Let us suppose for a moment that the Chicken Hawk argument were valid. One might then want to ask what the soldiers themselves think. By most estimates, servicemen and women voted Bush by about 80%. The figure is probably much higher for the infantry.
In that light, consider this piece by Katherine Kersten in the Star Tribune. The piece focuses on one "Marine Col. Jeff Vold . . . [who] returned last March from seven months in Fallujah and Ramadi, the heart of the violent Sunni Triangle." Here is his view.
Vold knows the painful cost of aborting a mission midstream. He was in Somalia in early 1994 when America turned tail. "We abandoned the Somali people because we took 18 casualties in October 1993," he said. "It was a shameful act." That same year, he sat in frustration on a troop ship off Kenya as hundreds of thousands of people were hacked to death in Rwanda. After the first Gulf War, he says, we left the Shiites to a bloody fate. "In Iraq, we're going to stay the course against the terrorists and give the people a chance at freedom and a representative government."
Vold ticks off the extraordinary progress underway in Iraq. In Ramadi, he witnessed ordinary Iraqis braving mortar fire to vote in the January 2005 elections. In just two weeks, on Oct. 15, he adds, these courageous people will have another historic opportunity -- a chance to vote on Iraq's new constitution.
Across Iraq, Americans and Iraqis are working together to reclaim the country from Baathists and terrorists. They are building or refurbishing schools, hospitals, roads and sewer systems. "The battle with the terrorists left Fallujah in rubble," says Vold. "But every day, people thanked us. 'We might have to rebuild our house,' they said, 'but you gave us back our city.' "
Since by Chad's logic I am not allowed to form my opinions about the Iraq war, would it be alright if I borrowed those of Col. Vold?