Let’s avoid another costly war

Let’s talk about war, as several “leaders” in Washington have been doing.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, national security advisor, are so-called “hawks” on Iran. So is President Donald Trump on some days, not so much on others. He is inconsistent in laying out a strategy, just as with trade, North Korea, tariffs, alliances, etc. And let’s not pretend this or previous Congresses are blameless. Congress last exercised its sole power to declare war in 1941.

According to online data from the Department of Veterans Affairs, since 1945 more than 97,000 U.S. service members have died in combat theaters: Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. Additionally, about a quarter-million have been wounded, many permanently disabled. Millions of civilians have been killed.

Those who have served in combat know the meaning of war and are usually the last to advocate it.

What are the big three’s experience with war? Bolton served four years in the National Guard and two in the reserves before being discharged. He never saw combat but courageously stated, “I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy.”

Pompeo was a 1986 honor graduate of West Point and served his required five years before his 1991 discharge. He was on active duty during Operation Desert Storm, but was not in the war. (In 2016 an anonymous edit to his Wikipedia biography claimed he was, but the CIA and others have denied this.) Pompeo has never claimed combat service.

Trump faked a minor bone spur problem and never served a day in the military, much less in combat. As we see every day, he’s a coward.

My plea to these three: Listen to their military leaders and do not provoke another needless, bloody war.

John Urice

Vietnam veteran, Eau Claire