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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

President’s critics sound like Mr. Putin

Letter to the Editor

Just by way of background, I served 20 years in the army in Special Forces and intelligence assignments around the world. I then spent another 20 years on the commandant’s staff at a military college, one of the feeder schools to West Point and the other service academies. Since 2001, five of “my kids,” as I call them, have been killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They were indeed “nobles” and “princes” of the faith, as the Bible says.

During my time at this military school, I also met some kids who were quite the opposite. They interpreted any kindness and courtesy extended to them as indecision and the rules of civilized behavior as weakness. ...

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Just by way of background, I served 20 years in the army in Special Forces and intelligence assignments around the world. I then spent another 20 years on the commandant’s staff at a military college, one of the feeder schools to West Point and the other service academies. Since 2001, five of “my kids,” as I call them, have been killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They were indeed “nobles” and “princes” of the faith, as the Bible says.

During my time at this military school, I also met some kids who were quite the opposite. They interpreted any kindness and courtesy extended to them as indecision and the rules of civilized behavior as weakness.

I find it beyond fascinating that when President Barack Obama secured the release of a young man taken prisoner by the Taliban, some questioned the decision. Also, when the president laid out a detailed explanation of his multilateral foreign policy at the graduation at West Point, some called it weakness. They sound to me like thugs, no different from Mr. Putin, who also holds the rules of civilized behavior in contempt. Draw your own conclusions about them. It seems clear to me.

During the president’s address at West Point, one of the longest rounds of applause came when he told graduating cadets that they would be in the first class since the 911 attack who will not have to serve routinely in Afghanistan. I still have lots of “kids” on active duty and many friends retired from active duty. Everyone is heartily sick and tired of dealing with jihadists for the 2 reasons above.

We are doing the best we can to leave this country better than we found it, and to make sure it does not sink back into superstition and sectarian violence. That round of applause should prove a proper answer to all these critical louts – foreign and domestic.

Maj. William M. Shaw II (Ret.)

Hollis