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Letters to the Editor

The Unwinnable War

OBAMA basically continued with Bush's policies. Let's be blunt about this. In Afghanistan, he went beyond Bush. He escalated the war. He went along with this policy of the surge. And he ordered more drone attacks on civilians in Pakistan in his one year in office than Bush had done during his last term. So, for the people of that region, Obama's presidency has been a total disaster. And it's not working.

They have a puppet leader, Karzai, who's developing his own sort of dynamic, because he's grown very wealthy through corruption and thinks that he has genuine support.

One man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter, and what some governments consider potential terrorists are simply those who don't agree with government policies.

And the ones who are saying that this is an unwinnable war are absolutely right. It's a stalemated war. They can't win it unless they destroy half the population of the country. So that is what people see. And then, why are they surprised that people are so hostile to the United States in that part of the world?

Ted Rudow III,

Menlo Park

Animal Cruelty Leads to Worse

KUDOS to authorities for pursuing cruelty to animals charges against the two 17-year-old boys who allegedly stabbed and beat 12 koi at San Joaquin Delta College with pipes and a knife, killing 11 of the fish.

Animal abusers are bullies and cowards who take their issues out on "easy victims"—and they rarely limit themselves to hurting only animals. Psychiatrists, criminal profilers and law enforcement officials have repeatedly documented that young people who are cruel to animals often turn that violence against humans.

Cruelty to animals appears in the histories of all our nation's serial killers and tragic school shooters. The FBI uses reports of cruelty to animals to gauge the threat potential of known criminals. Experts agree that it is the abuser's violence—not the victim's species—that is a concern.

It's vital that people who hurt animals receive intervention—including counseling and a ban on contact with animals—to prevent their violence from continuing. Visit to learn more.

Martin Mersereau,

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

Sacred Commonality

FOR THE MOST part, we humans have ceased recognizing our sacred commonality with the rest of nature. Because we are nature, we have stopped recognizing the sacred in ourselves. This has created a split in consciousness within the human animal. All of our corrupt, self-serving social institutions fasten their foundations upon this misperception.

Because we humans are technologically superior to the rest of earthbound nature, we feel it automatically grants us a superior spiritual status. Fixated in an intellectually obese verbal mind, we have lost the communication revealing that all creation is sacredly egalitarian. All creation is self-aware.

In my observation, if we gave ourselves a moment to fall into our instinctual wisdom, the head and the heart would delightfully fuse. Our predatory technological distraction, confusing our sacred bond with nature, would ease. Social, cultural, political and spiritual injustice would soften, just as naturally as a white iris thrusts from a pond of mud.

James Phillip Miner

Author, 'Honorable Animal'

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