Our 'exit strategy' should be when the terrorists give up

December 07, 2003

Dear Editor:

December 7, 1941, 62 years ago, the Japanese Empire attacked Pearl Harbor. They nearly destroyed our Pacific Fleet and killed more than 2,000 of our soldiers, sailors and airmen. I was 11 years old at the time, but I remember it well. Since then, I have served 21 years in military service, participating in both the Korean and Vietnam wars.

That generation of Americans responded magificently to this sneak attack. They endured rationing of many items. They sent their sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, fathers, aunts and uncles off to war. They endured thousands of casualties. The only "exit strategy" they asked for was the surrender of the enemy.

Fast forward to the current generation, beginning with 9/11/01. A brutal and despicable enemy attacked the Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon. They killed around 3,000 people, mostly civilians. The Japanese probably had no intention of invading our country. They wanted to destroy our military capacity to interfere with their conquest of Southeast Asia. They attacked a military target, while our current enemy's only intent is to kill, kill, kill, without regard to age or sex, so long as they are Americans or associated with us.


I just don't understand why so many of the current generation are mad at our president instead of the enemy. Under his direction and leadership our military is fighting to protect us and our way of life, which the enemy is intent on destroying. Since World War II America has protected the world at great cost in blood and money, including France and Germany. Now when we need their help they turn their backs on us.

In my humble opinion, The Iraq War is an integral part of the war on terror. The president rightly decided that we don't need the approval of others to defend ourselves. We were attacked, we asked for their help and they refused. Our soldiers in Iraq are being killed by bombs and missles made in France and Russia and perhaps Germany as well.

Most people don't seem to realize that our personal safety in this country is in greater jeopardy than at any time since the Civil War. Our "exit strategy" from Iraq should be when the terrorists give up their cowardly tactics and become part of the civilized world.

Gil Russell

USAF Retired


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