The Madison County Record Nov. 23, 2015, 8:11am


To the Editor:

When FDR sent the troops to fight World War II, he sent them to win. Since 1945, the political class has not given America’s military that clear instruction when being sent to war. Political considerations have modified the goal of winning. In Korea, it was fight but do not anger the Chinese. In Vietnam, it was fight but do not attack the enemy if they are standing on the other side of the line drawn on a map.

By the time we invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, the Rules of Engagement were so restrictive, winning was not an option. The Political Class sent our young men and women to be maimed and killed, to be afflicted with psychological trauma, but not with the one instruction which would have made the sacrifice worth the effort: Win.

By the start of the 2016 Presidential election cycle, polls reported that Americans did not want to send more sons and daughters to fight a ground war in the Middle East. Can you blame them? In the past mothers and fathers had the internal satisfaction of knowing their child was doing his duty and protecting the family from an enemy. Grief stricken families proudly displayed Gold Star flags.

In this post 911 world, sacrifice is questioned. Some see the fallen and the maimed as patsies rather than as patriots. Families feel regret without the satisfaction that comes with victory.

Paris changed peoples' minds. The American public sees the danger of allowing our undefeated enemy to continue fighting while we sit dumbly awaiting his arrival at our local mall, coffee shop, or music venue. Americans are ready to act decisively but fear the political class is not.

It is time for the American military to be allowed to take the gloves off. We must fight to defeat the enemy. A strategy which starts with words ‘degrade an enemy’s capability’ is actually a formula for degrading the fighting will of Americans. The goal of war is to break the enemy’s will to fight, forcing him to the table for a negotiated peace. If they will not give up, they all must be destroyed. The Battle of Guadalcanal, the Battle of Peleliu, and the Battle of Iwo Jima are but three examples of destroying an enemy who failed to surrender to the American military.

When we go back to the Middle East, it must be with overwhelming military force. The only rule of engagement will be victory. It is time America puts the fear of God in those barbarian cowards who hide among the civilian population and expect that will shield them and their heinous acts from American justice.

God bless America! God protect those who fight in her name.

Lee Presser

Edwardsville

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