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Fri., Oct. 9
Serving the communities of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties, New York
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Nation cannot afford to continue its wars


Do we stand on the brink of our fourth war in a decade?

Ben Franklin defined insanity as repeating the same action and expecting different results. Almost four years after we gave up on Iraq, it’s a civil war with thousands dying.

Almost nine years in Iraq cost us victory in Afghanistan and allies for attacking Syria. Libya’s regime change left chaos that made our Benghazi outpost unsafe. Our troops’ only victory is their survival.

Our local Fort Drum troops continue dying in Afghanistan as year 14 there approaches. We can ignore endless no-win war now because only 1 percent of us serve.

Half of those are seeking medical/psychiatric disability upon discharge after so many combat deployments. We’ll probably assuage our guilt by paying for their benefits for a while.

Our schoolchildren have never known an America at peace. But these wars have destroyed our economy. Civilian jobs with living wages that enable our kids to get out from under crushing school loan debt and buy a house are more rare than ever.

The American dream that a majority of our middle class will see their children prosper even more than they have is dead. The trillions wasted on lost wars may have the next generation bitterly turn on our veterans.

If that contract breaks, we may not find enough bodies to defend us. Like ancient Rome, we’ll end up trying to bribe our illegal aliens to enlist.

That trick won’t work for us any more than it worked for Rome. It’s Obama’s turn on the slippery slope, and we veterans see him making the same mistakes as our last president. Many reading this will continue denying reality and wrapping themselves in the flag until it’s too late.

Roland Van Deusen


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