Letters to the Editor

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9/11: Rethinking the aftermath of that day

Letter by Frank A. Walter, Portland, Ore. on Sep. 12, 2011 at 9:19 am with 20 Comments »
September 12, 2011 9:19 am

I was living in Tacoma when the Saudi terrorists hit the twin towers. President Bush wasted no time building a case against Saddam Hussein, but many of us in Tacoma did not see the need for a rush to war and attended rallies at the Federal Building, where a professor from a local university addressed us. During his talk, a couple soldiers also addressed the rally with a chant, “Start the war now!”

These soldiers looked to be 19 or 20 and did not seem to be veterans. The mindset of these kids – that war is the solution for most problems – intrigued me. Apparently President Bush agreed with these soldiers and soon had his war.

Now the country is several thousand soldiers poorer, and our treasury is depleted of nearly a trillion dollars with no real solution in sight – shades of Vietnam.

Leave a comment Comments → 20
  1. Lets see: Osama is dead, Saddam is dead; the Iraqi people have voted(remember all those proud purple thumbs!), freedom and democracy has broken out throughout the mideast(Egypt, Libya, etc, etc.)

    Thank you President Bush for agressively neutralizing these terrorists, and showing millions of people a better life. This is nothing like Vietnam.

  2. Tmell is assessing that the United States could afford a trillion dollars to kill Saddam Hussien, regardless of what it meant to our country. It appears that line of thinking is entirely wrong, if you follow the arguments waged on the debt ceiling.

    To thank Bush for the execution of Osama Bin Laden is ridiculous.

  3. “… but many of us in Tacoma did not see the need for a rush to war and attended rallies at the Federal Building, … “

    Mr. Walter, what should have been the response if any…?

  4. LarryFine says:

    2 -1/2 years is “a rush” …

  5. what should have been the response if any…?

    Increased special operations targeting al Qaeda specifically…….that is, ultimately, what got bin Laden.

  6. slugoxyz says:

    Not understanding the mindset of a young soldier does not surprise me from one who choose to protest rather than serve. Life is funny. Everyone needs some sort of purpose. Young men go off to become warriors and protect people like you and me. You go and protest thinking you are doing it for the common good but you sacrifice nothing. Your self proclamed high moral code is nothing but selfish desire for your life to mean something more without sacrificing anything. I served for 22 years retiring after a tour in combat and I considered being offended by someone questioning the chants of a couple gung ho kids who were anxious to defend their country. At that time (9/11), make no mistake, we were threatened. The threat was real as the destruction of the World Trade Center was fresh. As a matter of fact, I can’t watch the planes flying into our buildings without getting angry ten years later! On September 12th 1991, I was right where those soldiers were. Funny how you weren’t?

    Did you think there was some form of diplomacy that should have been exercised by “W”? What should we have conceded to Al Quaeda to make them stop attacking us? What is the prevention of another 9-11 worth? People don’t want to give “W” credit but he brought the fight to the bad guys. Yeah. I said it. BAD GUYS! A Trillion dollars? Seems like a lot but Americans are safer now than we were 10 years ago. Some of our civil rights are restricted but not too many. I can’t bring more than 4 oz of fluid in my carry-on and I have to take my shoes off to pass through security. Thank Bush? You betcha. Thank those young 19 or 20 year olds today? You betcha.

    Here is the problem Frank. You take your freedoms for granted. You think they are yours simply because they are. No sir. You have your freedom because men like those young kids you criticize give their lives for your freedoms. Vietnam was different. Yes, we were fighting the spread of Communism and back in 1982 when I joined, I firmly believed in it. Vietnam wasn’t a war based in the premise of protecting US citizens here in America. Both Iraq and Afghanistan are. Take the fight to the bad guys and they will walk a thousand miles to kill an American in the Middle East. That’s fine. Men and women far better than you stick their hands in the hornets nest every day to keep you safe. You should go thank them rather than criticize them.

  7. slugoxyz says:

    …and Beerboy, Bush started the hunt for HVTs back in 1992 with the formation of the first “task force” where we combined the most skilled from the armed forces and the meanest from various agencies. Credit where credit is due. Obama got OBL but it was Bush’s operational strategy.

