05/25/07 — The mission: Fighting in Iraq sets stage for future of freedom

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The mission: Fighting in Iraq sets stage for future of freedom

This week, two parents learned that their worst fears were confirmed — the body of a soldier floating in a river in Iraq was their son.

The young man died during an ambush. No one knows for sure how he ended up in the river.

How he died doesn’t matter. His family is devastated just the same.

As the debate continues over the war in Iraq, members of Congress should remember that young man and his family.

He died for something — a goal to bring peace to a country in the Middle East and a better life to families much like his own.

His mission was a noble one — and he and his comrades died because the enemy they were fighting has no honor and no concern for bringing freedom to any nation or people.

The al-Qaida militants who claimed responsibility for his death are out to kill every American or anyone else who does not believe as they do.

Those are not the kind of combatants you can rely on to come to a bargaining table and negotiate a peace settlement — or to keep any promises they might make.

This week’s decision to fund the war in Iraq through September was not an easy one. No one wants to see any more families suffer like the one who got the news of their hero’s death this week.

But in the end, dealing with the problems in the Middle East now and showing strength now are critical to the future of not only Iraq and the region, but a chance to safeguard future American generations as well.

It has never been wise to hide your head in the sand. It did not work before Sept. 11, and it will not work now.

Strength, determination and courage are what we need if we want to bring our servicemen and women home and keep them home.

It is a commitment we should reaffirm in honor of the more than 3,400 heroes we have already lost and more than 3,000 who died Sept. 11, 2001.

Published in Editorials on May 25, 2007 11:13 AM