Marine challenges prowar columnist in college newspaper

Fred Feldman ffeldman at
Thu Feb 27 07:13:26 MST 2003

The Flat Hat, in which the prowar column and this answer by a four-year
active duty U.S. Marine appeared, is published by William and Mary College
in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Fred Feldman

To the Editor:

Michael Ruff's column in the Feb. 7 issue of The Flat Hat, in which he
attacks "doves" and "peace-niks," sparks the following question: for those
who favor the war, are you standing on post ready to die or kill for this
cause? If the answer is "no," I highly suggest you either reevaluate your
position or enlist, because you are in no position to make ridiculous
demands on my life.

I am a U.S. Marine of four years and, as such, have sworn to fight when
directed to by my superiors. I am the one forgoing the civilian component
of my life. I am the one facing attack in the deserts of Iraq. Torn
asunder from family, friends and a life I would much rather lead, I am the
one facing extreme conditions. I am a Marine who has willingly joined, but
I am totally against this war.

I am not here to argue the idiocy of this war; the absence of evidence
performs that job for me. What I am here to say is how laughable it is for
someone to make ludicrous demands on my life when they have little to
lose. There is nothing easier than sitting back and casting one's opinion
about a volatile situation, in turn giving the impression that one's view
is "hardline" or "tough" when you are taking absolutely no steps to
enforce your beliefs.

If, in fact, you have concerns such as raising your kids in a safe world,
I believe your local Marine recruiter would be more than happy to talk to

I will fight this war and, hopefully, I will return safely to the life I
am leaving behind. I must do so because I volunteered for service. But I
refuse to let others comfortably opine without retribution and make
demands on my life, especially for a cause so intellectually vacant. If
your needs are imperative, then stand next to me with your M-16 and face
this Iraqi regime that is so "threatening" to the world -- stare down the
barrel of the gun you are asking others to do for you.

-- Luke Thomas
Class of '02


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