  8. concernedtacoma7 says:

    “To thank Bush for the execution of Osama Bin Laden is ridiculous”

    Lets see, Bush reshaped our Nation’s intelligence network. He fought an endless political and legal battle to interrogate evil criminals to access information, preventing future attacks and eventually providing the information to kill OBL.

    To thank BHO for anything, other than high unemployment and partisan divide is ridiculous.

    BHO took a nap and then authorized the professions to do their job. Saying yes to an op vs years of Bush’s efforts. No brainer

  9. Young men go off to become warriors and protect people like you and me.

    But what they actually end up doing is completely at the whim of the President and (supposedly) Congress.

    It is a stretch to say that young men (and women) have actually protected Americans and our freedoms for a very long time.

  10. L_F,
    Had it not been for 9/11 and Afghanistan Bush would have had us into Iraq well before we actually go there.

    bB & slugoxyz,
    Our Special Ops troops and the Northern Allegiance had all but won the war when Bush decided to occupy and rebuild the county and lost the war then cut and ran to Iraq.

    Obama has all but ended our presence in Iraq and is well on schedule to remove our troops from Afghanistan.

  11. Concerned7,
    ‘reshaped our intelligence network” Try he destroyed it by.

    ‘Interrogate evil criminals’ Water boarding has yet to provide one bit of actionable intelligence and is only supported by Bush cronies and the CIA ‘experts’ who water boarded the 3 people who are known to have been water boarded.

    Obama already has three intelligent/combat successes to his credit.
    The operation to taken down OBK,
    The operations against Somalia Pirates, and
    The Air and Naval Operation against Libya.

    Funny how many retired Flag Officers spoke out against Bush’s strategy and tactics, But none have spoken out against Obama.

  12. LarryFine says:

    really ?

  13. Yep…..I thank Bush for reading My Pet Goat and then flying away in fear of his life when he, as Commander in Chief, should have, if not prevented the worst attack on US soil ever (that there was significant intel warning was pre-eminent), at least did something to defend our country before his speech writers could put together his little bullhorn moment so he could capitalize on the nation’s grief.

    I supported the decision to attack Afghanistan in order to ferret out bin Laden and his al Qaeda stronghold……but Iraq was always the real objective……and Bush pulled out as soon as the propaganda had suitably been catapulted to make the Iraq invasion drumbeats drown out any reasoned conversation about how to best respond DIRECTLY to al Qaeda.

  14. LarryFine says:

    Thanks drama queen….

  15. slugoxyz says:

    “flying away in fear of his life”? Really. So when a soldier dives into a foxhole because of incoming mortor fire or RPGs, is he a coward? Your disdain makes you irrational. And Xring. It was the Northern Alliance not Allegiance – oh brother. And lost what war? The one we’re in right now? When exactly did we lose? Should we inform the military leadership? Huh? I thought it was still going and we were doing pretty well. AQ is essentially wrecked or running and the Taliban has resorted to suicide attacks on Kabul. Just because you are rooting for the other team, don’t go declaring our men and women as losers just yet.

    And Beerboy, young men and women established the freedoms you have now, have fought for them through world wars and manned the post when communism threatened us. Now, terrorism threatens us and our soldiers stick their hands into that hornet’s nest every day so fundamental Muslims travel to that region to strike at America rather than come here. You should be ashamed of yourself. Credit where credit is due.

  16. LarryFine says:


    “His response to you says it clearly – he baits with outrageous statements – this is a classic troll tactic.
    Don’t feed the troll.”
    August 23, 2008 – 5:46am ;)

  17. Thanks drama queen….

    “His response to you says it clearly – he baits with outrageous statements – this is a classic troll tactic.
    Don’t feed the troll.”
    August 23, 2008 – 5:46am ;)

  18. LarryFine says:

    stalking me again?

  19. slugoxyz says:

    Sorry Larry. I should have known better.

  20. LarryFine says:

    No worries….

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