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U.S. armed forces are fighting the ‘good war’ Print
Letters to the editor
Thursday, Feb. 05, 2009 -- 1:00 AM

From one Murphy to another:

I want to respond to Fr. Jim Murphy’s letter to the editor printed in the December 25 issue of the Catholic Herald:

If it were not for the men and women serving in the U. S. Military, you might be awaiting extermination in gas chambers similar to those in Auschwitz. Yes, Hitler loved guys like you who could turn their back on reality and do nothing while millions suffered and died under the hands of cruel and vicious rulers.

You have not read about or have chosen to ignore the Church’s own hand-wringing and self-chastisement regarding the lack of action concerning events taking place in World War II Germany until long after the damage was done to the Jewish residents living under Hitler’s regime.

To say there are not similarities between the actions of Hitler and those of Saddam Hussein, Robert Mugabe, the terrorist–tribal-leaders of Somalia, the butchery of Slobodan Milosevic, and a host of others is, to say the least, unrealistic. To say the United States is engaged in “a war of intervention and not a moral war” is stupid! To say a “just war” is a war that can be won in a specified length of time is equally stupid.

The U.S. government never encouraged or condoned the mistreatment of prisoners. As a matter of fact it was the U.S. military itself who first announced the discovery of mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Graib and they prosecuted the individuals who were involved in the misdeeds. I believe that your pronouncement that our nation is guilty of violating human rights is wrong.

It is unfortunate that so many young men and women are returning home from Iraq without an arm or a leg and often suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. They are fighting the “good war” in my opinion and I salute each and every one in the military for their service. They put themselves in harm’s way fighting terrorists. This is the reality of war against ideas and religious fanatics.

Rather than blame the U. S. military for their injuries why don’t you condemn the savagery of the placement of the explosive devices by the stealthy murderers who say they are doing their dirty deed in the name of Allah?

You are a fool if you think we must only fight wars that have a finite length, in a sense, demanding that “leaders predict a conclusion” before launching an attack. The jihadists have been waging war against the U.S. for the last 30 years and they promise they will continue until all the infidels are dead.

You accuse the U.S. military of somehow doing wrong because they “maintain and research nuclear weapons.” How long do you think we would have our freedoms if we didn’t have the might of our military to deter other nations like Russia or Iran or North Korea from threatening us with annihilation or capitulation?

Your conclusion that “participation in the U.S. military at this point in history would likely involve immoral activity,” in my opinion, cannot be justified by any of the points you made.

Donald R. Murphy, Madison