Letters to the Editor

Plenty of 'benchmarks'

While reading the Doonesbury strip about Iraq War benchmarks over breakfast, I recalled the legend that the comma-shaped croissant (crescent) commemorates bakers sounding the alarm in 1686, when Muslim invaders were tunneling under Vienna (or Budapest, depending on who is telling the story).

This war has had many benchmarks. To mention a few:

In October 732, Charles Martel (a.k.a. Charles the Hammer) led a coalition of willing Franks and Germans to defeat a Muslim army in the Battle of Tours, rescuing European Christianity from Islam.

From 1095 to 1396, Europeans made a series of counterattacks (Crusades) against Islam.

In 1461, Vlad the Impaler (a.k.a. Dracula) displayed 20,000 impaled prisoners to shock and awe invading Muslims in the Balkans.

The 1911 Colt .45 automatic pistol became standard U.S. Army issue because the .38 caliber could not stop rampaging Muslims in the Philippines.

In 1921, Winston Churchill invented Iraq.

In 2001, Osama bin Laden killed thousands of Americans.

In 2003, George W. Bush invaded Iraq and in September, 2006, he called this part of the war a "comma" in history. He's probably right. So I ask: Who wants to be the next American to die for a comma?

Ken Redfern

Mariposa

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