The bumper sticker political view of the foreign policy of our nation expressed by Daniel Hays in last week's edition of the Towson Times is a mystery to me.
His letter to the editor ("U.S. incursions overseas put our troops in danger," March 7, 2012) is a case of shallow thinking. He fails to address any possible cause for our incursions as he seems driven to castigate our nation as inherently wrong and thus hated.
The decision to send troops into harm's way is difficult and always open to debate. I usually see the rationalizations that bring our leaders to make decisions.
Engaging troops is not always the avenue I would follow, but I trust the decision is made thoughtfully and with a mission in mind.
That mission is never to create a timetable for withdrawal; that would do great disservice to our men and women who willingly have agreed to place their lives in jeopardy without the intent to accomplish the goal created by the necessary use of military power.
When Mr. Hays says, "Every time we invade a foreign country it makes people 'mad as hell.' In no time at all, they start tossing bombs and killing our soldiers." I am stunned by his narrow view.
Throughout the past 40-plus years there have been hundreds of unprovoked attacks by terrorist groups against all nations. This includes dozens against assets of the United States — bombings of embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, Flight 103 over Locherbie, the cruise ship Achille Lauro, attacks of the Marine barracks in Bierut, hostages held in Lebanon during Jimmy Carter's presidency, The USS Cole, the first attack on the World Trade Center in New York and, of course, the events on 9/11, which killed more people than the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Foreign nations have not been immune including Russia, England, France, Japan, Indonesia and more.
So I ask, when is enough, enough?
"Bring the troops home now" makes a good bumper sticker, but it ignores the fact of a dangerous world; a world where, if the notion of a democratic representative republic as a beacon of freedom is to continue, we need to engage enemies in whatever rat hole they use to hide. And this includes confronting nations who aid and abet.
We need to do this with the mission as paramount and not withdraw until it is accomplished. To do less weakens our ability negotiate.
Ever since we abandoned South Vietnam by eliminating fiscal support in the mid-1970s, we have been weakened in our attempts to negotiate.
We, for once, need to live up to our commitments.
R. Devereux Slingluff
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