Re "His Corps Value Was Bravery," Column One, Oct. 3When Marine Corps Col. Gregory “Pappy” Boyington was smeared by students at the University of Washington last spring, many RoR readers stood up for him and his legacy. I say we need a similar response to the above letters today. Here is the Times’ contact information:
If an individual were to kill 11 people in house-to-house gang warfare in South Los Angeles, we wouldn't call him a hero; we'd call him a bloodthirsty, homicidal maniac. We would fear for the future of our city.
But when it's war, we nominate these individuals for one of the nation's highest honors. We spend several hundred billion dollars to send thousands of our young adults overseas so they can engage in this kind of behavior in someone else's country.
The 11 people we dismiss as insurgents are mourned by their own families, some of whom consider their actions a logical response to a foreign power occupying their land, while others grieve at the senselessness of it all.
The Times has shown its support for the troops, like we're all expected to do. But if Marine Pfc. Christopher Adlesperger had been a street gang member, we would have been subjected to articles explaining how we needed to provide alternatives to murderous organizations that provide a sense of belonging to its members.
Reading about Adlesperger's valor, while compelling, left me with an overwhelming sadness. We are apparently hard-wired to kill each other over land or oil or our gods. Imagine what a man with the passion of Adlesperger could have done for his family and for the world in the next 60 years had he lived. I admire his bravery and loyalty to his friends. But I condemn those who required this of him and more than 2,000 of his brothers. I only wish his bravery could have been spent as a firefighter or a police officer, at home, where we need him more than ever.
I was repulsed by the tone of The Times' article. How dare you glorify the obscenity of killing, with descriptions of gurgling blood. Maybe the so-called Iraqi insurgents are not the enemy but in fact are freedom fighters, valiantly attempting to rid their country of a repugnant foreign presence fighting not for freedom and democracy but for America's insatiable appetite for oil. The United States must end this senseless war, sooner rather than later, and articles like this espousing flag-waving patriotism are only perpetuating the myth that modern war, and this one in particular, can be won.
Letters should be brief (250 words or less) and are subject to condensation. They must include a full name (initials and pseudonyms will not be used) and a valid mailing address and telephone number. Unpublished letters cannot be acknowledged.Here is my letter in response:
Call: (213) 237-4511.
Fax: (213) 237-7679.
If we are to believe the letters printed in response to "His Corps Value Was Bravery," (Oct. 3), Marine PFC Christopher Adlesperger was a “homicidal maniac” squelching the lives of “freedom fighters” in order to satiate America’s “appetite for oil.” One marvels at such a trenchant response to the death of this young man, yet the tone expressed reveals the tremendous disconnect between the role our fighting men and women fulfill and their public perception by the critics of this war. If men like PFC Adlesperger are in the wrong for fighting in Iraq, Saddam Hussain and the Islamic jihadists who compose today’s insurgency must be in the right.
Yet before we enshrine nerve gas, rape rooms and religious-inspired decapitation as legitimate tools of governance, we would do well to remember that no one has a right to a dictatorship, and no government that violates the rights of its own people can be trusted to respect the rights of its neighbors. PFC Adlesperger fought gallantly against the forces of brutality and ignorance in Iraq, and the effort by some to attack his memory here in America recoils upon them. Adlesperger’s sense of purpose speaks for itself—and so does that of his critics.
The Center for the Advancement of Capitalism