How Secretary of Defense Mark Esper doesn’t resign over President Donald Trump’s ignorant, impulsive, immoral and dangerous decision to pull our special forces off the front lines in Syria and abandon our Kurdish allies is beyond me.
Faced with a similar decision by Trump late last year, resign is exactly what his predecessor, the honorable James Mattis, did. Unlike Esper, he understood the ramifications for U.S. national and global security and the morale and fighting spirit of U.S. service members. Mattis stood on principle.
Make no mistake: Trump’s decision, made late at night Oct. 6 after a phone call with autocratic Turkish President Recep Erdogan and announced on Twitter, has set the conditions for Turkish and Russian genocide against the Kurds and the reconstitution of the Islamic State after its defeat in northeastern Syria — not to mention the horrible stain Trump’s decision has on the reputation and honor of the United States as the global leader.
As a 30-year U.S. Army veteran, I hate to ask this, but how is the U.S. still that exceptional and indispensable nation, respected around the world by friends and foes alike?
- Myron J. Griswold, Leavenworth, Kansas
A raw deal
In the early 1990s, I spent five years in U.S. Army Special Operations Command units at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. One of these was the 3rd Special Forces, who are currently serving in northwest Syria.
I am sure the president doesn’t understand the bond that develops between groups that have stood in combat together. Service to country and to others wouldn’t even occur to him. Betrayal of allies is what we should expect when he sees a better deal elsewhere.
- Richard Randolph III, Lenexa
Follow your friend
Open letter to Sen. Lindsey Graham: As an elected official who has always touted your military experience, please use that experience to demand that our president and his secretary of state immediately stop their catastrophic, inhumane foreign policy that is killing our allies, the Kurds.
The late Sen. John McCain would have.
- Rick Marien, Overland Park
A line crossed
Abandoning the Kurds was the last straw for me to abandon the big tent after 50 years of voting Republican.
Perhaps there will be future GOP candidates with spines, integrity, decency and ethics for me to vote for, but all I see now are future generations lined up to defile the graves of those who did not do their duty to stop the rot in Washington.
- H. Jonathan Pratt, Kansas City
It’s such a shame that authorities overreacted to a child just 13 years old. (Oct. 9, 1A, “Girl, 12, arrested after pointing finger as gun at four classmates”) Cher’s “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” will probably will be taken out of the American songbook now.
It seems that eventually, everyday sympathetic gestures such as hugging and warm handshakes will be prohibited in our schools (just one second, and do not look the other person in the eyes).
Many animals are born with almost complete skills for an adult life, while humans take a year just to start walking on two legs. Our brains develop gradually. That is why we have children’s books for age groups as we educate our young. We don’t let them drive until 16 (18 in most of Europe), and they can’t legally drink until 21, because their brains must be prepared to make the right judgments.
But we cannot allow our kids to be brainwashed with excess caution. Being curious by nature, they inhale information. We must influence their behavior in a healthy direction.
- Istvan Javorek, Leawood