A letter from an alum about Gen. David Petraeus *87 and Iraq
I appreciated your Jan 28 article on Maj. Gen. David Petraeus *87. I worry, though, that such a good man well-educated, compassionate, disciplined will come to regret his actions if he's operating under a bad paradigm.
Demonization of the other seems to be an inevitable prelude to war. How else can one justify taking the life of an individual one knows nothing about? I wonder if Dr. Petraeus's thesis on the lessons of Vietnam dealt with the difficulty of discerning friend from foe in an alien culture, and the urgent need to roll back suspicion after a war ends.
Sources other than PAW suggest that crackdowns on people who are merely suspects are arousing more than "some ill will." Trigger-happy searches might be the main reason resistance to the U.S. occupation is turning from a fringe activity into a mainstream sentiment.
If there is unrest and crime in a city, is it not understandable that an Iraqi will go to his door with a gun in hand when unannounced visitors come in the middle of the night? Many Americans would do the same.
Martin Schell '74
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