Rich Tucker
Sometimes you don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

The United States is at war, a global struggle against Islamic extremists who aim to destroy the Western infidels and form an international caliphate governed by Islamic sharia law. They triggered a war with the 9/11 attacks, carried out in typically cowardly fashion by suicide bombers who targeted civilians.

But faced with such dire threats, some still insist on seeing us as the problem. Look no further than the April 17 edition of the online magazine Salon, where Nina Burleigh describes her foray into a Red America town in upstate New York.

“Eighty of Narrowsburg’s 319 adults are military veterans and at least 10 recent school graduates are serving in Iraq or on other bases overseas right now,” Burleigh writes. And, horror of horrors, “The school’s defining philosophy was traditional and conservative, starting with a sit-down-in-your-seat brand of discipline, leavened with a rafter-shaking reverence for country and flag.”

That became a problem when her son started kindergarten and learned to love his country, forcing Burleigh to have a big talk with the little guy. “I told my son that our president had started a war with a country called Iraq. I said that we were bombing cities and destroying buildings. And I explained that families just like ours now had no money or food because their parents didn’t have offices to go to anymore or bosses to pay them,” she writes.

Hopefully, even her five-year-old was able to see through Burleigh’s childish untruths.

As she should know, destroying buildings isn’t the American way of war in the 21st century.

It wasn’t long ago that insurgents were shooting at American forces from mosques in Iraq. But our troops didn’t respond by blowing up those houses of worship; quite the opposite. The American military today often suffers casualties because it declines to use its overwhelming force, choosing instead to use the absolute minimum force needed to do the job. Our restraint, and our willingness to risk American lives, is unique in the annals of war.

As far as food goes, it was Saddam Hussein and the corrupt United Nations oil-for-food program that starved millions of Iraqis. The U.S. invasion toppled a vile dictator who’d used hunger as a weapon against his own people and gave them their first chance at freedom and self-governance. The U.S. isn’t perfect, but our mission in Iraq has done much more good than harm.

Rich Tucker

Rich Tucker is a communications professional and a columnist for