Dear Veteran, Many of you are as troubled as I am over the call to arms we’re now hearing from our leaders. We are planning to attack Syria, in spite of the fact that the Russians tell us they’ll defend their ally.
I’ve heard this bugle many times, and sometimes for good reasons. But too often we’ve sent our military into places where our national security was not at stake and where the fate of the nation or tribes (as in Afghanistan) or factions (as in Syria) should have been left in the hands of the indigenous people.
One of the quotes I’ve used many times is that of General David Shoup, Twenty-Second Commandant of the Marine Corps. He won the Medal of Honor for his heroism at Tarawa in the South Pacific, and he became an outspoken critic of the Vietnam War twenty years later. In 1966, he wrote:
“I believe that if we had kept and would keep our dirty, bloody, dollar-soaked fingers out of the business of these nations so full of depressed, exploited people, they will arrive at a solution of their own, and if unfortunately their revolution must be of the violent type because the ‘haves’ refuse to share with the ‘have-nots’ by any peaceful method, at least what they get will be their own, and not the American style, which they don’t want crammed down their throats by Americans.”