The centerpiece of Dave's argument was that we should stay in a Iraq because most of the US service people there wanted to stay and finish the job. Spot quarreled with that conclusion and Dave's evidence offered in support of it.
Spot said Dave was wrong. Today, a letter writer in the Star Tribune assumed that Dave was correct about support in the military for staying in Iraq, but disagreed with his conclusion:
I must respond to Dave Thul's very well expressed opinions regarding the Iraq situation ("In Iraq as in football, defense is crucial," March 18). As a retired military officer, I believe there is another aspect to this issue that needs equal consideration.
I agree with him wholeheartedly that our leaders' constant equivocating and petty
arguing do nothing to make the soldiers' lives safer or better. The Democrats, clearly receiving a strong mandate to change the strategy in Iraq, seem completely paralyzed and almost pitiful. The Republicans, who can come up with nothing better than "more of the same," are no better. For this I empathize with Thul.
We must take care, however, not to give greater consideration to the opinion of the
troops, who have fought bravely and hard, than that of the majority of their countrymen. Of course they want to finish what they started. Of course they want their sacrifices to mean something. Of course they feel we can still "win." That's why we serve.
Ultimately, however, the military and people in uniform do not decide our national
strategy; we in the military are simply tools of national strategy. It cannot and must not be otherwise in a democracy.
D. ROGER PEDERSON, MINNEAPOLIS
Spot never called you a simple tool, Dave. (kidding) But Mr. Pederson makes a great point. It is the civilians who run the show and call the shots.
Update: Added missing link to Pederson letter.