I strongly disagree with Staff Saft. Jeffrey Marston’s assertions (“Protests hurt troops,” Forum, Oct.2).
as a Navy veteran of the Vietnam conflict, I firmly believe that protest saved the lives of my friends a future cannon fodder who served or who would have serve in combat roles in country.
Foremost, the majority of Iraqis oppose U.S. occupation at this time with the exception of the Kurds. The Sunni and Shiite nationalists lead the opposition. Military commanders have repeatedly said our occupation is fueling the opposition. By killing 100,000 innocent Iraqis to date, we have undermined our moral rationale for going to war.
Secondly, the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong didn’t win the Vietnam conflict. More than 3 million Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians lost their lives during our 15-year involvement. We lost 58,202 men and women, with more than 61 percent being 21 years of age and younger. More than 300,000 were wounded, among whom were some 75,000 seriously wounded.
Besides the loss of life and limb, the war cost more than $200 billion (not adjusted for inflation). As in all wars, the winners have been and always will be the so-called “Masters of War,” the military industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us about.