The worst moment in Tony Perry’s essay (“Creaking Toward Iraq,” Metropolis, Aug. 10) is when we’re fed a pure bit of right-wing bile with a spoonful of cynical and ironically detached honey. A young Marine from Oregon is asked whether he’d rather be home playing like his peers instead of invading and occupying Iraq. He answers, “Nope. They’re just enjoying the freedom that I provide.” I’d expect a well-aged journalist to be able to confront this pure thinker with a bit of James Madison: “Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.”
Try something that will test your manhood in a more profound manner, young Marine from Oregon. Stand against the stream of popular illusions, official lies and outrageous perversions of our republic that now hold sway, obscenely comfortable in the shade of the flag, safeguarded by government gunmen. Ride into that storm while Perry worries over being among the older journalists “embedded” with the military during its aggression against Iraq. I’d worry instead that I assessed the whole Iraq matter as he did.