Letters to the Editor

Letter | America needs to tend to issues within its own borders

Re: July 5 letter from Reuben Goode, “Spend no money and send no men [to] Iraq”

After reading the recent letter by Reuben Goode, I reflected on its impact on myself as a former Vietnam War vet and say: “Well done.”

Entering the 'Nam while the Tet Offensive was still underway gave me the clues that after getting shot at in the air before landing in country; having rockets impact the runway while deplaning; and the next morning having an Army munitions dump blown up by the Viet Cong less than a quarter mile from where we were going for breakfast confirmed my thoughts: Yep these people hate us and want to kill us. Sure was going to be a long year. Why was America here, and what were we trying to achieve?

This was a civil war in which North Vietnam wanted to unite with South Vietnam. Eventually we lost this war after many deaths, many MIAs, many wounded physically and emotionally, and took a huge hit in building more national debt.

America didn't learn its lesson from this debacle and waded into later Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. Another incursion into an African country to snag a war lord wound up in a major movie, “Black Hawk Down.”

When will we learn that we cannot be the police force of the world and that other countries simply have to work out their own differences. With our interference, even though well intentioned, to some the folks overseas we try to import our version of freedom or democracy that simply will not work.

The Sunnis and Shiites for years have been at odds with each other. Sectarian violence in Bosnia has been well known for thousands of years. It is time for America to wake up. It quite frankly needs a reality check. When after 13 months I finally got back from the 'Nam, my two pair of jungle combat boots were tossed into the dumpster at the airport.

War protesters greeted us with signs that said "Baby Killers." Just great. Our current foreign policy, like those hated boots with cursed foreign soil on them, deserves the same fate — toss it in the dumpster. Regain what is America and keep our nose out of other nations’ affairs.

Keeping on the same path as we are now will simply continue our slide into a third world nation dependent upon manufactured products from overseas. Current trade agreements as well as other corporate policies to maximize profit for the few have gutted American industry and turned much of our American populace into an entitlement nation.

I salute Reuben Goode for the wake-up call. Indeed the price of war is too much. Wake up America and take back this once great country to make us all proud to be Americans.

The writer lives in Murrells Inlet.