Iraq: Opinion goes beyond party line


Opinion goes beyond party line

An associate returned from Wauseon last week with a story about a businessman there. He’s been reading the Observer editorials pertaining to the war in Iraq and he decided the Observer’s editorial stance is making more and more sense to him.

And then he added, “And I’m a Republican.”

That last line is troubling. Support for the war shouldn’t be a political issue. A Republican should claim the right to disagree with the foreign policy issues made by a Republican administration. Similarly, a Democrat should believe it’s all right to support the foreign policy decisions of the other party.

It’s all right to consider the policy on Iraq in error and still proudly claim GOP affiliation, if that’s your preference. After all, it’s not a plank in the party’s principles. Instead, it’s a policy forged by a cadre of Washington politicians and advisors.

Look back on the Vietnam conflict. Some people say the decisions leading to that war span five presidents, leading way back to Truman. Presidents from both parties were involved in perpetuating the conflict.

Many citizens are drawing analogies between Vietnam and Iraq. Failed policies are now being used to justify continued involvement. Iraq, a country that had no links to global terror is now said by the White House to be the “central front” on the war on terror. A large percentage of America’s troops are tied down indefinitely halfway around the world.

Something has gone terribly wrong, despite Washington’s assurances of remaining on target.

Taking the party line may be politically correct, but blind obedience is surely no show of true patriotism.

Thomas Jefferson is credited with looking at the matter in this way: “The cost of freedom is constant vigilance.”

    - DGG, Sept. 10. 2003