STAFF SGT. Kevin Kenny, in his response to John Bruhns' op-ed on disillusionment with some anti-war groups, said you can't be against the war and for the troops.

But that assumes an infallibility in our leadership that has not only been proven false, but is undemocratic. If it weren't for those like John Bruhns putting pressure on the administration, we might still have Donald Rumsfeld as SecDef, and "search and destroy" tactics instead of the "clear and hold" doctrine now practiced in Iraq.

The bottom line is dissent and the competition of ideas improves our efforts in the War on Terror, just like it does everything else in a free society.

John Bruhns could have quietly walked away from his lobbying position with plenty of political favors stored up. Instead, he threw that advantage away for the same reason he became a soldier, because there are some things that are simply more important than self. I sincerely hope that if Staff Sgt. Kenny ever runs into his fellow NCO John Bruhns, he'll have enough perspective to say, "John, thanks for helping to knock some sense into the chain of command."

Former Capt. Jason Blinduer

U.S. Army Infantry, Dallas, Texas

I was John Bruhns' platoon leader in Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom I.

Some people are attacking his character and convictions. Although John and I do not always see eye-to-eye, his convictions are pure and his opinions fair.

People sometimes get so lost in their own beliefs that they forget about what makes this country great and allows freedom to truly ring. It's not one man's beliefs or op-eds that put our soldiers in danger or jeopardize our chances to win the war, it's our country's lack of action that paralyzes our military successes.

The fact that John believes that this war is not just or legal is irrelevant to his resolve and conduct. John served honorably under my leadership and was an exemplary soldier. Although his views might have been against the war, his actions would never have been considered counter productive to winning it.

I understand that some might find his words harmful, or his actions not patriotic, but condemning a man for his opinions and beliefs is as unpatriotic as communism itself.

Instead of attacking Sgt. Bruhns' valor and opinions, I think we

should acknowledge his resolve and commitment.

Former Capt. William Murphy

New Milford, Conn.

Failing Ebony

We get two parents for a reason. In case one is unable to raise us "properly," then the other one should step in to do the job "correctly."

I think this poor child Ebony Dorsey was failed by both her parents. There is no way that anyone who knew knew that this child was in imminent danger, like being around crack addicts, should have let that happen.

Dad lived with his grandmother, so why wasn't Ebony there full-time, too?

To the mom, you have the rest of your life to suffer by putting this child in harm's way. How could the drug use have nothing to do with Ebony when it was her home, too? That makes no sense. The mother and the father both seem to have failed her.

May God bless and keep this baby. The parents will both suffer for letting this wonderful human being down.

Ajay Jones

Philadelphia

Gov. Bush vs. Mumia

It's a shame George Bush wasn't governor of Pennsylvania when Mumia was sentenced to die. He would be in hell and long forgotten.

Mike Franklin

Marlton, N.J.