As a veteran, and commander of our American Legion Post 73, I am deeply appalled with the happenings in our country at this time.
The American people have very short memories, when it comes to war protests. It is fine to express your view points, but when it does harm to our men and women who are fighting for our freedom, then it is high time some one spoke up in their defense.
As Col. Bui Tin, North Vietnamese Army, said during the Vietnam war, "The American anti war movement was essential to our strategy. Every day, our leadership would listen to world news over the radio at 9 a.m. to follow the growth of the American anti war movement. America lost because of its democracy; through dissent and protest, it lost the ability to mobilize a will to win."
Another quote, "We praise the American peace champions The movement of the American people to protest against the war of aggression has really become the second front against the U.S. imperialists." Vietnam New Agency, 1966.
We are repeating history, with the global war on terrorism.
Jane Fonda was leading the pack in anti war protests during the Vietnam war, now she is back again conducting a bus tour across the country to protest the Iraq war. Her 21st century protege Cindy Sheehan has become a celebrity for the anti war hate America crowd.
From and e-mail between a U.S. soldier stationed in Afghanistan and his mother, "Hey Mom...Everything is going fine over here. I don't want you to worry about me. Can I just ask favor though? Obviously this is completely hypothetical and is stemming more from personal feelings, but if anything ever did happen to me over here, or anytime in my military service for that matter, please don't take Cindy Sheehan's approach and start rallying against the government or anything. I'm proud of what I do, and I want you (and all of my family) to support that regardless of what happens, good or bad. I know Cindy Sheehan lost a son in Iraq, but I don't think what she's doing is very respectful. It is her right to speak her mind, but her calling for an end to the war in Iraq seems pretty ridiculous, especially since, if the troops were called (home), all the ones who have died over there, including her son, would have died for nothing. At least if we finish our job, they will have died for a good cause...Love, Jared."
While we veterans fought for, and many died for, the right of Americans to protest, there is a very unfortunate downside to protest without responsibility: Terrorist enemies are invigorated by public displays here at home that send a signal that we, as a people, are not united in winning the war on terror. Worse yet, it is devastating to the morale of our troops who are valiantly fighting, and winning, the war and giving hope and democracy to the people of Afghanistan and Iraq.
I therefore call on all Americans to "Rally around the Flag" and support our servicemen and women in their fight for freedom, and tell those anti war demonstrators to do what Merle Haggard sang about, "If you don't love it, leave it. Let this song be a warning, cause when you're running down my country Hoss, you're walking on the fighting side of me."