Trump's armchair quarterbacks
To the editor:
There is much concern about President Trump’s decision to pull most of the U.S. troops out of the Syrian conflict. We certainly do not want to repeat former President Barack Obama’s mistake of pulling out of Iraq and allowing ISIS to regain footing, but this is a different situation at this juncture.
Too many criticize Trump without knowing a fraction of the facts that are at his disposal. He is certainly concerned about ending an 18-year war that has cost 2,400 American lives and left 20,000 of our troops wounded thus far.
As armchair spectators, we can only speculate on all of the president’s reasons for the withdrawal, but we should study the situation in an effort to comment with knowledge.
The Middle East is a chessboard of complicated nation players. The 1.6 billion Muslims in the world certainly play a big part in this conflict, and in my own speculation of the president’s decision for withdrawal. We must see that Islam is divided into two groups that are very hostile toward each other. Although they both worship Allah and both consider the Quran as their holy book, the 200 million Shiites claim authority as descendants of Muhammad’s cousin and brother-in-law, Ali ibn Abi Talib. The other 85 percent of the Muslims are Sunnis who claim their authority as followers of Abu Bakr who was delegated by Muhammad to lead prayer when he was unable to do so for health reasons. The important thing to remember is that the two groups hate each other, possibly more than they despise non-Muslims.
Retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor appeared on Tucker Carlson’s program on Fox News on Oct. 7 explaining his speculation for the president’s withdrawal of our troops. Turkish President Recep Erdogan wants to take a 300 mile by 15 mile section in northwest Syria to form a security barrier with the 200 million Sunni Arab refugees who have fled to his country.
Trump has told him that he can do that, but he must take the responsibility to fight ISIS if they reappear. Turkey’s move would possibly bring Russia as an active player on the chessboard since that massive nation has promised to maintain the territorial integrity of Syria, come what may.
Meanwhile, Iran wants to maintain its activity in Syria’s neighbor, Lebanon, where there are very active extreme Shiite Muslims. Turkey’s hopes of placing that corridor of 2 million Sunnis on Syria’s northwest border would make Iran’s plans difficult if not impossible. Just think of the conflict when the Shias and the Sunnis would meet!
Trump’s withdrawal takes our never-ending stalemate off the board and places those involved nations in checkmate. At the same time, the move benefits our ally, Israel because it places Iran in loggerheads with Turkey, and doesn’t harm them because the Russians are not interested in turning Syria into a platform for attack against Israel. The Russians, the Iranians and Turks will have to deal with the reality that the U.S. and Israel are benefitting from their checkmate, due to President Trump’s first use of real U.S. foreign strategy in thirty years.
Instead of massive media attacks, we should pray for President Trump as he cares for the issues of our nation and the world.
CAROLYN WINSTEAD BAGLEY
Tuck for clerk of court
To the editor:
I would like to express my support for Melissa Tuck for Clerk of Court in Danville.
I’ve known her for over 10 years. I know her to be a woman of honor and integrity. She always goes out of her way to help people in need.
She is a hard-working person who will give her all to the job. I’ve seen how hard she’s working during this election cycle. She works full time, goes door to door every evening after work and on Saturdays when she doesn’t have a meeting. She’s continues to volunteer and serve at her church. I know her hard work and dedication will carry over to the job.
I would like to encourage everyone to do their research on the candidates. I know you’ll agree with me that Melissa Tuck is the best choice for Clerk of Court.