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Not All War, This War


Editor’s Note:This letter is from David T. Harris, a Democratic candidate for Congress in Texas’ 6th District. It’s written in reponse to Josh Trevino’s “Fighing Dems” post of March 17.
I applaud your coverage of the “Fighting Dem” phenomenon but I think I need to set the record straight in regard to your commentary. My campaign was not part of an organized effort by the Democratic Party to recruit veterans to run in 2006. I have always been a Democrat, even while serving on Active Duty in the military. I am not a Republican that just decided to jump ship because I saw the iceberg coming. My candidacy is not a “poor substitute” for supporting soldiers – because I am one, still to this day. On my web site I highlight a veterans organization or charity every month as part of a community service effort – something that you will not see on my opponent’s web site. That’s what I find “weak” about my opponent.
As a military officer I have always been taught that for every operation, there must be a clearly defined Task, Purpose, and Endstate. The Endstate for this War on Terror has not, and cannot, be articulated because we are fighting an ideology. What is the criteria for success? How many lives must be lost? How many enemy must be killed in order for us to declare “victory” – it is total lunacy. I am for fighting terrorism, but you cannot convince me that invading Iraq has made us safer at home or has done anything to fight terrorism.
The insurgency is there because we are there – bottom line. The insurgents and every sympathetic wanna-be terrorist that wants to take a shot at an American can go to Iraq now to do it. It is a training ground for future terrorists. These insurgents do not want to rule Iraq – what they want is the “infidels” out of their homeland and away from their religious holy lands. And I am not “boasting” when I stand behind calling for a timetable for withdraw of our forces. Like I said above, there must be an Endstate associated with the operation. Whether it is 6 months, a year, or 2 years – we have to tell the Iraqi populace that at some point what is theirs and for them to start preparing for the day when we will no longer be occupiers, but will be liberators.
That is the real irony of what you write – 12 years of sanctions, 12 years of planning, and 12 years to equip our armed forces, yet soldiers still lacked for basic necessities when they went to war. A war that we started at the time and place of our choosing by this Republican Congress and this Republican President!
One final thought on your President and Iraq. President Bush’s 18 page plan for victory in Iraq has as the underlying assumption that Iraqis and Iraqi security forces will be robust enough to secure their country and defeat the insurgency in order for our troops to exit the country. Our Army has been around since 1775 and we have the most powerful military on the planet, with all of our smart weapons and technology, and yet we cannot defeat this insurgency. So what makes you think that a newly formed and poorly trained Iraqi Army can do what we have not been able to do in 2 (plus) years? I think not.
Again, I respect you for your opinion and, as always, I will continue to defend your right to your opinion and your freedom of speech.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 6:28 AM | Permalink

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