2003-12-26 / Letters


Silverman Was Wrong

Dear Editor: 

In a recent letter to The Wave, Norman Silverman responded to my comments concerning my disenchantment with the Democratic Party, of which I had been a member for some 40 years, by suggesting that I was victimized by "false impressions spread by the Bush administration" which "used the attack on September 11, 2001 as an excuse to initiate and continue war in Iraq" despite the fact no Iraqi involvement in the events had been "found." Mr. Silverman claimed that the administration "by timing statements and implication convinced many good Americans that Iraq was the culprit." This is just the kind of misinformation and fuzzy thinking that prompted me to reexamine my commitment to the Democratic Party in the first place.

The Bush administration never said Saddam was implicated in those attacks. After they happened, Bush saw that we were far more vulnerable than we thought to dangerous crazies who hated us and who were trying to get their hands on deadly materials to use against us. The terrorists showed what they could do with box cutters and plane tickets and that they hoped to do much worse. Saddam was part of the problem because of his history of expansionist aggression, his support of international terrorism, his known possession and use of weapons of mass destruction, his brutal oppression of his people and his antagonism toward America. He ruled a country that was at the center of that part of the world that had spawned the September 11th attackers and he was known to have had contact with them. We couldn't afford to wait and see what was coming next. Surely no one can argue he was a good guy who deserved to remain in power! All they can say is he wasn't proven to be in collusion with al Qaeda over the attacks on our shores on September 11th. But we had plenty of reason to act against him without those attacks. They merely taught us we MUST act rather than dither until we got something far worse.

In attacking President Bush, Mr. Silverman also noted that "President Truman sent an airlift to Berlin not tanks, to avoid war" in order to show that Bush had other options than taking military action against Saddam. But perhaps Silverman has forgotten that President Truman also fought the Korean War? Needless to say, Bush, like Truman, has done many things that don't involve war, too, including negotiations to get North Korea and Iran to give up their nuclear ambitions. Now, with Libya's Gaddhafi admitting he had such weapons in development and agreeing to give them up, we can see the real fruit of the Bush administration's labors. This wouldn't have happened without Bush showing our resolve in dealing with dictators like Saddam. Sometimes you have to be tough to get the attention of the bad guys. Both Truman and Bush used a range of options to accomplish their objectives. As Truman used to say, the buck stops in the Oval Office. Bush is clearly a president who has learned that lesson!

Mr. Silverman also reminded us, in his letter, "President Kennedy was faced with Soviet missiles in Cuba" but "chose to blockade the island, but also to negotiate removal of the missiles, along with U.S. missiles in Turkey." Once again, this only shows that negotiations must be accompanied by firmness. Nothing concentrates the mind of tyrants more than the realization that the other side means business. And of course, though Mr. Silverman seems to have forgotten, blockading another nation IS an Act of War. So again, President Bush is in as good company with John Kennedy as with Harry Truman. Those opposing Bush today would probably have demanded JFK just turn the whole matter over to the United Nations back then and ask the French to mediate the situation for us. One guess where that would have gotten us!

Mr. Silverman urges "all voters to participate in the primary process, select the best candidate, and help choose a new president." As a newly minted Republican I urge the same. Only I think the best candidate already has the job and that thoughtful Americans will see this and cast their vote for the one candidate who has shown that he is willing and able to stand up for his country, just like Truman and JFK did in their day.


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