Col. Harry Summer's articulate column (" 'Prudent Yet Restrained' Is No way to Fight a War," Op-Ed Page, Oct. 22) could not disguise his offensive, macho ideology. He calls for the "disproportionately devastating response" to Iranian aggression which will show that America is not "weak-kneed." He longs for a U.S. plan of military deterrence which will parallel a 1930s movies in which cornered gangsters would lay down their weapons at the threat of the electric chair. Finally, Summers admires Iranian "warriors" who take the "military initiative." This pervasive "Rambo" mentality is precisely what endangers any possibilities for peace.
The colonel contends that we must put Iran in an "unpleasant" situation to subdue them, and that we must seek "retribution" not "reform." I doubt many are deceived by his cool, innocuous language. I am outraged by his public attempt to civilize, rationalize and otherwise make palatable violence and brutality.
It is intriguing that the stance of his column suggests that he offers a unique, insightful solution to handling Iranian aggression. The colonel's techniques have generally prevailed since the days of our Puritan forefathers. When words such as "peace" and "compromise" are seen as the language of strength, when killers are no longer hailed as "warriors," that will be something new indeed.