The good and bad of the war

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 30, 2003

With the war in Iraqi appearing to be firmly under control, and an end in sight, we must pause and take time to reflect on just what has been accomplished -- both the good and bad, and what could still be forthcoming.

First, the high points, if one could call them that, have been numerous in this war. A relatively low casualty count for coalition forces. In relation to the unknown numbers of dead Iraqi soldiers and civilians, coalition forces suffered light casualties. However, those soldiers belonging to members of coalition forces who sacrificed their lives for our freedom, but more importantly, the freedom of the citizens of Iraq. That sacrifice must never be forgotten, and we all should do our best to make sure of that.

Another high point of the war is the swiftness with which it has been accomplished. It was said that the United States and its allies would be in for a long hard fight. To date, that hasn't exactly transpired. We're still under 30 days in total length, but it's not over yet. As President Bush said Friday, when all of the objectives have been attained, then the war will be over. We should remember, the war could last for months, although day-by-day, that appears to be unlikely.

Finally, the people of Iraq have for the most part, welcomed U.S. and other coalition forces with jubilant celebration. This must not be confused with an open invitation to stay beyond our welcome. We, as a country, should be willing to stay only as long as necessary. We believe our leaders know that, and believe that is the plan. Our forces will be in Iraq to offer assistance and guidance when needed -- and protection as warranted.

As with any war, there are low points, the main one being that war was necessary to begin with. But, among the low points to date of this particular war have been the casualties suffered by all sides. Although General William Tecumseh Sherman said "War is Hell," it is never more realized than when a soldier falls in service to his or her country, or an innocent is a victim.

Another low point in this war has been the backlash between the entertainment world as protesters and everyday citizens protesting the war.

The soldiers, whether the protesters realize it or not, are fighting to protect their right, and the rights of others to protest away. It's only truly a low point when those who are protesting -- voicing their opinion -- are in turn threatened by those supporting the effort. Instead of protesting the war or protesting the protesters, everyone should be working together to show their support for the troops who are the ones on the front lines actually fighting the battle.

As the war continues to move ahead, be mindful of these things, and remember -- whether you are a supporter of the war or a protester -- we are all Americans, and it is our right to hold whatever opinion we wish -- so long as we remember somebody has already paid the ultimate price for that right.