If war comes...
Editor, Gettysburg Times,
Bad wars — just like painful necessary wars or engagements are never a judgment on the military who responsibly serve. The military should never be used as a shied to judge misguided wars.
Some of the Army who served in the 1960’s may recall the assertion that only advisors would operate in Vietnam because it would be unclear who the enemy was. Members of the Army were quietly deployed around Southeast Asia and then we got Mr. Johnson;’s war.
Early in this century, UN inspectors were forced out of Iraq by the Bush Administration before they could complete their work. Mr. Bush’s war revealed what the inspectors suspected — no weapons of mass destruction, no justification for invasion.
The current Iranian crisis is built upon Donald Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from a multi-nation non-nuclear agreement with Iran, the unilateral reimposition of economic sanctions and the further weaponizing of Iranian regional adversaries — some of the latter over the objection of Congress — all done while Iran was in compliance.
The agreement was intended to be a start, not the conclusion of addressing issues in the Middle East related to Iranian behavior. Crafter by diplomacy rather than some initial photo-op, it was a long journey in trust building which Trump effectively shredded. This president will be unable to rebuild that trust.
Our president promised that “he alone can fix it” on countless issues. A man with a career in violating contracts has undermined relations with allies and the quiet essential work of diplomats — doing the same domestically.
Perhaps we are supposed to be grateful that Donald Trump did not follow through on an in intended misguided action that would have created greater turmoil in the Middle East — but we are still on the same course.
Then again, perhaps we are having a pause on further escalation as well as a pause on proposed ICE raids on immigrants because they might distract from the Trump Lincoln Memorial address he has injectected into our Independence Day celebrations.
Escalating conflict in the Middle East is not solution or a cause for re-election. Diplomacy both here at home and with our allies has been the preferred path for a democratic society.
Stephen D. Harris,