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Your Turn: Sept. 14

September 14, 2018

What progress?I sit here wondering what have we really done in the 17 years since the tragedy on Sept. 11, 2001?We went to war in Afghanistan then escalated to a second front in Iraq. We have killed radicalized Muslim soldiers and civilians and bombed their mud huts, but the extremists still exist. To date over 6,000 U.S. soldiers have lost their lives and over 52,000 U.S. soldiers have been injured. It has also cost you and me, the United States taxpayer over $7.6 trillion in defense and homeland security costs. And yet, the war(s) continue.For the blood spilled and the money spent, what do we have to show for it? We still have soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as other Middle Eastern and African countries. For what? Is there actually a commitment to conquer the enemy as we did in World War II after Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor? What is our end game and what are the indicators that we have won the war and that our troops can come home? Or, are we to be content while our war makers continue to spill American blood and spend American money on Middle Eastern sand?I welcome any of our D.C. lawmaker elites, executive branch gurus, and Pentagon prowlers to answer the questions I pose. If we don’t have a good reason to be there now, why are we still there? If we don’t have an absolute commitment to vanquish our enemy like we did in World War II, we should not have committed our troops overseas in the first place.David Gay, Alamo HeightsReal proofRe: “In cahoots with Cruz?” Your Turn, Sept. 9:The writer thinks that the Express-News is favoring Ted Cruz over Beto O’Rourke because it published an article about O’Rourke’s run-ins with the law years ago.He then challenges the paper to publish a side-by-side list of each candidate’s stand on the issues they’re campaigning on to prove that they aren’t biased toward Cruz.Were the Express-News do that, it would show for sure that they were in the tank for Cruz — such a comparison would immediately send O’Rourke’s campaign down in flames with the people of Texas!AL Koppen, Fair Oaks RanchNo free speechTwo things happened recently that gives a calibration point on President Donald Trump and his followers.First, a “senior official” in the White House wrote a derogatory op-ed in the New York Times. He failed to sign it, but the Times published it anyway. The president went ballistic and urged the attorney general to find out who wrote it so he could be fired , or as he intimated, tried for treason.Second, a young high schooler and his two buddies in Billings, Montana went to a Trump rally to be able to see the president firsthand. The young man was in the group situated immediately behind the president while the cameras ran. The kid’s facial expressions denoted less than approval of what was said. Soon, on live TV, a lady dressed in black eased into the group and removed the boy.Apparently, free speech is not allowed in Trump circles. Get the man a copy of the Constitution and show him the First Amendment. His attitude displays a threat to our democratic republic.Stan GraysonViolence alreadyThe president is predicting “violence” if the midterm elections go badly for him. I’ve been sensing violence for two years; ever since he did that ugly imitation of a handicapped reporter; ever since he made that clip of himself pummeling a figure marked “CNN;” and I’ll never forget his comment, “punch that guy in the face, I’ll pay the damages;” and ever since he bragged about being able to grope women anytime he wanted to. And no one cared!A Trumpian in Florida just won a primary and is now running against a black opponent. The Trumpian candidate made a comment that we shouldn’t “monkey this up.” Forgive me if I assume that this is a deliberate act of violence.Now the president says he is coming to Texas to campaign for another Trumpian. That means two hours of “violent” insults. No ideas, no lifting thoughts, just “violent” insults.No, Mr. President, your candidacy and presidency have always been about violence. Mr. President, read the last chapter of Sen. John McCain’s book “The Restless Wave.” The chapter is called “Regular Order.” I realize that the term translates to you as violence but our founders called it democracy.Bobby RileyA treasureRe: “S.A. must empower families with more school options,” Another View by Quincy Boyd, Sept. 9:Ms. Boyd is a community treasure. She is following her passion. She uses her time, talents, treasure, training and thoughts to increase school choice options for families in San Antonio. Last October, she spent time with Top Scholars at Sam Houston High. Students were able to gain insights from her about the admissions process at America’s most selective colleges and universities. Today, the three seniors in the group she spoke to are freshmen at the University of Notre Dame, Wellesley College, and Austin College. These are great postsecondary options available to emerging leaders from low-income families.Community investment is a key ingredient in responding to three questions she raises. Her daughters will likely attend a high school that prepares them for college. The girls will have a chance to demonstrate excellence in rigorous academic classes. They will have opportunities “to lead, to create, to collaborate and to build their self-confidence.” Ms. Boyd wants (and works so that) other families have those same opportunities.Knowing that these values matter to parents throughout San Antonio, the opportunity exists to transform existing high schools to match these demands. Sam Houston High — quietly for the moment — is participating in this transformation. The day is coming when families on waiting lists will have the option of confidently enrolling their children in the “Pride of the Eastside.”Jason D. Mims, Lt. Col., ret., U.S Army

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