Reading Tyler Thomas' religious-laced, world history diatribe against Barack Obama ("Obama is a socialist," Readers' Forum, June 11) was just another distraction in the real issue of trying to consider who is better qualified and has solutions to problems that this country and the world are immersed in.

He says Obama has been against the war in Iraq from the start. That would easily translate to the direct savings of over 4,000 American military personnel, many times that number who are permanently maimed physically and psychologically, and the multiple thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens who are often overlooked in the sum total of this WMD-driven, military-industrial complex fiasco.

Surely, the money spent on armaments could have been put to much better use in aiding our own citizens — but that would probably come under the guise of "socialism." Please, just for a few moments, forget about branding candidates as liberals, Democrats, Republicans, socialists and listen to what they have done and plan to try to do.

Jim W. Fischer