This in response to the article about some residents of Guam seeking money from the U.S. government (“Lawmaker re-introduces reparations bill for Guam,” Jan. 8). The only reason for this initiative is money. If residents of Guam truly wanted acknowledgment for their terrible suffering at the hands of the Japanese, wouldn’t they be asking the government of Japan?

Should the residents of Nanking ask the U.S. government for reparations for what the Japanese imperial army did there?

The simple fact is the Guamanians believe they can get some money out of the sappy U.S. government. Otherwise, they would be asking for acknowledgment, not cash.

Maj. Gregory Smith (retired)


Poking holes in acupuncture

Just when I thought the military couldn’t find any more absurd things to waste their money on in a time of war, I read an article about acupuncture in the Jan. 20 edition (“Acupuncture for a pain-free flight?”). According to the article, some doctor-officer “developed the technique” 10 years ago of stabbing pins into people’s ears to stop or lessen pain signals. His idea is that pain signals from various places of the body travel through the ears before reaching the brain (which, I assume, would suggest that people who have lost their ears in accidents are somehow more resilient to pain).

The article then says “acupuncture’s efficacy [is] something that is still debated among researchers and doctors, despite its 5,000-year history.” There is no debate: Acupuncture has been tested many times, and has proven no better than a placebo.

Dr. Stephen Barrett’s article “Be Wary of Acupuncture, Qigong, and ‘Chinese Medicine’ ” reports that “[i]n 1981, the American Medical Association Council on Scientific Affairs noted that pain relief does not occur consistently or reproducibly in most people and does not operate at all in some people.” What little pain relief is reported also showed that it makes no difference where you put the needles or whether you use pretend needles, as long as the subject believes you have used them.

Reading the rest of the article, it is clear to me that the Air Force doesn’t even understand the concept of double-blind testing.

How much money is this absurd “test” taking, and why is there never enough money for my squadron to replace my worn combat boots?

Senior Airman Matthew Frazee

Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now