This is war

I wanted to write to express my firm disagreement with ThursdayâÄôs editorial âÄúThe Expanding Fronts.âÄù First, the piece basically repeats the stance taken by the Syrian government and state-sponsored news agency âÄî that the U.S. military launched a terrorist operation in Syria, killing a group of civilians. The piece ignored information from news agencies such as CNN and The New York Times that quote American military sources as saying that the strike killed Abu Ghadiya, an al Qaida member who smuggled foreign fighters and weapons into Iraq across the porous Syrian border. These are the people that seek to destabilize the extremely fragile calm that Iraq has seen recently. Further, of course Damascus is going to call any action on Syrian soil âÄúterrorism.âÄù The Assad regime regularly blames the United States for its ills to try to focus attention away from the fact that it is an oppressive dictatorial regime. The statement that Israel was negotiating with Syria at the time of the raid is completely false. It is true that there had been some low-level indirect talks between the two countries, sponsored by Turkey, but those ended when Olmert announced he would be stepping down (weeks ago), and have not resumed since. The closing sentence of the piece, where it was hoped that Bush would be content having shed blood in four Muslim nations, was particularly disgusting. The former government of Afghanistan sponsored the group that carried out the Sept. 11 attacks. We, along with a number of our allies, were completely justified in taking military action. And when the al Qaida militants fled into neighboring Pakistan, we were simply to let them go? No, we did the right thing and pursued and destroyed them, and we continue to do so. Think what you will about the Iraq invasion, but the fact is we are there, and the U.S. military should take every action it can to defend both our own soldiers and the Iraqi people âÄî even if it means targeting terrorists on Syrian soil. This is war. It is unfortunate that the Daily Editorial Board cannot see that. Mike Bartusch University student