Letter: A lesson not learned

Friday, August 11, 2017 10:48AM
A lesson not learned

To the editor:

“We had to destroy the city in order to save it!” So announced a US officer during the Vietnam War, a war lasting a decade and a half, costing 55,000 American and countless Vietnamese deaths. Containment was the name given to our military/foreign policy vis-à-vis the Soviet ‘menace’. Underpinning this was the notion that there was a Commie under every bed.

Translated into actions it meant that the US opposed populist and anti-colonial movements across the globe, none more costly than Vietnam. But also many others as well – Allende/Chile, Cuba/Castro, Congo/Lumumba, Indonesia/Sukarno and on and on.

Today a picture of what was once the city of Mosul lying in its own rubble as far as the eye can see is captioned “Mosul Retaken!”

‘Rubblization’ describes our policy of fighting the ‘War Against Terror.’

Now we see terrorists lurking everywhere. The obsessive effort to eradicate terror has the US fighting throughout the Middle East – Iraq since 2003, Afghanistan 16 years and counting, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. Blowback creates more of what we try to eradicate. It is Sisyphean. We roll stones up the hill only to have them roll back or have yet other stones take their places. Shall we turn to a children’s fable? Aesop’s The North Wind and the Sun? Its moral teaches about the superiority of persuasion over force. We have much to be persuasive about – our freedoms, democracy, economy. Why not present those to the world rather than our destructive might.

Ron Cheney