Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss foreign aid, human trafficking and the ‘nuclear option’

Fund foreign aid

President Donald Trump’s recent use of military force against the Syrian Assad regime has brought a plethora of media attention to the United States’ involvement in the Syrian civil war. Congress is heavily debating the continued use of military aggression toward Syria in response to the government’s recent use of chemical weapons on its civilian population.

While that argument goes on, the International Affairs Budget for 2017 is scheduled to be passed near the end of April. Currently, the United States is providing only 1 percent of its budget to foreign affairs, and only a half-percent is used to assist the world’s poor and needy.

The United States’ national security agenda must include the Pentagon’s three D’s: defense, diplomacy and development. Protecting the already-limited International Affairs Budget would mark a positive step in addressing several humanitarian crises across the globe, including in war-torn Syria.

Contacting Congress to show your support for protecting the International Affairs Budget is easy. The Borgen Project, an innovative national campaign working with U.S. leaders to improve its response to the Global Poverty Crisis, has created a template for e-mailing Congress.

Two minutes of your time can make a difference to the world’s voiceless. Visit borgenproject.org and click on “email Congress.”

Bailey Reed


Help needed

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. It is a serious problem globally, nationally and even locally. Kansas City is a major center of human trafficking because of its central location and being at the crossroads of major highways.

Every day, hundreds of thousands of men, women and children are forced to perform manual labor or sexual acts against their will.

In 2016 alone, there were 186 reported cases of human trafficking in Missouri and Kansas combined. Forty percent of all victims were under the age of 18. These numbers do not account for the enormous number of victims who continue to be trapped in our community.

How can you help?

▪  Educate yourself on the facts of human trafficking and how to recognize victims. Visit polarisproject.org or sharedhope.org for some great information.

▪  Report suspected or known human trafficking. The majority of rescued victims were discovered because a community member called to report concerns.

▪  Donate to local organizations to help victims. Some suggestions can be seen at kidstlc.org, veronicasvoice.org and exoduscry.com.

To report suspected human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP to: BeFree (233733).

Rachael Zamazanuk

Prairie Village

War tactics

Like most of the civilized world, I approve of the missile attack against Syria. We did not specifically attack the runways. President Donald Trump explained on Twitter, “The reason you don’t generally hit runways is that they are easy and inexpensive to quickly fix (fill in and top)!”

While this is true, the Israelis solved this problem almost 50 years ago in the June 1967 Six-Day War. They took out almost the entire Egyptian air force on the ground in the opening hours of the war, and then bombed the runways.

They solved the problem of the runways being rebuilt by also dropping bombs with delayed action fuses. When the Egyptians tried to repair them, the bombs began to go off.

That was the end of their efforts. Problem solved.

Herbert J. Waxman

Overland Park

Democrats’ gift

Sen. Mitch McConnell gave the Democrats a gift by choosing the “nuclear option” to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Now, a 2018 Democratic majority in just the Senate (not that difficult in today’s climate) would allow the Democrats to need just 51 votes to deny any Republican nominee confirmation to the Supreme Court between 2018 until 2020 and possibly longer.

Then in 2020, when the Democrats recapture the presidency (not that difficult in today’s climate), they would need just 51 votes to approve their future Supreme Court nominees, and all of the liberal-leaning justices can retire.

So, which was really more important for McConnell: getting Gorsuch approved, or throwing him under the bus and keeping that 60-vote requirement until he could be certain President Donald Trump is re-elected to a second term (not).

Thanks, Mitch.

Bill Doty

Overland Park