In Roger Bowman's letter to the editor of June 11, "Iraq not worth a single drop of American blood," he asks: "Why should our sons and daughters shed their blood for them?," referring to the Iraqis. As an active-duty Air Force officer, I have not been called upon to serve in Iraq. At some point in the next couple of years, I very possibly will. I will do so because it is my duty. I also happen to support our president's policy in the Middle East.
With all due respect to Mr. Bowman, his letter makes statements which lack any basis in fact.
Example No. 1: "Iraq was a sovereign nation, just as we are." I would never say that Saddam's Baathist Iraq, in any form or fashion, is "just as we are" in America. The sovereignty of a nation is never absolute, and its legitimacy is derived from its citizens. When a nation abuses the fundamental rights of those it claims to represent, then it surrenders any rights of sovereignty. That Saddam, the "Butcher of Baghdad," has abused the rights of his people, and been a menace to his neighbors (Iran, Kuwait) is undeniable. While the Iraqi transitional government was assembled with the assistance of the United States, it will be the most representative and legitimate body to ever govern Iraq. Even the radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has come out in support of the new government.