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Hoby Wolf apparently believes military service should be a prerequisite for serving as president of the United States ("Military service helps mold the right person for the job," The Eagle, Aug. 6, 2008).

However, if you look at our recent history, there does not appear to be a correlation between military service and the ability to lead or succeed.

I would like to thank Mr. Wolf, as well as my father, for serving our country during World War II, a well fought, necessary war ... led by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who never served.

John F. Kennedy, a Navy man, deftly handled the Cuban Missile Crisis, but escalated the Vietnam War to no avail.

Richard Nixon, who also served in the Navy, escalated the Vietnam War, but on the positive side initiated diplomatic ties to China.

Jimmy Carter, also Navy, mediated peace between Israel and Egypt, but helped to drive Iran toward the fundamentalist theocracy it is today.

Ronald Reagan, who served state-side in the U.S. Army Reserve, helped bring about the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the razing of the Berlin Wall, but cut and ran from Lebanon, which led to civil unrest and the political gains of Hezbollah.

Bill Clinton, who did not serve, helped to broker peace in Northern Ireland and helped involve NATO to oust Slobodan Milosevic from Kosovo, but was not successful in Somalia. George W. Bush, who served in the National Guard, had success at removing the Taliban from Afghanistan and Saddam from Iraq, but failed to plan for the aftermath of either conflict.

Sen. John McCain served honorably, however, that has not stopped him from confusing Shiite from Sunni Muslims, from discussing the border between Pakistan and Iraq (there is none), from asserting that the military surge caused the Anbar Awakening (it happened prior to the surge), for wanting to maintain a military presence in Iraq, or for wanting to bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.

Mr. Wolf states that his friends would support Colin Powell as president. I find this astounding, as Gen. Powell has demonstrated that his loyalty was first to the Bush administration and only second to the American people.

He admitted that he lied to the United Nations about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction in the administration's efforts to drum up support for the invasion of Iraq and has since said the UN presentation is a blot on his record.

Daniel Sussman

Marriottsville


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