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April 23, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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West should pull out sooner, Karzai says

Karzai not credible

While I agree that our troops should come home sooner, why are we allowing a podium to this two-bit Afghan politician? [“West should pull out sooner, Karzai says,” News, April 20.]

In one of the photos, it is two Afghan soldiers holding the “severed” feet of a suicide bomber. How can he criticize our soldiers while not condemning the actions of his military?

Hamid Karzai is nothing but cleaned-up Afghan warlord who is profiting immensely from our military and financial support. When we do pull out, he will simply revert to his true form and, using the troops that we have trained and equipped, will take over the opium trade, as do all warlords of Afghanistan, and become wealthier still.

Furthermore, I am becoming even more disgusted with our own politicians for criticizing our soldiers. I do not condone the true atrocities, such as killing of civilians. But, we must remember what war can do to the psyche of individual soldiers.

I was a combat infantryman in Vietnam. After weeks and months of harsh conditions, combat and the deaths and injuries of friends, we just became desensitized to death of enemy troops. They became just “things” to us. They were no longer human, perhaps less than animals. Posing for photos with bodies or body parts is a reflection of that attitude. It is mental self-protection, not crassness or atrocity.

Please, understand what soldiers go through in these wars. I beg America to hate wars, not the soldiers who fight them.

— Makoto (Mac) Fletcher, Issaquah

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