I am a veteran military officer who indeed supports our brave servicemen and women; and I’ve voted for more Republican presidential candidates than Democrats. However, it is clear that Messrs. Bush and Cheney (who pulled every string to avoid military service) have absolutely no idea what they’re doing with the war they needlessly started half way around the world. And they refuse to listen to anyone outside their inner circle. Worse, they attempt to dishonor whoever dares to question their recklessness.

Congressman John Murtha is a highly decorated, 37-year Marine Corps veteran; and for years, he’s been one of the most respected congressional voices on military issues. He’s recently stated, “It is evident that continued military action is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf Region.”

Cheney wasted no time in angrily telling America, “The president and I cannot prevent certain politicians from losing their memory, or their backbone.” Bush quickly reinforced Cheney’s denunciation. While they’ve recently softened their language, we know they will continue to discredit anyone who dares to question “the Emperor’s new clothes” … as they did when Sen. Max Cleland (who lost limbs in Vietnam) dared to question Bush. And we all remember the fact-twisting viciousness to which Sen. John Kerry (who volunteered for Vietnam and received three Purple Hearts) was subjected. Clearly, the administration’s strategy is to use the power of the White House to try to disgrace anyone questioning this Mesopotamian mess into which it has gotten America.

I believe it is becoming clear to the majority of Americans that, because of our bullying Republican leadership, the relatively safe world we’ve known is not the world our grandchildren will inherit. I just hope the Democratic Party can get its act together. We’ll see.

David J. York

Indianapolis

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