E-mail sent 1/7/2003 in
response to e-mail received 1/6/03.
Original e-mail received 1/6/03
To: TJ Western
deal? I am proud to be in the
military and need to know what you
meant at Xmas.
Reply sent 1/7/03
Hey, I wasn’t saying anything
about you or your commitment.
I was only
addressing my responsibility to look
after Allison’s best interests
during her age of vulnerability and
naiveté’. I really wanted to have
the chance to add my opinion to
yours for balance on issues that we
may not agree on as it relates to
the military and the current
environment of war. I felt that the
holiday was not the right venue for
the discussion—that’s coming from
“Mr. TJ Debate at any time, any
But, fear not,
I will gladly elaborate now.
I have a great
deal of respect for those military
personnel who are willing to give up
their personal freedom and safety in
order to maintain a military force
for the defense of our country. The
conflict in Afghanistan in pursuit
of the training bases of those who
attacked our country was justified.
attack on Iraq is another story. It
exemplifies the reason I will
discourage my children from joining
any military service.
In teaching and
advising my children I would never
dream to persuade them to surrender
their destinies to the whims and
unknown objectives of politicians:
Republican, Democrat or otherwise.
That is just good, common sense. I
tap, for guidance, my personal
experience from 1968 when I came out
of Cretin High School with
propaganda swirling around my young,
impressionable mind concerning the
war in Vietnam. The call to “fight
for America” rang the halls. I
planned to join the Marines.
There are reasons most military
recruits join at the ripe young age
of 18 or 19. The military
establishment, for all time, has
realized that the youth have a
limited perspective when it comes to
death and killing and the young
readily give themselves over to an
institution that will make choices
for them during the difficult
transition to adulthood. They too
are malleable to political views and
prone to absolutes.
My personal experience took a
significant turn in 1968 when D. E.
(brother-in-law) persuaded me to
wait over the summer following
graduation before I joined the
Marines. I did(wait) and in the fall
of that year friends and family
(brother Don) began coming back from
the Nam with very different
perspectives on the war than the
government and the schools were
preaching. I did not join. In fact,
I did everything I could do to avoid
the draft. History shows the wisdom
of that decision.
Back to Iraq. My view on the
planned invasion of Iraq is that
no matter what the outcome of the
United Nations inspections, the U.S.
and England will invade. I believe
the true objective is not to stop
the production of weapons of mass
destruction but to gain a strategic
military foothold in the Middle
East. The current administration
realizes that the
Israeli/Palestinian conflict will
spread to the populace of key allies
like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan
and they want a central position to
wield control over a region that is
vital to the energy interests of the
world—in short, power. An objective
to die for?
The other key reason that Iraq is
the target is that they are weak. An
easy win compared to, say, Korea?
Notice the different stance on the
other “axis of evil” which is proven
to already have nuclear capability
and as much apparent willingness to
use it as Iraq.
So, I want to help my daughter to
make reasoned decisions on those
choices that will affect her for her
entire life. At the age of ten she
hardly is mature enough to consider
all the ramifications of things like
getting pregnant, using drugs,
dropping out of school, joining a
religion or the military—no matter
how much we discuss, debate or argue
While I know she ultimately will
face each of these decisions in her
teen years ahead, I think it’s
important that she gain more insight
and maturity before considering
those decisions. And as you can
imagine, several of the above
mentioned decisions will be made far
sooner than any concerning joining
Whew, I am glad to get that off my
chest. This would have taken me two
hours to say on Christmas. Does this
make more sense than that curt cease
and desist ultimatum at the party?
Thanks for respecting my request and
for the op to rail now. Let me know
what you think. Talk to you later.