Tom Harkin's comments directed at John McCain are offensive and unacceptable. Harkin feels military men, with their military backgrounds, are dangerous for this country. Many of us disagree. We think these courageous men make our country safe.
Are five big men walking late at night the target of thieves? Or is the lone elderly man the target? Is it the big kid towering over everybody in the school yard who is bullied? We have laws, local, national, international. But for those who are so inclined, the laws don't matter. We need more.
People in the military have long served this country and its people well. They have preserved our values, made it a haven for men and women from across the globe. Where would we be without these men of courage and strength, Washington, Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson? These were men who believed in the values that set our country apart from the rest of the world, who felt responsible for protecting the values, men whose ultimate goals included peace, but not at any price?
If it were not for Ulysses F. Grant, what would have been the possible scenarios. Would it have been a divided America, the south with slavery, the north, free? Then what would have happened? What about the Revolutionary War. without General Washington to lead the struggling troops under unbearable conditions to victory? For how much longer would the British aristocracy controlled this vast country of ours, bowing to the Queen, bowing to her offspring, and deferring to people with the titles of Lord and Lady?
Could we envision Europe and the United states if we had not won the second world War? Ethnic and religious minorities plus people with physical impairments would have been systematically exterminated. The criteria Hitler used, after ethnic cleansing, had to do with color of eyes, color of hair, color of skin, height, and other physical characteristic. Brown eyes, dark hair, short, meant sterilization or worse.Why did Hitler invade Poland, Yugoslavia, the Netherlands? Not because he perceived their strength. The list of courageous men is available for all to see, and I've selected a few for this article. (However, the list is much longer. See your favorite encyclopedia. )
- General George Washington, combat, the Revolutionary War
- General Andrew Jackson, combat, the Revolutionary War
- General Ulysses S. Grant, combat, Civil War
- Major Harry Truman, combat, field artillery, WWI
- General Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, WWII
- Lieutenant John F, Kennedy, combat WWII, Purple Heart
- Commander Lyndon Johnson, USNavy, combat WWII
- Lt. Junior Grade George H. W. Bush, combat WWII, youngest pilot in US Navy during WWII (age 19) Distinguished Service Cross
Some reading of history is needed by Harkin to substantiate his remarks. Can he show us that these military men created fertile ground for wars? Absolutely not. The contrary is true. The perception of your enemies is what matters. Easy targets become targets. The vulnerable are the targets, always, whether it's bullying in the classroom, grabbing your wallet, theft from individuals, homes, ships, or countries. Do the current pirates attack a warship?
If you appear to be weak, alone, vulnerable, unable to defend yourself, you are a target. Someone will take advantage of you in some way. It's true of people and it's true of countries. We need our military men with their courage and their commitment.
Ruth Graham administers http://www.americanmadeyes.com where you will find information on babies, dogs, cars, furniture, jewelry, plus links of where to buy from elegant and practical shops across our great country. You can also register to start your collection of “awesome" signed and numbered photographs of New England Outdoor Magic, a limited edition.