Readers write, Jan. 30

MILITARY

Women in combat

is social engineering

The decision to allow women to serve in combat positions is typical Democrat social engineering (“Women divided on role in combat,” News, Jan. 26).

I can just see a 130-pound woman carrying 70 pounds of gear and trying to keep up with men on a mission, or trying to carry or drag to safety a 180-pound wounded comrade.The services will be pressured to establish “goals” (also known as “quotas”) so a few females can get promoted. In the ranks, women will be a distraction, as men try to protect women in dangerous situations.

Trying to change human nature, especially when physical ability and mental toughness are involved, never works.

EDWARD A. WATKINS, LILBURN

MIDEAST PEACE

Hagel right to stand up

to pro-Israel lobbyists

It seems that former senator Chuck Hagel will have a difficult time getting Senate confirmation as secretary of defense. The Israeli lobby is doing its best to attack him, due largely to some criticism he made toward Israel.

Personally, I agree with Hagel’s criticism of Israel and only wish more politicians had the nerve to do the same. After all, what gives Israel freedom from criticism? If you look at the situation in the Middle East, it’s the Israelis who are taking Palestinian land and building illegal settlements.

Shielding Israel from criticism, as the U.S. has done over the decades, is the major reason for the continued unrest in the Middle East. It’s time for a change. Hagel is the right choice.

JAMES J. DAVID, MARIETTA

ETHICS

Legislators also must

eliminate insider deals

Three cheers for ethics reform!

We finally seem to be getting somewhere regarding gift limits to legislators. Now it is time to up the ante, as those who wish to peddle influence in the Legislature are not about to give up. A far more insidious, and more powerful, method of getting the attention of a legislator is the promise of insider deals and insider information. These behaviors are quaintly referred to as “cronyism” or the “old boy network.” They harm the taxpayers of Georgia and are so patently unfair that they poison the relationship between citizens and their government.

Does anybody think that the founding fathers intended for decisions of state to be made based on who gets a tip on a lucrative real estate deal, or who can wrangle their offspring a cushy job with a DOT contractor? Why do we tolerate insider dealing from our elected officials? If we want to restore faith in government, and to address a huge source of government waste, we need to tackle this issue.

S. BEALE, ATLANTA

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