There was an interesting juxtaposition of items on Page 2 of the Oct. 28 Journal.
“Today in history” tells us that on Oct. 28, 1886, the Statue of Liberty was dedicated. Then in 1922, “fascism came to Italy as Benito Mussolini took control of the government.” (In 1941, our country went to war to defeat fascism and preserve our democracy and the sentiments inscribed on the famous statue.)
Then there was Scott Hollifield’s column, “Online partners promise riches,” which described his dealings with online scammers, who promise much while trying to relieve us of our worldly goods. They often succeed, just as our current president, who fawns over dictators and autocrats while dismissing and insulting our long-time allies, appears to be succeeding in scamming the Republican Congress and roughly one-third of the populace. He promises much, while seemingly trying to relieve us of our democracy. We do live in interesting times.
One can only hope that, while “you can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”
Trump abandons allies
In 2014, ISIS had control of large areas of Iraq and Syria, including major cities and the northern Iraq oil fields. ISIS was committing atrocious acts against the citizens of both countries and was a threat to civilization everywhere. ISIS fighters attacked Mosul, a city of over 1.8 million inhabitants. The Iraq defense force of 30,000 soldiers and 30,000 federal police, armed and trained by the U.S., turned and ran in the face of 1,500 ISIS fighters, who were also launching attacks in major cities around the Western world.
The turning point was when ISIS attacked the Kurdish-controlled city of Kobani. The Kurds, against great odds, decided to fight back. The U.S. decided to assist the Kurds, as they were the only ones willing to join with us to face the ISIS threat. With U.S. support, the Kurds led the way in defeating ISIS throughout the area. The Kurdish people made great sacrifices to help defeat the rabid ISIS ideology.
At least 160,000 of our former Kurdish allies, who were instrumental in defeating ISIS, are now being displaced from their their lands by Russian-backed Turks. By withdrawing support for the Kurds, we have played right into the hands of Vladimir Putin’s Russia and lost our influence and reputation in the Middle East. All because of an irresponsible, uninformed, rash decision by President Trump, without any input from our own military, our intelligence services or State Department, much less our allies. At least, those allies we have left.
Hugh M. Parker
Big House’s big heart
When I read the article “He did it the right way” about Big House Gaines and Roy Williams in the Oct. 30 edition of the paper, I was reminded of the first time I met the famous WSSU coach.
Because of some early successes I had as the cross country coach at Reynolds High School, I was invited to a coaches’ picnic at Wake Forest. When I saw Coach Gaines, I introduced myself and we started a conversation. I had been successful at the state level in a minor high school sport and he had been successful at the national level in a major college sport, but his humility would have made you think otherwise. He was so congratulatory and humble that he made me feel like the honored guest, when actually he was the main focus of the outing. When I left his presence, I felt like a celebrity, but I knew I had met someone who, in the words of Roy Williams, “was a great example for every coach” and was the real celebrity.
The writer coached at Reynolds from 1973 — the editor
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