The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Letter to the editor: Presidents and leaders make mistakes, too

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  • To the editor:
    Our leaders have been politically placated, and an honorable general and veteran has been tainted.
    We have Sgt. Bergdahl, who has spent five years vacationing in a no-service, run-down hotel having a great time, like Senator McCain did in the Hanoi Hilton.
    For all I know, Bowe could have been a CIA operative, which no one will ever admit. Opinionated political hacks have already tried and convicted him.
    I served in Vietnam and understand a little about mind-sets over there when I was there.
    In my unit, 20 percent were on drugs or alcohol and company commanders were being fragged in my battalion. And, the reception was bone-chilling when I returned in 1971.
    I missed the being spit upon. Those like former Vice President Dick Cheney and Fox News have the unmitigated gall to speak about our fighting soldiers having dodged serving themselves. I have homage for today's soldiers who have had repetitive tours — that takes a toll on the soldier's psyche and physical health, especially, when leaders treat war as a parlor game.
    For example, the Bush administrations prosecuted wars based on false representation of facts. President Herbert Walker Bush misrepresented the Saudi Arabian request for troops in Desert Shield/Storm when, in fact, they did not want American boots on their ground.
    But, President H.W. twisted their arms into saying they were in eminent danger of invasion when, in fact, they were not. We know the story of G.W. Bush's like-minded misrepresentations.
    Soldiers and leaders, or even presidents, make mistakes.
    Ronald Banks
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