Letters to the Editor

Your views in 250 words or less

Tag: afghan war

June
12th

WAR: Drones moving into new territory

The war on terror has birthed us a bundle of drones, dispatched in Yemen, Iran, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Pentagon currently employs 7,000 unmanned aerial vehicles, and asked for $5 billion in 2012 congressional budgetary drone spending alone.

Drones allow opportunistic circumvention of boots-on-the-ground politics, while further disconnecting the American public from the 1 percent serving in combat.

Now we’ve had success pursuing the top 30 al-Qaida on the kill list, with CIA claims of zero civilian deaths since May 2010. But “signature strikes” policy dictates attack based not upon positive identification, but behavioral patterns. Plus, all military-aged

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May
23rd

WAR: Article put human face on victims

Re: “Afghan story not a hit with readers” (Karen Peterson column, 5-20).

I so appreciate the front-page account (TNT, 5-17) of the survivors of the recent massacre of Afghani villagers. It is crucial to recognize the humanity of everyone involved in the obscenity of war and to take in the horrors that are suffered by the so-called “other.”

When will we ever learn that there is no “other,” that we are all one human family? Your featured report put a human face on the Afghani victims of our brutal, inhumane folly, and I for one am grateful.

May
23rd

TNT: Reader response to Afghan story unfortunate

Re: “Afghan story not a hit with readers” (Karen Peterson column, 5-20).

Peterson’s piece on reader response to the interviews with the Afghan survivors of the village massacre was sad. I’m pretty conservative, but I never took away from the report anything “anti-military.” I was impressed by the quality of the report and pleased with its balance.

On another note, Patrick O’Callahan’s Inside Opinion blog posting (TNT, 5-22) regarding the death of Walter Backstrom was also sad. Backstrom was a fine writer, and how tragic he died in a homeless shelter, perhaps unknown by the other residents as

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July
2nd

AFGHAN WAR: More hints needed

It’s not that most Americans have forgotten what the Afghan war is all about; most have never known what it was about. Thanks for the hint (editorial, 7-1): “It has something to do with people who flew airplanes into skyscrapers in 2001.”

Hmmm. I recollect that some al-Qaida associates were involved in that – no Afghans as I recall, and not members of the Taliban who are “the enemy” in Afghanistan.

Osama bin Laden, we’re told, underwrote the airplane caper. He is either in Afghanistan or Pakistan. No one seems to know which, but he’s not the focus of

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June
24th

WAR: U.S. the latest to attempt folly

“Those whom God wants to punish, he will send into Afghanistan,” goes an old Asian proverb.

Armies in the past have been vanquished there. We all know that the Russians, a mighty army, had to retreat from Afghanistan. What is probably not widely known is that the Russians also tried to win the population over by building schools and hospitals and setting up a government akin to Hamid Karzai’s.

So here we are in the same mess. The Pashtun tribe to which many Taliban belong is highly intermarried with the rest of the population, hence the reluctance to fight them.

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May
18th

AFGHAN WAR: Who bears the burden?

Re: “Priority is to protect Afghans” (TNT, 5-14).

President Obama tells Afghan President Karzai that we are willing to bear the burden of putting troops at greater immediate risk. War is a horrible, gruesome, ruthless endeavor that they want to somehow make clean, safe and sanitary. Does he speak of the collective we as;

• The politicians and diplomats who have failed in their job to prevent war and have never worn the uniform but are willing to sacrifice another in their stead?

• The courageous servicemembers who are willing to actually serve and fight for their country and their

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