Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Misguided Rain on Victory Parades

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Misguided Rain on Victory Parades

Article excerpt

IT'S unbelievable! Who would have thought that a lot of people now are trying to rain on both the victory and the victory parades? In fact, some of the very ones who opposed the war against Iraq because they feared it would be too costly in American lives now are saying it was nothing much more than a "well executed military exercise" and that the challenge was little more than "another Grenada." One letter writer in the Washington Post put it this way: "Casualty-wise it ranks with the deaths by violence in the District (of Columbia) streets thus far in 1991. It does us no credit to continually flaunt our and our allies' superiority over a poorly equipped foe."

Another letter commented snidely: "It was a big victory for the defense contractors, who proved once and for all that American technology can devastate any country it wants as long as (that country) can't reach the United States with its own technology."

These parades, as I see them, are our way of saying thanks to the troops - and their leaders. That so few were hurt or were killed adds to our reasons for rejoicing. Why in the world should it in any way detract from their achievement?

Have the parades been going on too long, as their critics charge? No. We mourned Vietnam for years and years. It was a terrible blow to our national pride and, indeed, our standing in the international community. The victory over Iraq finally put an end to that feeling of national failure.

So there now are hurrahs. We can live with that. If we could wallow in tears over Vietnam for so long, can't we rejoice over the outcome in Iraq for a few months without hearing this carping about it being trivial, overdone, and, now, over-long? These parades speak of this long-delayed lift in national morale and, like the recent celebrations in Washington and New York, they are still very appropriate.

Some of the criticisms we are hearing of the war and the post-war celebrating are coming from those who have a more specific and political goal: to rain on President Bush's parade. They see Bush's Iraq-related high popularity rating continuing on and on. …

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