Some more anxious to serve than others |

Some more anxious to serve than others

Terri Harber

As much as we would all like the fighting to be over in Iraq — except for weapons companies who sell to the military — the war probably still rages on as you read this.

Saddam and his regime won’t give up easily. At least not while there are Iraqis left who are old enough to walk and hold a firearm. Republican Guard members are already threatening to harm people (or people’s relatives) if they won’t fight.

We don’t need to threaten people with death to join the military in the good ol’ U.S.A. All the U.S. government would do is threaten someone with prison if the draft is re-enacted and they resist.

Right now, plenty of gutsy Americans are fighting to remove the Butcher of Baghdad and his government loyalists from power.

We thank you. A lot.

Most of the people protesting the war aren’t protesting the people in the military. The few idiots at rallies who start beating on people who disagree with them, for example, are like the anti-abortion people who kill doctors who perform the procedures.

Saddam and the world’s other terror-mongers should also fear citizens of other countries who call America their home. The military gladly accepts legal U.S. residents who aren’t citizens into U.S. military service. There are thousands of brave “Green Card soldiers” currently in the U.S. military. President Bush waived the requirement that these military members must wait three years before applying for citizenship, according to the Associated Press.

Some have even lost their lives for their adopted country while helping to get Saddam.

In Mexico, hundreds of people have asked about fighting for Uncle Sam in exchange for citizenship, not realizing they would already have to be legal U.S. residents for this offer to be valid, the AP also reported.

Citizenship is the very least we can do to honor people who risk their lives for the security of the United States.

And, of course, we thank you.

In a bizarre offer, the Iraqi government has reportedly offered money to people for committing suicide attacks on Americans. After these people are blown to bits, their families can use the cash to buy one-way tickets out of Basra.

Great way to ensure your country’s future will be bright, Saddam.

We even embrace non-humans in the U.S. military. Pigeons have carried strategic messages and been used to detect poison gas. Horses have carried soldiers and supplies to and from battlefields.

Dogs are probably the best known modern military members who aren’t people. They’ve been, for example, couriers, trackers and bomb-sniffers.

Receiving a lot of attention during this conflict, however, are dolphins. Along with some sea lions, these two types of animals have been trained to save the lives of humans by tracking down floating explosives. It was big news when one of the dolphins, charged with hunting for mines in the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr, went AWOL for more than 48 hours.

My favorite publicity hounds, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, immediately rolled in on this latest opportunity for media attention like the tanks rolled through Baghdad this weekend.

PETA wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, stating that the “48-hour disappearance proves that dolphins and sea lions cannot offer a reliable defense or surveillance for our troops.

“These are intelligent animals who have minds of their own, but they have no idea that lives will be lost if they fail to properly perform tasks, yet the military wants to rely on the actions of these animals in order to protect our troops.”

It’s not like the darned dolphin didn’t come back. A lot of human military people have gone AWOL, but managed to come back and do their jobs.

PETA isn’t happy about pigeons and chickens being used to detect poison gases, “even though units stationed there have already been outfitted with chemical-detection equipment.”

That dogs are used to detect weapons and rescue troops hasn’t made them jump for joy over at PETA, either.

“Wars are human endeavors,” they wrote. “The U.S. military is deliberately putting animals in harm’s way. These animals never enlisted. They know nothing of Iraq or Saddam Hussein, and there is also no guarantee that these animals will save human lives. In fact, they may cause the loss of lives.”

It’s true animals don’t declare war. But they do fight among themselves. They don’t fight over religion, like people, but they will fight to ensure their own security, which is why President Bush claims this war is being waged.

It’s absolutely not true these animals won’t save human lives. We already know animals have saved many people during times of war and peace. I bet Lassie or Mr. Ed would proudly set the record straight if someone from PETA asked for their opinions.

Maybe PETA could get some of the stupidest anti-war types to take over for the pigeons?

Terri Harber works on the Nevada Appeal’s news desk.