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I believe the writer of the Jan. 26 letter “Taliban outside rules of war” is a bit mistaken. By his logic, since the Taliban themselves do not constitute an actual military, we should not abide by the Geneva Conventions or laws of war. Well by that same logic we should not have treated al-Qaida militants who were captured by U.S. forces with any type of dignity.

The fact is that the U.S. military does have to follow the Geneva Conventions and laws of war, regardless of who we fight. Do I understand what may have caused those Marines to urinate on the bodies? Yes. However, as leaders we instill in our troops that we are held to higher standards than the civilian world. But if we don’t hold them to those standards, what are we teaching them?

When did we stop holding people accountable for their actions?

My question: What’s the limit? Urinating on corpses, throwing a puppy over a bridge, helping others to beat a sheep, raping and murdering a teenager and her family, murdering civilians — oh, that’s OK. You suffered through the unimaginable. You get a pass for the rest of your life when you commit any type of crime.

I’m not saying “off with their head,” but order and discipline go out the window when you start excusing people of bad or misguided behaviors.

I don’t get where people say “where’s the outrage” when atrocities are committed toward our troops. I recall an extreme amount of outrage when our troops’ bodies were desecrated by enemies.

I don’t see that anyone is throwing the Marines “into the fire.” If they had recorded themselves drinking and driving, doing drugs or committing any other crime, would people give them a pass on that too? Or would they expect them to be disciplined?

Staff Sgt. Kelly Calder

Fort Riley, Kan.

Anti-abortion column unfair

I was very disappointed to see Star Parker’s Jan. 23 column “Celebrate ruling favoring ultrasound law” in Stars and Stripes. I try and keep an open mind, but clearly the columnist has a very narrow viewpoint on the topic.

While I realize it was on the Opinion page, it is still unfortunate to see someone write with unrealistic and untrue information on the flip side of the argument because it conflicts with her point of view. If Parker is going to write a column, she shouldn’t highlight her ignorance regarding the topic in an attempt to push her beliefs on others.

Planned Parenthood does not push abortions on people. As a matter of fact, candidates have to go through numerous counseling sessions before making the decision. Also, not every woman chooses abortion because she doesn’t want to deal with a child; rape, incest and medical conditions are also reasons women choose to have abortions.

Trying to guilt a woman into keeping a child isn’t educating her, it’s a step in the wrong direction. You can’t apply one rule to every situation out there.

Staff Sgt. Jessica Leiker

RAF Mildenhall, U.K.


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