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I’m disgusted Spc. Zachari Klawonn has been treated this way ("Serving his country and testing his faith," article, March 25). Those who left the note on his door are just as hypocritical as Islamic extremists. Each time Americans offend a Muslim they are helping the Islamic extremists to recruit members, increase funding and spread hate.

My team works with Muslims each day. We work hard to establish rapport, build trust and repair years of misunderstanding. We rely on Iraqi linguists to interpret for us and negotiate the cultural minefields. After six months together, we choose to trust them because we have come to understand their culture. We maintain operational security measures, not because we fear they might betray us, but because we know they are targeted by insurgents. Their lives are at risk every day. We enjoy the relative safety of life on military compounds. Their families don’t have that security.

The process of liberating a nation doesn’t end when tyrants are put in the dirt; it is just the beginning. Liberation isn’t a kinetic operation; it comes with education and opportunity. With education and opportunity come freedom, and freedom is sustained with responsibility.

There is a need for kinetic action on some fronts. Our soldiers must be trained and prepared to deliver precise fire. When we climb out of the turrets or come off patrols, our words and actions should be tempered with that same precision. Carelessly spewing ignorance today can cause as much damage to our national security as carelessly sprayed bullets.

I suggest that everyone take time to read "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. It is an enlightening perspective of Islamic culture and methods of achieving peace.

As soldiers, we are charged with protecting Klawonn’s right to freedom of religion. He puts on his uniform each morning and protects yours.

Capt. James CampbellBasra, Iraq


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