Letter: Troubling times
Editor of the Reformer,
Two months ago, President Donald Trump said he would declare a national emergency to fund a planned border wall with Mexico. Senator Leahy said emergency powers should only be invoked in true times of crisis, and there is no national emergency on the southwest border to justify the use of this authority. The reality is that illegal border crossings are at historic lows — lower than any point since the early 1970s. Most southern border communities have violent crime rates that are lower than the national average. Most of the illegal drugs smuggled across our southern border enter through legal ports of entry — where a wall would be totally useless. That is why the vast majority of experts agree that a wall would be ineffective at addressing the issues we need to address at our southern border.
Last week, Trump announced that two aircraft carriers and a bomber task force were being deployed to the Middle East in response to "troubling and escalatory indications and warnings" that Iran and Iranian proxies were planning an attack on U.S. forces in the region. The carriers are stationed near Syria to provide what Trump has called "an umbrella for Israel." But everybody is there: the Russians with plenty of S-400 surface-to-air missiles that could strike targets in an arc that takes in much of Israel; and Iran is providing guide kits that turn a dumb missile into a small cruise missile. Israel faces 300,000 rockets, last count.
What Israel calls a "blockade" stands for the Gaza Concentration Camp with deadlines, but somehow Hamas sent 700 rockets to Israel with four fatalities and 250 injured; it was a bad week for Israel. Attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip by the Israeli regime have left 27 Palestinians dead and scores wounded, however the Hamas were pleased with defeating one Iron Dome (missile interception system).
Trump should be troubled that his own specialists are saying Iran is winning allies in this area of the Mideast. Trump's "May 2 deadline" sanctions on oil passed and nothing happened.
Bellows Falls, May 7
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