President George W. Bush had the opportunity to show why conservatism was the better alternative to the clumsy liberalism of former President Bill Clinton's first term and the contrived moderateness of his second term. Instead, Mr. Bush has squandered his chance to fix what Mr. Clinton broke. What Mr. Clinton broke, Mr. Bush has placed on a virtual course to destruction.
Whereas Bill Clinton downsized, and slashed and burned the military as if we lived in a Utopia, George Bush has broken the back of the Army with his foolish adventure into Iraq.
He took far more liberty than was granted by the intelligence. Depictions of nuclear mushroom clouds by the administration were hype, not fact. It is now clear more diplomatic pressure could've been brought to bear before resorting to war. And now, a couple more families every day learn that their sons and daughters have been killed in action. Not killed for some grand and noble cause. Not killed to combat terror, but killed needlessly.
War should never be a foregone conclusion, but a reluctant conclusion arrived at only after all other avenues have been explored, totally traveled and exhausted. War should never be a choice, but a harsh burden hoisted upon the back of humanity.
One drop of warrior blood spilled in vain shall taint the soil for generations to come. No plants will grow. No animals will feed. It is my deepest prayer that the violence soon abates, that our soldiers stop dropping like flies and that they come home to their loving families.
Each dead soldier is a hundred hearts broken. If we do not win the battle soon, our nation will be awash in tears. There aren't enough locks and dams in this world to restrain the tide sewn by the blood of a downed soldier.
I don't know who will get my vote next year. But I know who will not.
Herbert A. Edney IV, Augusta
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