Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s commentary ("'No soldier left behind,'" June 8) contains some untruths that need to be questioned.

His description, "the U.S. military, the greatest force for good on planet Earth," is an outdated notion that demonstrates he is not aware of reality. Read, "Kill Anything That Moves," to see the very late documentation of the atrocities committed by policy then covered up when the Vietnam War ended. If the Nuremberg trials were organized after the German slaughter, then one should have been organized at the end of the Vietnam War. You don't know what the Pentagon and the military did here.

It was true during World War II that the U.S. military was welcomed as a liberating force, but covered-up atrocities in Vietnam and the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan plus the current drone program have caused most of the world to see the U.S. military and the Central Intelligence Agency as little more than another terrorist force in the world, greedily going for hegemony under Dick Cheney's Pact for an American Century.

As an opinion writer, Mr. Ehrlich could have noted the good point that the U.S. military is unique in its attempt to retrieve those captured or fallen on battlefields. This is true even if cynical President Barack Obama probably did it for political points rather than from a real regard for anyone's life.

The notion that today's military "recognizes its obligation to rescue its own. It's what a civilized, just nation does in consideration of the risk assumed by its young soldiers" belies the VA scandal. If that were true, the ill-treatment of wounded veterans and even deaths caused by the VA would not have occurred. It does not show a civilized nation at all.

I think American journalists need to review the role of America in the world and see how far it has fallen. Corruption, rule by oligarchy, East German Stasi-like spying and the usurpation of the political system by corporations and others who have bought lawmakers should make Americans much more humble when writing about their country today. The dream is gone for most of the youth, deprived of their future by financial hooligans who fund the political system.

The swap of the young soldier for five prisoners in Guantanamo, another national disgrace, has its merits and demerits and is worthy of discussion. But slavishly bowing to the very machine that has made life miserable for so many people in so many countries is not a way to educate the public.

Richard Fuller, Nha Trang, Vietnam

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