Setting the record straight on presidents and wars


I am responding to the letter by Steve Thorstad in the Feb. 20 Sandy Post. He starts off by trying to show some kind of relationship between the deaths in Detroit, Mich., and the deaths of our troops in Iraq in a one-month period. Wonder why he didn't include the deaths of Iraqi citizens? Guess they don't count!

He goes on to itemize some of our presidents' roles in other wars. His analogies are simplistic and don't really state facts. Let's add some facts to some of his glowing omissions. To those who didn't read Mr. Thorstad's letter to the editor, his points were itemized using the alphabet:

A. 'FDR led us into WWII.' This must mean that we would never have been involved in WWII if he hadn't led us into it?

B. 'Germany never attacked us, Japan did.' In September 1940, the triporlite between Japan, Germany and Italy was formalized. It stated that any country not already in the war that attacked any axis power would be at war with all three. On Dec. 8, FDR formally declared war on Japan. Three days later Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S. Responding to this, FDR declared war on Germany and Italy.

C. 'Truman ended the war with Japan and started the Korean War.' Fact: After WWII ended, Russia and the U.S. each occupied Korea. Russia above the 38th parallel and the U.S. below. So when the North Koreans invaded the South on June 25, 1950, they made no distinction between the South Korean troops and our troops in the occupying army. So who started the war?

(I could go through each of your claims and prove that at best, they are propaganda and some outright lies. Readers should take note that all the presidents he portrayed as starting these wars are Democrats; let's add some Republicans to the mix!)

D. 'President JFK started the war in Vietnam.' Fact: In 1955, President Eisenhower helped create a new nation, South Vietnam, with massive amounts of U.S. military, political and economic aid. By the time JFK was assassinated, we had 14,000 military advisers in Vietnam. Johnson did escalate the war, and so did Nixon. Nixon even expanded the war into Laos and Cambodia. This doesn't make any of them right.

E. 'Clinton went to war in Bosnia without U.N. and French consent. Bosnia never attacked us.' Fact: Fifteen nations, all members of NATO, went to war in Bosnia. Bosnia never attacked any of those nations, either. 'Clinton was offered Osama bin Laden's head on a platter' by the president of Sudan - who was a supporter of Osama bin Laden. Not likely!

F. President Reagan bombed Libya; Libya never attacked us. Reagan invaded Grenada; Grenada never attacked us. George H.W. Bush went to war in Iraq, now known as the Gulf War. Iraq didn't attack us. He also invaded Panama. Panama didn't attack us.

G. George W. Bush invaded Iraq. Iraq never attacked us. To sell this war to the American people, he made certain statements, which included: a 'threat' of weapons of mass destruction, the necessity of speed due to imminent danger, Saddam's renewal of his nuclear program and the notion that Iraq was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks.

All of these have been proven false, so then a slogan was invented: Operation Iraqi Freedom. As for the crushing of the Taliban, not so. In fact, there is evidence of a resurgence of the Taliban.

Liberated Afghanistan and Iraq? Ask the people there if they feel liberated. North Korea is as dangerous as ever, as is Iran. Osama bin Laden is still alive. As far as the assertion on how long it took to take Iraq, the war didn't end when Bush made that photo op in a flight uniform on the deck of the aircraft carrier and proclaimed, 'Mission accomplished.' George Bush has been a disaster for the U.S., and no amount of propaganda and lies will change that.

Lee Powell is a resident of Sandy.