Trump’s abandonment of Kurdish allies is immoral

Editor,

A summit was held Sept. 16, 2019, in Ankara, attended by Iran, Turkey and Russia. From that meeting emerged a plan agreed to by attendees Putin, Erdogan and Rouhani to guarantee Syrian territorial integrity. There was no attendance by a Kurdish representative.

Reporters at the meeting’s question and answer session inquired about U.S. presence in Syria. The following response from Putin was recorded:

“Regarding the presence of the U.S. armed forces, it is common knowledge that their presence on Syrian territory is illegal. And we hope that the decision to withdraw U.S. service personnel from Syria, made by president of the United States Donald Trump, will be implemented completely.”

It is not clear what communications occurred between the U.S. and these summit countries prior to this meeting or between the meeting and Trump’s Oct. 6 call with Erdogan. But what is very clear is that Trump abandoned our Syrian Kurdish allies and agreed to Turkey’s military invasion of the territory that the Kurds had been constructively governing in northeastern Syria.

The bottom line is that a loyal and brave U.S. ally in the battle against ISIS has been sacrificed to ethnic cleansing by Turkey. In addition, Trump’s immoral action has increased instability in the region, increased the likelihood of a resurgence of ISIS and strengthened Russia, Iran and Syria.

What gains did Trump anticipate from this destructive move? Trump has acknowledged that he has a conflict of interest in dealings with Turkey because he owns two towers in that country. Was he protecting his financial interests by courting favor with the autocratic ruler of Turkey?

What we know for sure is that the reputation of the U.S. as a reliable ally just took a major hit. Our president has once again been revealed to be untrustworthy, dishonest and incompetent.

Stupid, self-aggrandizing actions by Donald Trump clearly indicate that if he is not impeached, he must be voted out of office to prevent another four years of decay in America’s standing as a leader of the free world.

Ellen Higdon

St. Joseph

Hill’s experience will serve SJ well

Editor,

Fifteen years ago, I moved to St. Joseph, and over those years, my family has grown, and my perspective on our great city has evolved. While I am grateful for the past work of the St. Joseph City Commission, I also believe fresh perspectives are vital for growth, and the best candidate to meet this mission would be Shawn Hill.

Shawn Hill has lived in St. Joseph for more than 20 years. Over those years he has served as a volunteer St. Joseph Township firefighter and is one of the hardest working people I know. He is currently a manager for Hillview Farms in Dowagiac, working in sales and dispatch and setting up daily routes for drivers.

Shawn also drives tour buses for Royal Excursions. In addition, he was a manager for Hill Enterprises from 2003 to 2009, handling a staff of 30 for the trucking company, managing budgets and a variety of other functions.

These roles have provided him an opportunity to interact with a cross section of the community.

While I feel blessed to live in a thriving community and wholeheartedly embrace tourism, I also align with Mr. Hill’s perspective that it is equally as important to meet the needs of year-round residents.

While the master plan to improve our downtown is a starting point, this plan must also be affordable and sustainable. Shawn Hill’s platform for fiscal responsibility of not raising taxes without the input of residents demonstrates his commitment to financial accountability and transparency.

If elected, Shawn Hill’s top priorities also include improving the city’s water and sewer system and repairing roads. Timely repair of our current infrastructure is needed to potentially prevent more serious and costly repairs.

A vote for Shawn Hill for a seat on the St. Joseph City Commission would offer an opportunity to be forward-thinking and advance our community into a more progressive and sustainable future.

Lisa Altman

St. Joseph

Goos deserves re-election in SJ

Editor,

Please vote to re-elect Laura Goos to the St. Joseph City Commission. I know and have great respect for Laura – her hard work, lifelong knowledge of our community, warmth and caring for others, and her honesty and intelligence.

She has shown her commitment to St. Joseph by her recent nonpartisan service on the City Commission, her extensive prior volunteer work in our city, and the many recent successes she and her fellow commissioners have had. St. Joseph is well on its way to becoming a more open, tolerant, forward-looking, prosperous and fun place to live. Please vote for Laura Goos on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Eric Lester

St. Joseph