Letter to the Editor

Why we fight

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Dear Editor,

I promised myself that I would have no further comments on any of Mike (Hendricks)' liberal pacifist columns, but the Saturday column takes the prize.

First, I can't image what significance any comments made prior to September 11, 2001, would make in dealing with the battle we are presently fighting. Fortunately today's leaders live in a post-911 mindstate. They understand that we need to take the fight to the enemy and not wait for them to attack us again.

You also seemed to question weather or not Saddam gassed the Kurds. Just for further reference the Baath regime launched 39 separate gas attacks against the Kurds. Beginning at night on Thursday, March 16, and extending into Friday, March 17, 1988, the city of Halabja (population 70,000), was bombarded with 20 chemical and cluster bombs. Photographs show dead children in the street with lunch pails. An estimated 5,000 persons died. High Iraqi officials, including Vice-Premier Tariq Aziz, have since admitted using chemical weapons against the Kurds.

And please remember when you talk about dead Americans stripped of their existence during the prime of their lives, that you are talking about American soldiers who gave their lives for this county. Most, if not all, of their families and friends believe that these service men and women die serving their country and did not die in vain, but rather died to protect our freedoms and the freedoms of mankind around the world. They are nothing short of true American heroes.

I, for one, believe we need to fight this war and we are winning this war. Sen. Chuck Hagel (a man who has rarely met or even thought about a tyrant he did not want to appease) is only a second-termer with no official responsibilities. Hagel is not a member of the Senate leadership, nor does he chair a Senate committee. He has no legislative accomplishment or influence and quite frankly has little noteworthy legislation to his name, and is more often an eccentric voice. I for one believe Nebraska can do better.

In closing I will leave you with this thought by John Stuart Mill: "War is an ugly thing, but it is not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares about more than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by better men than himself."

Kirt Matson


EDITOR'S NOTE -- Sen. Hagel serves on the Foreign Relations committee as chairman of the subcommittee on International Economic Policy, Export and Trade Promotion; on the Banking Housing and Urban Affairs committee as chairman of the subcommittee on securities and investment; as chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China; and on the Intelligence and Rules and Administration committees. He served with the U.S. Army's 9th Infantry Division in Vietnam, where he received two Purple Hearts as well as numerous other military decorations and honors.

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