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The claim, as suggested in Arthur I. Cyr’s Jan. 23 column, that fracking offers a lease on energy independence is largely a myth. This idea is being perpetuated by fossil fuel companies and their political allies, as it will enhance their bottom line.

With today’s world economy, anything and everything is subject to being sold to the highest bidder. American natural gas, offshore oil, and even coal are no exceptions. President George W. Bush once suggested that there was 250 years’ worth of coal (for American energy independence) under our soil. There’s now an effort to approve the sale of Wyoming coal to China in unimaginable quantities.

The only way for the United States to be truly energy independent is to put solar panels on all unshaded rooftops and wind turbines throughout the central part of the country, and to engineer a highly sophisticated electrical grid to accommodate those uneven sources of energy.

Andrew Henry

Heidelberg, Germany

Taliban outside rules of war

Regarding coverage of the four Marines seen on video urinating on the bodies of insurgents in Afghanistan. I would like to remind everyone out there that we are fighting against terrorists, not a country that would fall under the Geneva Conventions.

It amazes me that people will turn their backs on these Marines while they protect the right of every person to speak out. The Taliban are not a recognized militant group. In other words, the Taliban are not a formal military group identified by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIROA) as being part of its military. Therefore, they do not fall under the auspices of the Geneva Conventions.

Now if the GIROA decides to recognize the Taliban as part of its military, then we would be at war with Afghanistan and not just a group. So we call for these Marines to be punished appropriately, but we stay silent when we hear about the bodies of our own personnel being mutilated on live TV.

We should be speaking out when it happens to our own as well. The United States should stop trying to play politics and actually demand from the countries the same respect that we show to them. How can we respect and follow the rules of other countries without expecting them to do the same?

I am in no way condoning the actions of the Marines. But I will not throw them into the fire just to save my own career.

Spc. Javier Silva

Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan


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