Careful what you wish for | AspenTimes.com

Careful what you wish for

Dear Editor:War is brutal. Brutal to both combatants and to those they leave behind. The United States, in its very brief history, has been engaged in numerous conflicts. However, none has been actually fought on U.S. soil since our own Civil War. For the past 100-plus years, our commanders in chief, like all skilled generals, have managed to determine that the battles and the destruction of war took place far from our shores.Today’s conflict wages on in Iraq and with the exception of our daily media blitz, few of us even acknowledge its existence. We read the observations in the press and view the talking heads on television as they play “Monday morning” quarterback. They analyze our service’s strategies, question their commitment to win, belittle their morals and then pronounce judgment. George Washington was one of the very first critics of war and all those who have followed him have arrived at the same conclusion. War is hell. But there are worse alternatives. Genocide, enslavement, eradication and loss of freedom – just to name a few.These are the goals desired by the fundamentalists and terrorists for all of us infidels. They declared Jihad on all who do not embrace their ideology. This administration merely chose the playing field. It’s not in midtown Manhattan; Columbus, Ohio or Mission Hills, Calif. It’s where it needs to be. It’s where it was birthed.But the country has spoken. They reject the idea of war. Instead they would prefer for all to be right in the world. Be careful what you wish for. I hope you like hearings, investigations and gridlock. The stage is set for Ms. Pelosi to begin her assault. If she succeeds in accelerating our abandonment of Iraq by our brave servicemen and women, the battleground will change. Are we so naïve to believe that there has not been a single catastrophic event in the United States since 9/11 because of luck? Or do you believe that the strength of our leadership was a deterrent? It doesn’t matter. That issue is going to be tested and tested sooner than later. Show signs of weakness and see how quickly our rational and merciful adversaries send their suicide bombers to a mall near you.I don’t second-guess people who have much more information at their disposal to make qualified decisions than I do, no matter which side of the aisle they sit on. But I don’t believe that dreams solve real problems either. I will support whatever actions this country takes, just like my father before me, even though my “misgivings” meter is at an all-time high. It will be interesting to see the Democrats forgo their criticism and actually have to put forth a real game plan. We have about 18 actual months of possible performance to gauge it before we begin the 2008 ad nauseam.Rod McClain AspenP.S. My gratitude to a true patriot and warrior, Donald Rumsfeld.