Well, here, let me show you my credentials

Andrew Hascher, for some reason, believes that I have no right to state my opinions about Gen. David Petraeus and his mostly predicable testimony because I lack the “education” to hold such opinions.

Well, as much as I am impressed that Hascher would take the time to research my credentials, I am surprised at the unwarranted personal attack, the misrepresentation of my words, and the ignorance of my field and experience [“Can’t touch Petraeus,” Sept. 26].

For the record, my International Studies undergraduate degree, two critical advanced degrees, living through the Vietnam War, years of international experience, and years living in Muslim countries and even within Muslim families, very well qualify me to my opinions about this war and what’s said about it. Hopefully, by the time Hascher is my age, he can claim such authority.

To clarify: I never denied the general’s remarkable career and qualifications, only that he holds his current position largely because his ideas fit the administrations’. This administration does not tolerate dissent.

I was also challenging Jason Snead’s argument that the general’s testimony is the sole “truth” about the situation in Iraq. The administration and its supporters have been consistently wrong (or they’ve outright lied – you choose) about the situation for nearly every one of the 4.5 years we’ve occupied the country.

I, on the other hand, have usually been right. In late 2002, I wrote a letter to The BG News that stated there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq (this was a radical and minority idea at the time), that invading Iraq would lead to anti-American sentiment in Arab and Muslim countries and to greater terrorism in the world, and that, to quote, “the syndrome that we will have to help select a successor to Hussein and remain in Iraq for a great many years, at great peril for our forces [consider the Soviet Union in Afghanistan] and at U.S. taxpayer expense to the tune of tens and perhaps hundreds of billions of dollars.”

Okay, so I was a little light about the whole cost of this war. But, you have to admit, this was pretty accurate.

– David Harnish Professor, Music