The editorial appearing in the Feb. 8 edition of The Visitor, "Don't play ping pong with the American and Iraqi lives" struck a most negative cord in me. In particular, the last two paragraphs.
First, the author states that the President's latest policy "twist" in Iraq faces "tremendous opposition from Congress and the American public." I question the validity of that statement. While there is a great deal of rhetoric in Congress, it appears to be mostly posturing for their next election and therefore political. Contrary to media polls, my belief is that the public is supportive of this president's decision and policy.
The editorial reference to President Bush's policy as being irresponsible is, in my view, an absolutely irresponsible statement. To condemn the decision without seeing it through its implementation is wrong. Recent reports already reflect movement by insurgent militias and their leadership leaving Baghdad and Iraq, a result of the reinforcement of troops plus a tougher stance taken by the Iraqi government.
It is agreed that the ultimate victory cannot be achieved by military action alone. Other elements, including economic and social, must also be in place to bring about stability.
Finally, the author's suggestion that diplomacy must be pursuedoverlooks all previous and ongoing efforts undertaken with surrounding and Western nations. Those efforts have not to this date proven effective.
One last point: there are ends worth dying for when it means the protection and future safety of our nation's millions.
Robert G. Arciero
Col. US Army (Ret)
(This letter originally published in The Providence Visitor)