Thursday, August 05, 2004

Thoughts from America's Veterans...

I recently visited some relatives in Colorado. Now this side of my family leans to the left, but they are not your typical democrats. One of my uncle's is a decorated Naval Officer who servered in Vietnam and made a career out of the military. He is very much Pro-Kerry. I expected this behavior from him because he has always expressed certain view (he and I go 'round & 'round but the discussions are always civil - he is my uncle and I have total respect for him). But the one that caught me off guard was my other uncle. He served in the Army during the Korean War and his specialization was Military Intelligence. We had an opportunity to speak and the first thing that he said was, "Hey, I'm not anti-war, but what we are doing in Iraq is a distraction from the fight against terrorism." I would never, in a million years, think that my uncle is anti-war or anti-military - after all, he volunteered to served in the Army. I also spoke to my third uncle, the conservative Republican. He spent many, many years of his life in the middle East (including significant time in Saudi Arabia) and has a unique insight into the Arab and Muslim cultures (remember, the two are NOT the same). He told me about the tribalism that rules that part of the World. That tribalism can be a major factor in how things go in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Rob in Houston

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