A message to Sen. McCain:
As a West Pointer and retired soldier, I will not cast my vote for you as the Republican candidate. Here's why: Wars are won by annihilating the enemy, destroying his industrial base and neutering his popular support. We are prosecuting a war that accomplishes none of the above to a significant degree. The intellectuals in Washington, especially the Pentagon, believe that you can fight a limited war in your enemy's backyard, under restrictive rules of engagement aka micromanagement, and win. That strategy is an insult to the "art of war." Clausewitz would be astounded given the political and military objectives that dictate the conduct of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. We half step while the enemy goes full speed. It won't work. It didn't work in Vietnam, and it won't work in the Mideast. We have not won militarily since World War II. Our lame response to the bombings of the Marine billets and Khobar Towers sent the wrong message to the enemy. Here's a response to the warlords in Afghanistan: Support the Taliban and you will be wiped off the map. That includes your entire turf (villages).
Cultural sensitivity and winning hearts and minds have no place in the war. It does however, ensue military victory, i.e. The Marshall Plan.
The conduct of the war hamstrings our soldiers', this country's most precious asset, ability to kill the enemy. Generals who buy into the conduct of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan do not belong in the trenches where soldiers fight and die. They should return to some four-star drawing room, where they can pontificate grand strategy.
If the resolve and leadership are lacking to win militarily, then don't start a war that ultimately leads to defeat.
Dennis A. Leach
Brigadier General (retired)
United States Army
Could we have done better?
The Brainerd Dispatch's Sunday issue featuring support for the academic half of the Brainerd School system in its article regarding kindergarten teachers' potential job cuts - seems about time. We don't seem to have the "rah, rah" kind of support for the academic side of the curriculum. Still, I don't think that there is a person that believes that the academic side is not important, and really, the heart of all education. So, how do we go about preserving the academic side and getting the dollars needed to have exceptional offerings? I don't think that the "rah, rah" approach is the only way - nor am I offering a solution to the need; but during World War II when our government was needing money,there was a call for the citizen to show confidence in their government by buying War Bonds.
While watching "60 Minutes" on TV Sunday evening, here along comes a very learned Chinese official, who indicated that his government is intending to invest $200 billion dollars in our government. He knows it is a good investment for the world and especially for China, too. They have no intention of taking us over. They have enough problems of their own. If we had the big "threatened depression," China would be one of the biggest losers besides ourselves. I have no solutions; but might suggest that we all begin to think about investing in our own government - China already has a great respect for us - think how they would feel if we bailed ourselves out. How many other world cities would have been bombed like New York was, if we had not taken the steps like we have in the Middle East? It is a great time to take "pot shots" at superintendents and presidents - could any of us have done any better?
Abortion is not murder
I must write in response to the letter giving false percentages regarding post-abortion complications.
Abortion increases a woman's risk of breast cancer by 30 percent. It can be higher if there is familial cancer. Women have emotional difficulties after the procedure due to relationship problems, previous mental anguish and religious or philosophical values. These problems also occur in women who give up their children to adoption. The previous information was cited by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gyn. Feb. 1995.
The most widely used medical text in the world, the Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy states that most women have no psychologic sequelae after an abortion procedure.The evidence clearly indicates that those who oppose abortion are peddling fear and incorrect and inflated statistics.
As for her 77 percent risk of grief, doesn't everyone know women who gave up their babies, only to search for them for the next forty years? That is endless grief.
Her implication of abortion causing insomnia and depression leads me to believe she has no friends who are new mothers. The worry over whether you are doing everything right brings on depression, insomnia and quilt by the carload.
Abortion is not murder. Murder is an illegal act and abortion is not.
Sue G. Kowal
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