Letter to the Editor

Words from 2001 still ring true

To the editor:

This was written Sept. 20, 2001, in response to question "How are you doing after the recent events?" as posed by a former Marine comrade. We served together in the 1980s and have not corresponded before or since.

"Like most people I was rather numb for a couple of days and went through the motions of life. Having always been a deep thinker, it's been sort of rough since I keep arriving at the conclusion of the W.O.P.R. computer in the movie 'War Games' -- 'The only way to win is not to play the game.' I certainly understand, support and even expect some large-scale military operation, but I really wish our president would show more of the qualities I learned to recognize in a fine leader.

"The planning must be giving the generals insomnia and ulcers. As we know, they like narrowly defined objectives with an easily identifiable enemy.

"The broad goal of eradicating terrorism throughout the world is certainly noble, but given human nature is likely impossible. Keeping up morale in any long-term engagement will likely be as difficult as the operation itself.

"The rhetoric we have heard so far from our leadership sounds distressingly similar to that of the war on drugs. Despite unimaginable sums of money being spent in that war, there seems to be no reduction in supply or demand -- merely more prisoners and prisons."

MICHAEL W. THIES, Cape Girardeau