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Harsh tactics by U.S. help create next generation of Osamas

| October 25, 2006 12:00 AM

To the Editor:

This letter is in response to Senior Chief John Barone's letter of Oct. 13.

I believe that the senior chief has lost sight of the true argument, which was the basis of his letter. The pretext of his letter was not the actions of our forces in combat, but the torture of prisoners and detainees in violation of the Geneva Convention, torture which is done after the combat is over.

Whether or not I have smelled the gun powder and the napalm of the battlefield, I do know the difference between right and wrong. Torture is wrong and counterproductive. The information gathered by such methods is often faulty and can endanger our soldiers.

Because, face the facts, you nearly drown me enough times, I will tell you that my mother is Osama Bin Ladin and that I have a nuke in my basement.

If we begin to utilize the tactics of the "search and destroy" and "maximum body count" we will be creating the next generation of Osamas and the suicide bombing will increase until it will not be safe to leave your house.

The "kill them all, let God sort them out" attitude will only result in a lengthening this war and result in more being fought as we create more and more enemies. It makes it nice and simple when you can call down an air strike on a village you are being attacked from, but is that what we are in Iraq and Afghanistan to do?

If it is, let the bombs fall. We are in Iraq to annihilate the people. I am all for the "let's get it done" attitude. However, if it is not why we are there we must have rules on how are soldiers and those representing our country conduct themselves. We are not barbarians; we are not indiscriminate killers; we are not torturers; we are Americans.

As to my qualifications to make an opinion about basic right and wrong, I am a student of history, having studied the history of war. I am a graduate of the University of Montana with a degree in history. Furthermore, I have had numerous conversations with the veterans in my family and others, including my great-grandfather, a World War I veteran; my grandfather, a World War II veteran; and many of my former classmates who fought in Desert Storm.

I have also spoken with recent veterans and those still serving in the war. So, I have spoken with soldiers who fought at the Battle of the Bulge to pilots of helicopter gunships flying missions in Afghanistan.

I want to be able to look my kids in the face and tell them the soldiers of the United States of America are the most moral and best on this planet. I want to tell them our armed forces freed the people of Iraq and Afghanistan from tyranny and maniacs.

If we turn Iraq and Afghanistan into a "no rules" zones, I will not be able to do that and it would break my heart.

R. Corey Foreman

St Louis, Mo.