In his June 27 editorial, Marc Thiessen attempted to disavow any parallels between Trump’s and Obama’s decisions to not use a military response to Iran and Syria, respectively. But in fact the two decisions are more closely akin. In neither case did the “other” cause loss of American life. Assad heinously killed and injured many civilians and, no doubt, militant foes. The Iranians attacked tankers and could have killed or injured non-Americans.
Thiessen praised Trump by claiming that “...instead of striking back militarily, Trump struck back economically.” But likewise, instead of striking back militarily, Obama struck back diplomatically, working with the Russian allies of Assad. Furthermore, Obama did not specify what the consequence of crossing the “red line” would be, though he spoke of his prerogative to use military force. Trump too was nonspecific about his planned response, though he went so far as to entertain possibilities, as did Obama. In both cases, lives that would no doubt have been lost were saved because cooler heads prevailed.
Tina Bennett-Kastor, Wichita
Isn't it interesting that Kathleen Butler would have us restore the Iran deal negotiated by President Obama to ease the tensions which now confront the US. If you need to be reminded, the Iran deal gave billions of dollars to Iran and we got zero in return. Oh yes, the Mullahs promised not to continue developing a nuclear capability. Iran with nuclear capability is not acceptable since they have vowed to destroy all their enemies; the same reason we want to deprive North Korea of nuclear weapons.
The Iran Agreement gave them money to continue to support terrorism around the world and laughed at Obama for making the deal.
Butler would also have us lift the sanctions imposed on Iran which have proven to be effective. Most observers believe the Iranian economy is in shambles and the attacks on our drone and foreign tankers reflect their desperation. President Trump’s sanctions are working. He may be Mr. Chaos making stupid moves, but they are working just as they were designed to do.
Hank Schichtle, Augusta
In 1940, I was born in New York City into a family whose forebearers came to this country as immigrants. Perhaps that is why they, and I, have always felt it is a privilege to be an American with all it is, and an attitude of giving back to keep it growing .
It disturbs me that so many people who are flag wavers seem not to understand or live the principles and moral implications of what that flag represents. The United States is a community of communities, many with their own ethnicity/cultural traditions, that celebrate independence uniquely, but based on the real meaning of what this day is about.
I feel compelled to write this early on this July 4 in advance of what might turn into a highly politicized response and arguments flying about how this day was celebrated in the nation's Capitol. In large measure, the amount of money misappropriated for this "alternative" celebration at the Lincoln Memorial is a mockery of what this day is about.
If the United States is truly the land of the free and the home of the brave in all ways, each of us has to keep that concept alive.
Ginny Sartorius, Wichita
My husband and I watched a few minutes of the commander in chief’s tank parade, then we found something else to watch. Compared to Trump’s four deferments, my brother and my mother-in-law went to Vietnam. My husband was a medic stationed in Germany. When I ask about their experiences, they don’t want to talk about it.
Trump loves the trappings of war as long as he never has to participate in it. He looked like a despot on July 4, acting as if those in the service made up of his personal military. The Fourth belongs to all of us. He can’t co-opt it and make it his own. It was a travesty for him to stand in the shadow of the Lincoln memorial.
I’ve walked on the Mall several times. I was uplifted by the monuments and artifacts that let us know who we are as a nation. I’ve had tears in my eyes walking by the wall listing those who died in Vietnam. Yet, we continue to send men and women to fight never-ending wars. It seems Trump can hardly wait to send more Americans into war. That will be his war experience.
Diane Wahto, Wichita