Goodman: Syrian gas attack: Should Trump order U.S. strike against Assad regime?

This image released early Sunday by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, shows a child receiving oxygen through respirators following an alleged poison gas attack in the rebel-held town of Douma, near Damascus, Syria. (Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP)

The pictures from Syria are horrific.

President Trump, denouncing as a “barbaric act” the suspected poison gas killing of more than 49 people in a city held by the Syrian opposition, said Monday he will decide within 24 to 48 hours whether the U.S. will respond militarily.

“We’re talking about humanity and it can’t be allowed to happen,” Mr. Trump told reporters. “We’ll be making that decision very quickly, probably by the end of today. We cannot allow atrocities like that.”

The president suggested that Syria’s patrons in Russia and Iran may also be responsible, and seemed to imply that he would take action of some sort to punish them as well.

“If it’s Russia, if it’s Syria, if it’s Iran, if it’s all of them together, we’ll figure it out and we’ll know the answers quite soon,” he said. “So we’re looking at that very strongly and very seriously.” (New York Times)

Just days ago, Trump said he wanted U.S. troops to withdraw from Syria. But after the Saturday night attack on rebel-held Douma, White House officials said a missile strike is a possibility. After a similar chemical attack a year ago, Trump responded by attacking a Syrian air base with cruise missiles.

What do you think the U.S. should do?

Letter: Military hand salute is OK at all events

saluteTo All American veterans: A grateful Congress has extended a special privilege to you and all 20 million American veterans: the right to render your military hand salute at the flag and national-anthem ceremony of every graduation/football/basketball/public event.

Beginning Monday, Memorial Day, stand tall and render your military salute as you did when you wore your nation’s uniform. Do it for all of those vets who are no longer with us; do it for all serving our nation today; and for our future vets. Your salute is an act of patriotism that will enrich our national flag traditions for generations to come.

ROBERT E. GRIFFITH, ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, ILL.; USNR (retired commander)

Letter: Palm Beach Gardens road plan is dangerous

Palm Beach Gardens made changes to MacArthur Boulevard to help with speeding, pedestrian safety and traffic issues by Howell L. Watkins Middle School. City staff is working on a similar solution for 117th Court North and Shady Lakes Drive. Here are before and after pictures.
Palm Beach Gardens made changes to MacArthur Boulevard to help with speeding, pedestrian safety and traffic issues by Howell L. Watkins Middle School. City staff is working on a similar solution for 117th Court North and Shady Lakes Drive.

The Palm Beach Gardens City Council recently approved what looks like a very dangerous road extension: The council presented Phase 1 of the proposed Shady Lakes Boulevard extension to the community of Shady Lakes; this extension creates an access road for two schools (Timber Trace Elementary and Duncan Middle School), the tennis center and a city park.

A Florida Power & Light substation is built where the right-turn lane on PGA Boulevard needs to be. So, it is uncertain when and if a right-turn lane can be built. While turn lanes are proposed for Phase 3 of the project, there is no projection of when and if it will be built.

City staff members say that moving the substation is complicated, and other improvements in Phase 3 will cost a hefty $3 million-plus (there is no money budgeted, nor a schedule projected for this expensive project). Phase 3 and the turning lane may be years in coming, if ever.

Additional access for the schools is a good idea. However, this extension will create a potentially dangerous intersection that will be used by buses, full of our children, stuck waiting to make a right turn on busy PGA Boulevard.

BRUCE HONIG, PALM BEACH GARDENS

Letter: Honor canine veterans, too

soldier dogAmericans always remember to thank veterans. But, given that last Sunday was Canine Veterans Day, let’s not forget to thank our four-legged veterans for their service, too.

Soldiers rely on military service dogs to sniff out explosives, listen for ambushes or take down combatants. Military dogs make soldiers feel safe, and for good reason: Since coming into the armed forces in 1942, service dogs have been saving an estimated 150 to 200 warriors’ lives each.

Even off of the front lines, these dogs keep saving lives by helping soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder. Our veterans — human and animals — have each other’s backs.

It’s time to show that we’ve got theirs, too.

We need to thank all our veterans — of both species.

ROBIN GANZERT, WASHINGTON, D.C.Editor’s note: Robin Ganzert is president and CEO of the American Humane Association.

 

Letter: DOD should take care of wounded warriors

The First Lady of the Marine Corps, Bonnie Amos, center, greets a wounded warrior. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Mallory S. VanderSchans HQMC Combat Camera/Released)
The First Lady of the Marine Corps, Bonnie Amos, center, greets a wounded warrior. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Mallory S. VanderSchans HQMC Combat Camera/Released)

Recently, The Palm Beach Post, delivered to our house, included a letter appealing for support for the Wounded Warriors Project. I don’t understand why our U.S. Defense Department doesn’t take care of our wounded warriors.

Our national defense budget is more than $600 billion. What kind of great nation, with so much money to spend on its military, would not take care of its wounded warriors — but would rather depend on the voluntary contributions of its citizens, whose taxes already support our vast military expenditures?

GEORGE K. ROBB, PALM BEACH GARDENS

Letter: Sanders unqualified to lead our military

COLUMBIA, SC - FEBRUARY 24: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) speaks about poverty in South Carolina during a press conference on February 24, 2016 in Columbia, South Carolina. Democrats in South Carolina will go to the polls to select their presidential nominee on February 27. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT). (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

How can Bernie Sanders be commander in chief when he was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War? Why was it OK to draft thousands of American men into war, where many died and came back disabled? I’m sure they were scared, too.

My husband had to serve his country; why not Sanders? Is this the man who will make the final decision about sending our children and grandchildren into battle if the occasion arises?

DOLLY FRIEDMAN, GREENACRES

Editor’s note: According to a story on ABC News’ website, Bernie Sanders’ application for conscientious-objector status eventually was rejected. By then, he was too old to serve.