The Dec. 19 opinion piece by Ann Woolner (“Rape victims ask, military won’t tell”), while mostly well-written, had one item I think was somewhat inappropriate.

The subject matter — sexual assault in the military — is certainly an important one and does need to be addressed. However, her (I hope) facetious comment of, “Where is Julian Assange when he’s really needed?” essentially made her entire argument seem less researched. Julian Assange is, of course, the founder of WikiLeaks and is currently under house arrest in Great Britain and is wanted in Sweden for questions about sex allegations leveled at him by two women there.

Using an alleged sex offender as your example of who is needed to get to the bottom of the exact number of sexual assaults in the military seems either extremely dark or simply poorly put. Perhaps next time Woolner writes a column she should research the whole subject, to include her, again, hopefully facetious comments.

Travis Eastbourne

Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates

Discrimination link clear now

At first, I did not agree with the whole “being gay is like being black” theory. Then I read the comments posted by some readers [to recent letters to the editor]. Now I can truthfully say that I understand the comparison.

The comparison is based on the discrimination that both sets of minorities experience. A lot of folks forget that these same arguments were used when the idea of integrating the armed forces was brought to the table. There were servicemembers and politicians who rallied against the idea — and the same asinine discriminatory information is being recycled against gays and lesbians. Any servicemember who is openly speaking out against this repeal [of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy] is in direct violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. As a uniformed servicemember, your personal beliefs and opinions don’t matter more than belly-button lint if they contradict what our leaders have stated we must do. Your job is to salute and execute, but not to question our commander in chief.

Any servicemembers whose beliefs are so strong against the repeal should request a discharge. This way, they can voice their opinions until they’re blue in the face and no one will have anything to say to them about it. But good luck with the job search; I see that hiring is kind of slow right now.

Carlos L. Sayles

Heidelberg, Germany

Way beyond Christmas truces

The opening paragraph in the Dec. 18 article “Yule attacks: Calculated or coincidence” nostalgically lamenting the days when enemies would slow operations and, in some cases, actually forge local truces during Christmas, is at best foolish and, worse, a dangerous indicator that the reporter has failed to realize who we are actually fighting after nearly a decade of sustained combat.

We are not engaged in war with an enemy from a common Judeo-Christan heritage. We have no common cause to celebrate peace on Earth at this time of year or any other. Until the reporter and the rest of the free world accept the fact that we are fighting an enemy that is determined to kill us and destroy our way of life because we are not Muslim and share no common religious cultural heritage, these wars will continue forever.

Senior Chief Petty Officer D.F. Van Orden

Patch Barracks, Germany

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