Hope in Syria
Seven years of a relatively hands-off approach has essentially given a green light to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad — with partners Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Major General Qassem Soleimani — to freely slaughter nearly 600,000 innocent Syrians.
Working under the guise of “counter-terrorism,” these actors have dodged international scrutiny and falsely painted the United States as the danger to the region, when in reality Syria, Russia and Iran have orchestrated the entire conflict.
The recent strikes sent a rather strong message to these criminals. The success of the strikes (and lack of civilian casualties) indicate a weakness in Syria’s abilities to stop an attack. Similarly, Russia’s and Iran’s lack of real response to the coalition of the U.S., UK and France show that their rhetoric can’t be backed by action. This, combined with the credible threat from Israel that Iranian retaliation will result in an overthrow of the Assad regime, essentially backs the trio into a corner.
While the strikes by themselves don’t resolve the conflict, they send a signal that the international community will not sit idly and allow genocide to continue, setting a precedent for future intervention to help the Syrian people in their fight against tyranny and to stop the use of brutal chemical weapons.
We must change
Suspected Tennessee Waffle House shooter Travis Reinking, a young man with mental health issues known to the Secret Service, the FBI, the state of Illinois and Nashville police, still got access to weapons that were taken away by Illinois sheriff’s deputies. (April 24, 6A, “Suspect arrested in deadly Waffle House shooting”)
If Reinking is proved guilty of the murders, who should pay for the crime? The Tazewell County, Ill., Sheriff’s Office surely has some responsibility in giving the confiscated weapons to his father, who then gave them to his son, who then went on the rampage.
I am not looking at taking guns away from responsible people who like to shoot targets and hunt. But guns do not belong in the hands of those who are irresponsible and provide people with mental health issues access to them.
We can’t bring back the four people who were gunned down, but we can change the responsibility laws and punish severely those who participated in getting the guns in the wrong hands. The punishment should be incarceration, financial compensation for families who lost loved ones, or both.
Until these types of behaviors change, lives will continue to be snuffed out.
Let’s start a dialogue soon.
Lost in time
1944: 18-20-year-olds stormed enemy beaches, parachuted behind enemy lines and charged into battles and almost certain death.
2018: 18-20-year-olds need “safe zones” on college campuses to protect their fragile emotions from offensive words.
An old club
Recently, the U.S. Senate discussed changing a rule that prohibits family members from the Senate floor in order to allow Sen. Tammy Duckworth to cast her vote while accompanied by her newborn. (April 22, 19A, “A baby comes to the Senate floor”)
Sadly, Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, while not formally objecting to the rule change, had to add his personal comment that she could cast her vote from the door of the Senate cloakroom, as he claims to have done in the past.
I, for one, am glad to see this rule change. Roberts and far too many other senators need to look around the chamber and recognize that things have changed in the past 20-plus years since most of them joined this exclusive club.
No longer is every U.S. senator a white male already past the normal retirement age. With any luck, this trend will continue and the chamber will be much more representative of the citizens it represents.
Also, as Roberts failed to notice, the cloakroom is not accessible to the disabled. Duckworth, a veteran, lost both legs in Iraq.
I believe it may be time for Roberts to pull the lever with the small “r” — for “retire.”
Despite his poor performance representing the citizens of his Kansas district, Rep. Kevin Yoder has never missed a beat when it comes to providing funding for his business constituents.
Most recently, The Star printed a letter to the editor Sunday from two gentlemen who stand to benefit from the most recent pork-injected federal funding bill. (24A)
Frequent readers are aware that this is not the first in a series of thank-you letters published in The Star.
One has to wonder about the motivation behind all this praise for the representative.