In a recent letter ("Applaud conscientious objectors," Feb. 13), the Rev. Paul Cook praises whom he calls a conscientious objector and compares him to the so-called brave sailor John Kerry.
A true conscientious objector chooses not to kill but does serve in some other capacity, such as medic, ambulance driver, etc. If the soldier he refers to is a true conscientious objector, he will probably object to being compared to John Kerry, who took an oath of service to the U.S. Navy and then betrayed that oath. Not a flattering comparison.
My heroes are the pair of servicemen I saw on the news the other day. One is a Navy Reservist with 11 kids going to Iraq because he felt an obligation to serve. The other is an Army captain who lost a leg in Iraq but is going back because of a sense of duty. I love those guys.
The same day, I saw a letter from the self-professed avid reader Anne Cook, lamenting that evil men are responsible for all wars. Apparently she never read about Margaret Thatcher, Joan of Arc, the Scythians and multiple queens of Europe - war-makers all.
Wars are terrible; no sane person ever wants to see a war. But the freedom of our nation was purchased with a war and has been preserved by a military that is the best in the world. All the men Mrs. Cook adores are non-warriors, but she need not worry: Those who serve will protect her men and her way of life. They will also guarantee that she has the freedom to express her opinion as she sees fit, although we are grateful that The Chronicle editorial policy limits that to no more than once a month in this forum.