This is in response to the anti-war protests that occurred in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 29th.
First, rest assured that their actions are covered in the First Amendment of the Constitution, even though, as a multiple Purple Heart recipient from Vietnam, I personally disagree with the desire the protesters have to divide our country again as it was during the Vietnam war.
For the youngsters who stood at the microphone and declared that they knew war... having stood at "ground zero, please go home and hug your family, and make sure that mom wipes your nose! No! You dont know war! All you have seen to date is what is called the collateral damage that occurs when an objective is attacked! I understand the inopportune use of this phrase by Timothy McVeigh; however, it is a military term.
The biggest misnomer that the common populace faces today is the fact (as stated by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld) that the undertaking with which we are involved is not war, per se, in fact the entire language associated with this action has to be rewritten to accommodate the functions involved.
We, and a large group of other nations, are attempting to rid our planet of the threat of terrorism. We are not going to bomb Afghanistan, unless the Taliban government leaves us no choice. We are not indiscriminant enough to fire for effect, but will use every means in our power to assure that the innocents will be spared.
We have to remember that in war, the objectives are solid objects that, if destroyed, will stop an aggressor from advancing, ultimately leading to his downfall. (We have no objectives in this case, only personnel.)
This is where the term collateral damage comes to play. There very likely may be innocent bystanders at the objectives, and they are very likely to be injured or die, but the objective must be destroyed.
The actions, taken by Osama bin Laden and his terrorist group al Qaida, were intended to psychologically injure the entire American population. They did not count the number of people in the World Trade Center, nor the Pentagon, nor any of the other targets that they intended to attack. They couldnt have cared less!
What they didnt count on is that their attack had quite the opposite affect on America, in that, with a few exceptions, we united into a one-voice, one-opinion, one-government people!
So, to you, the few exceptions, I say: Go ahead and protest war, and, should one occur, maybe Ill join you!
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