Syria plays chemical weapons shell game
To the editor:
Inspectors are reviewing the list of chemical weapons provided by Syria and working on destroying the known chemical stockpiles and equipment. However, American and Middle East officials said Syria’s elite Unit 450, which runs Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons program, scattered the weapons across Syria and into Iraq.
A Lebanese newspaper reported 20 trucks loaded with equipment and chemical weapons were driven across the border into Iraq, on Sept. 12 to 13, 2013. The trucks were not inspected by the border guards.
Some of these chemical weapons going to Iraq could be weapons that were moved from Iraq into Syria prior to the Iraqi War. Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, who formerly headed the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, stated in October 2003 “satellite imagery showed a heavy flow of truck traffic from Iraq into Syria just before the American invasion in March 2003.
In January 2006, General Georges Sada, an Iraqi general under Saddam Hussein, claimed Iraq moved WMDs into Syria before the war, which were loaded on civilian aircraft and multiple truck convoys.
Iraq and Syria have been playing a WMD swap game for many years, which should be thoroughly investigated and ended with the destruction of these weapons.
Donald A. Moskowitz
Defense secretary owes an apology
To the editor:
I never thought that as a 35-year veteran of the armed forces that I would pick up my pen and demand the resignation of the secretary of defense for an outrageous failure of leadership in denying death benefits for the family of our fallen heroes. While now corrected, this agony went on for far too long, especially when the secretary himself had the ability to fund and correct this injustice.
As of today, neither Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel nor President Obama, the commander-in-chief, have formally apologized to the American people and especially the families of our fallen for unnecessarily increasing their burden of pain and suffering after losing a loved one in defense of the United States. Both the secretary and the commander-in-chief seem to be incapable of separating political ideology from their constitutional requirement in support of our armed forces. It took a private nonprofit group, the “Fisher House”, to come to the support of these military families in their time of need. How embarrassing for our national leaders to ask for a charity to step in and take over the government’s responsibility.
The first mark of a true leader is to take responsibility for the actions of yourself and your subordinates. In the military profession, it’s not what you say that counts, it’s what you do and what actions you take in a crisis situation. Talk is cheap. The secretary of defense, himself a combat veteran, failed in this basic tenet of leadership and had the primary responsibility to insure that this never happened in the first place. His lack of action and his silence speaks volumes. We could at least publicly thank the Fisher House for providing the necessary funding, which again already existed within the Department of Defense, even with the partial government shutdown.
This tragedy did not need to take place. The secretary of defense holds a sacred trust with the American people and with the members of the armed forces, which he leads. He let both down. In many cases, we can excuse failure. However, the American public expects the government to protect its sons and daughters in combat and when a loss of life does occur to protect and care for the families who are left behind. This failure to do so cannot be excused.
An apology from the secretary to the American people followed by his resignation would be the mark of a true leader and the first step in righting this embarrassing event.
Major General, USA (Ret.)
These ‘adults’ will drive us to ruin
To the editor:
Radical leftists who believe politicians should control how you live and spend your hard earned money are rejoicing. The “adults” — President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, other elected Democrats and Republicans who forgot their campaign promises — have “won” and can force Obamacare down our throats.
But not everyone has to comply with Obamacare. President Obama exempts groups, like Congress, when it is politically expedient. Big business is exempted to delay the massive layoffs and/or losses of employee health insurance that get nationwide publicity.
Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, the “wacko birds”, and conservative House Republicans were unsuccessful in saving Americans from Obamacare.
Did you, a family member, or friend lose your health insurance? Did premiums increase? Have you lost access to, or insurance for, your doctor or hospital? Thank the adults!
Have your work hours, or those of a family member or friend been cut below 30 hours to avoid Obamacare requirements? Has anyone lost a job? Thank the adults!
Have you wasted hours unsuccessfully trying to sign-up on the Obamacare exchange? Millions of people can thank the adults!
Did you enjoy giving so much personal information to “navigators” knowing that some aren’t fully trained and some have criminal histories? Are you concerned that your personal information will be in a government database, accessible by many thousands of people, and very susceptible to public disclosure, identity theft, or misuse? Thank the adults!
Obamacare costs three times what was promised. It will raise, not lower, health-care costs. We will pay for Obamacare in higher taxes, in poorer quality care, or both. Thank the adults!
Obamacare taxes and regulations are eliminating low value medical services, drugs, and devices and reducing investments to create new treatments that you might need sometime. Thank the adults!
Your health care is now in the hands of the adults who can’t balance the budget, who won’t stop $125 billion in fraud and waste annually, who created our $17 trillion national debt, who promised $90 trillion more future benefits than they funded, and let 11 million illegal aliens roam our country, victimizing Americans, increasing our taxes, and harming American workers by taking scarce jobs and depressing wages.
Considering the record of the “adults”, our country would be better off in the hands of the “wacko birds” and others who oppose what the “adults” have been doing.