any menu on this site. If you are violently for or against this, please just close this page and move on somewhere else. I really would like to exchange rational dialog with both sides. Diatribes do not accomplish anything.
Thanks for your time. And if you are against this idiocy as much as I am, please make your voice heard.
Mike Metras, Somonauk, Illinois