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In response to the July 12 article “Baghdad officials say 58,000 stray dogs killed”: The thing that infuriated me was the picture that went with the article. It showed an Iraqi police officer getting ready to shoot a stray dog that was sitting down and looking at the camera.

Couldn’t the photographer have just taken a picture of a stray dog? Why “pose” the dog just seconds before it was going to be killed?

I understand through the article that there is a stray dog problem in Iraq and they have to be gotten rid of due to their attacks on humans. But why show such a heartless and tasteless picture. It was like the photographer waited for just the “right” moment to snap the picture.

Maybe next time this newspaper can stop and think for a moment before deciding which photos to run. Why not just show the muzzle blast/shot from the weapon just as it is about to enter the dog? You would have gotten an even more sensational picture, if that was your intent.

Staff Sgt. Roger S. Luman III

Kandahar, Afghanistan

Petraeus deserves a 5th star

The history of our “generals of the Armies” and “generals of the Army” is a long and distinguished one going back to 1866, when Congress authorized the grade of General of the Army and conferred that grade upon Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.

More recently, during and immediately after World War II, our nation has had nine five-star generals and admirals.

The last five-star general to serve our nation was Gen. Omar N. Bradley who became General of the Army in 1950.

So here we are, almost 30 years since our last five-star general died, winding down one war and stepping up another one. Is it perhaps time for another George C. Marshall, another Douglas MacArthur?

Would our nation — our war effort in Afghanistan — benefit from the appointment of a five-star general, a General of the Army? Should it be Gen. David Petraeus? I say “yes” to both.

Petraeus has now become the face of the Afghanistan war — many say our last and only hope to win that war. If we are serious about winning in Afghanistan, then let’s give the commander of that war the rank, prestige and authority to match our seriousness and our commitment.

It will show that the president and Congress unequivocally trust and believe in Petraeus — Americans already do — and that he has their total support.

There is no person more qualified and capable than Petraeus to succeed in Afghanistan. After all, he literally wrote the book on counterinsurgency operations and he validated it in Iraq.

He will replicate it in Afghanistan. He has already declared, “We are in this to win.”

Yes, there may be some protocol issues, with all those four-star Chiefs of Staff running around. Protocol issues can be fixed. Defeat or retreat in battle cannot.

Maj. Dorian de Wind (retired)

Austin, Texas


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