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As a career military journalist, I can count on one hand when I’d had to use a bold, 72-point Helvetica headline for a front-page story. In those two instances, it was for a catastrophic event that resulted in loss of life and destruction of property.

Your sensationalized headline depicting the dismissal of Gen. Stanley McChrystal (“BOOTED,” June 24) was embarrassing to all of the men and women who proudly wear the uniform in support of our nation. Was McChrystal’s interview flap a major news event? Yes it was. Was the headline demonstrative of his resignation? Hell no!

This newspaper’s core audience, the very same people who wear the uniform proudly — just as McChrystal has done in service to our nation — deserves better. You have dismissed us and played into the very same journalistic standards as the New York Post — and I’m being very charitable with my insult.

Finally, McChrystal’s relief of command was not catastrophic: He was not killed in battle; he only made an error in judgment. Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines will continue to serve in Afghanistan regardless.

Next time, you should not make the same error in judgment when designing your pages and thus insult the very people you aim to inform.

Master Sgt. Donald Sparks

Stuttgart, Germany

Allow punches with both fists

I think our government and top military commanders are reading from the same book. I’m guessing the title must read something like, “How to Lose a War.”

The names of the chapters probably go something like this: “Chapter One — How to be Polite to the Enemy”; “Chapter Two — Announce Your Every Move Weeks Before You Attack”; “Chapter Three — How to Restrict Your Troops’ Actions and Take More Casualties”; “Chapter Four — Special Chapter for Obama, How to Place Blame on Your Generals for Your Mistakes.”

This is what I am seeing in how America is conducting this war.

We need to be more proactive, more secretive, and a lot more aggressive.

Obama, Congress and even some of our generals are trying too hard to fight a nice war, but war is not nice. War, as Gen. William T. Sherman put it, is hell.

What they are doing now is the equivalent of tying up one arm of a boxer, blindfolding him, and telling him to go into the ring like that.

His opponent could be half his size and the one-armed boxer would still catch a beating.

You cannot put so many restrictions on our soldiers and expect them to eradicate the Taliban and al-Qaida.

We don’t need to go crazy and kill everyone in sight, but we need to adopt more of a “scorched earth” policy.

What I mean is that we need to take over or destroy anything that might be useful to the enemy. This includes assets, bank accounts, buildings, crops, poppy fields, etc.

Will it hurt a portion of the civilian population? Yes, but this war would have been over a lot sooner if we had adopted this type of policy from the start.

Sok Song

Taji, Iraq


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