I am astonished by the lack of integrity it takes to suggest keeping traumatized people in theater is a good idea (“Pushed back to the front,” article, Aug. 3). [As a RAND Corp. researcher said in the article], “There’s not been a lot of studies on those types of interventions.”

Study of this approach has rendered zero evidence that it does any good. Why hasn’t this approach been used with trauma victims of auto collisions, torture or sexual assault? Because it’s stupid — as is using the phrase no “magic formula” to explain away the military getting what it wants as a result of the servicemember going without what he or she needs.

That an environment is “familiar” doesn’t mean it’s the proper venue for treatment. This is more commonly known as “the hair of the dog that bit you” — another treatment for which there is no scientific evidence.

There are two things wrong with the article’s use of the phrase “dumped into a treatment center.” One, people aren’t being “dumped”; they’re being treated. Two, there are other options — not to include returning someone to the scene of the crime, as it were, which is about as effective as using a litter of puppies to lick away wounds.

The conflicting statements “Riordan cannot go outside the wire because he’s considered too unstable” and “They’ve found that antidepressants help calm soldiers down enough to stay and finish their tours” illustrate the flaws in a plan that can only be described as unethical and irresponsible.

Good job, U.S. armed forces. Your regard for human beings in need has now gone the way of every insurance company that collected premiums only to deny coverage when a claim was made. Perhaps you could adopt that industry’s attitude and make it your new motto: “We won’t kill you, but you might.”

Diana Hartman

Böblingen, Germany

Anti-Israel bias in articles

Many recent Associated Press articles have mentioned Israel’s “botched raid” or “failed raid” of the Turkish ship that confronted Israel’s security blockade of Gaza, as if Israel was the aggressor attempting to “raid” an innocent cargo ship for its own profit.

If Israel has established a security blockade for the protection of its citizens and neighbors from Hamas — who admittedly “violently” seized Gaza — and Palestinian activists attempt to aggressively confront that blockade, inciting more violence, how can that be labeled a “botched raid” by Israel?

Israel didn’t fail; it was successful in its operations. It upheld its security blockade. Yes, tragically and unfortunately, people were killed, but who was responsible for these deaths ultimately, Israel or those activists who brought about the confrontation? Is it fair to blame the one who advocates order and security instead of the transgressor who wants to create disorder and mayhem?

It was a “botched attempt to infiltrate a security blockade” that caused the deaths of those people, so why wouldn’t the media call upon all nations to stand against those violent attempts instead of Israel’s security blockade?

Please be aware of these “subtle” anti-Israel biases and you’ll begin to see how common, constant and actually blatant they are in the media. We’re smarter than that, aren’t we?

Sgt. Christian Crawford


Compare with green card data

In response to “Destination Deportation” (article, Aug. 2): Another article is printed that has the overshadowing agenda of presenting the illegal immigrant as a victim.

One example was said to have “missed an important 2009 hearing” and was now being deported. I am always a believer in “you reap what you sow.”

To show impartiality in the debate, the reporter could have listed statistics on the number of non-nationals who were granted the status of legal permanent resident (green card holders) rather than focusing on the number of deportees. In 2009, 1,130,818 green cards were granted. That’s 1.1 million people who went through the full legal process, and it doesn’t even cover those who were granted citizenship. That’s a more stunning figure than the 350,000 illegal immigrants deported in the past year that was reported in the article.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Chris Westbrook

Contingency Operating Base Basra, Iraq

Let those opposed separate

Judging by the fervid letters to the editor concerning the possible repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, I have to assume the potential policy shift is so polarizing that there will never be a viable solution.

Judging by the almost complete lack of interest in completing surveys to gauge the military perspective on the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” (“ ‘Don’t ask’ surveys barely trickle in,” article, June 29), I have to assume it is an issue that less than 10 percent of military personnel care about.

Instead of touting arguments concerning morals (“Withstand forced immorality,” letter, July 27) or fallacious axioms of antediluvian origin regarding “nature vs. nurture” (“Gays are not different as GIs,” letter, July 19), can we start looking for viable solutions? By George, I’ve got it!

Current servicemembers joined the military under the assumption they would not be forced to serve with openly homosexual co-workers. I propose the military allow all servicemembers who are in steadfast opposition to a policy repeal the chance to separate from service with an honorable discharge.

If a servicemember feels stalwartly enough to his or her value system to relinquish pay and benefits, he or she should have the opportunity to depart the ranks and pursue fresh employment. If he or she chooses to remain, servicemembers can no longer claim false pretenses during initial recruitment. New servicemembers joining after the probable repeal do so with the knowledge they will have to serve with openly gay servicemembers. Problem solved.

First Lt. Morgan C. Lerette

Joint Security Station Justice, Iraq

Gays no threat to faith

I had written a long response about the chaplain who expressed his opinion about gays in the military (“Withstand forced immorality,” letter, July 27). Then I realized that it was the wrong way to approach the issue.

Gays are already in the military. We are all probably already friends with gay people. The problem isn’t that gays are here. It isn’t that they’re here to stay. The problem is that there are still people around who feel that they are in danger (morally or spiritually) because of their presence. So … with that in mind, I have done some research.

To those out there who take moral or spiritual exception to gays: Look to your Bibles. Look specifically to Luke 6:27-45 and also to 1 John 4:20-21 and to Hosea 3:1, and all these, as well: 1 John 2:9-11; 1 John 2:15; 1 John 5:16-17; 1 Corinthians 13 (it’s a short, but enlightening, read); 1 Peter 1:22; 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12; John 13:16 and 13:34-35; Mark 12:33; Romans 13:10; Song of Solomon 8:7; Matthew 5:44, 46-48; and many, many more. The message is clear: It is not for men to judge other men, nor is it anyone’s place, as Christians, to do anything other than love your brother as yourself and the Lord Thy God with all your heart and mind and soul.

It’s truly a pity that a man who would be condemned to death by Christians for his faith (I’m a Wiccan, see Exodus 22:18) must lead you back to the righteousness of your own path.

The U.S. military is not a religious organization. It is an organization of war with one goal: to fight and win America’s wars. In the fight for freedom, we cannot afford to turn aside our brothers and sisters because of whom they love.

Sgt. Joshua M. Dery

Camp Arifjan, Kuwait

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