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No shame in righteous war

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, May 14, 2004

How can somebody say that true Americans or Christians do not support war? History has shown different. Should we condemn every Christian and American that has been involved in war? Believing that America is in Iraq because of oil is myopic. There are a variety of factors. One factor is human rights. A war fought to protect human rights is a righteous war. If we have the ability to stop the human rights violations of others, it becomes our responsibility.

There have been some human rights violations sensationalized on the news lately regarding the treatment of Iraqi prisoners and detainees. The people responsible for these atrocities should (and will) be held accountable. These actions of a few (maybe as many as a few hundred) are blamed on our commander-in-chief, our president. The most-hated man in the entire world happened to be the most popular candidate for leading America during the election season. What a tough dichotomy, which all presidents have had to endure.

Leading our country to war must be one of the most difficult decisions a president has to make. In Afghanistan, the U.S. suffered about 400 casualties. In World War II, the U.S. suffered about 450,000 casualties. Maybe if some "real" American was alive in 1944, he or she could go knock on Adolf Hitler's door and politely ask him to stop the slaughtering of innocents. Maybe we could have avoided all of our wars completely if we had such an enlightened and homogeneous people. I cannot claim to be some Nietzschean ascended Uberman who knows what's best for the country while suggesting that if you disagree, then pack your bags because you don't belong in my enlightened presence.

War is hell. War is a part of human nature. War is a last resort for the U.S. Some people believe war should never be an option. They should find a time machine and go politely knock on Hitler's door or King George's door as well. There are Americans dying over in Iraq. If you do not support the cause, you don't have to spit on the troops. For the people who have not been there, war can be waged respectfully. The absence of love and respect is more devastating than the toils of the Iraqi war. Supporting a righteous war does not shame America.

Michael Heiman

Juneau



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