Consider what is at risk when we send our young off to wars

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In the wake of the hoopla associated with the Fourth of July let us pause and reflect on the brutality of war. I, along with millions of Americans, salute our brave men and women who are serving our country throughout the Middle East and Afghanistan. However, I do question the wisdom of risking our soldiers' lives in these areas.

Please take the time to read Jeremy Scahill's recent book "Dirty Wars." He clearly documents the lies and the deceptions employed by George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld to manipulate the American public into supporting the Iraq War. If these men had personally experienced the hell of war as President Dwight Eisenhower did, I wonder if they would have so callously placed our young men and women in harm's way.

The extraordinary human destruction war creates is so vividly portrayed in the classic novel "Johnny Got His Gun" by Dalton Trumbo. The work, written in 1939, focuses on the human destruction during World War I. The main character of the novel is Joe Bonham, who lost his arms, legs, face and ears after a bomb dropped on him, However, he still has his mind and Trumbo takes us into his thoughts.

Consider this passage from "Johnny Got His Gun": "He would never again be able to hear music or the whisper of the wind through trees or the chuckle of running water. He would never again breathe in the smell of a steak frying in his mother's kitchen or the dampness of spring in the air or the wonderful fragrance of sagebrush carried on the wind across a wide open plain."

A decision to send our young men and women into war zones that could make them the next "Joe Bonham" should never be based on manipulated lies.

CHARLES M. QUINN
Lawrence


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