Consider this, Mr. Rall
Dear Editor:Ted Rall in his column (Aspen Times, July 20) is free to think that we should boycott the military because we haven’t fought an honorable war since World War II, but here is some info that might change his mind.He may consider, like many leftists, that wars against right-wing dictatorships are more just than those against left-wing dictatorships. But Stalinist communism stifled as much freedom and killed as many people as German fascism.During the Cold War, our strategy was “containment” – that is, holding the Soviets “in” until their leaders and the peoples of the world realized that they had a flawed system compared to ours. The limited wars in Korea and Vietnam were part of that strategy, and while they were not full victories, they contained communism, in Korea until now, and in Vietnam for seven years.Peaceful means are preferable to war when they can be effective, but we didn’t have much choice when the North Koreans were driving south down the peninsula. Our invasion of Afghanistan responded to an attack on our soil by foreign people trained and operating out of Afghanistan. So take heart, most of our wars since WW II have been justified.As to imperialistic U.S. wars, Mr. Rall could find them in the 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly after the Spanish-American War, when we took over the Philippines and much of the Caribbean. We even invaded Canada back around 1812. But everyone who had the power then was imperialistic, and, after all, war is usually an extension of politics by violent means, and politics has been defined as the process of who gets what and where. (Hmmm, how do religious wars fit in?)As to the minor portion of Rall’s essay debunking the spitting by protesters on U.S. soldiers, sorry, I did observe this in Washington, D.C. along with some throwing of (probably chicken) blood and guts. (Those McDonald’s chickens were being abused even then!)”Poor Richard” JenningsAspen
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