Letter to the Editor

POINT / COUNTERPOINT

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Be Sure You Have the Facts

The serial writer of “Letters to the Editor” with negative comments about President Trump has his facts wrong in last week’s missive titled “President Trump, the NFL and the First Amendment.”

The First Amendment, reads “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech …” The Supreme Court says the First Amendment applies only to government action, not private parties. 

Beyond that, the protesters have surely picked the wrong American symbol to protest: The symbol of American independence from colonial rule, the symbol of President Lincoln and his triumphant victory over slavery, the symbol that the marines raised in triumph over Mount Suribachi now memorialized at Arlington cemetery, the symbol of the saving of Europe now waving over Normandy Beach, the symbol which leads every Fourth of July parade and the symbol which drapes the coffins of the million soldiers who died fighting for it. It is the symbol of our nation, and if our nation is not good enough, well … there are others.

Some have said that knelling during the few minutes of the playing of our National Anthem is the only way the NFL players have to display their feelings. NFL players – because of their notoriety — can call a news conference anytime they want and they will have a gaggle of reporters eager to report what they have to say. Many NFL players are multi-millionaires that can fund any kind of forum or paid advertising they want.

President Trump was right to say the NFL players should not disrespect our National Anthem, our flag or our country.

Phil Petersen

Okoboji


President Trump at the United Nations

A 40-some minute speech by the president at the UN drew differing opinions nationally and internationally. Trump once stated – I could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue in New York City and my supporters would still follow me. It seems that this was more truthful than most people thought. His speech drew wide acclaim from his base of support. Elliot Abrams, foreign policy advisor for both Regan and Bush, stated “He cleverly made patriotism the basis for international cooperation.” Others issued praise for the strength and direction in his comments. Not surprisingly, views on the speech from others differed significantly. Swedish foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom stated “It was the wrong speech, at the wrong time, to the wrong audience.” Many felt that the speech would have been more appropriately directed to a political party gathering, rather than a meeting of international leaders.

There was further concern that his statement “to totally destroy North Korea” was an unveiled threat to commit an international war crime as an act of genocide by killing the population of an entire country of 25 million people.

Further comments on his views on the Iran and Venezuela issues drew questions about his thoughts on U.S. intervention there.

We all hear the same words, but may our conscience be our guide as we decide which side to support.

Robert Sneitzer

Spirit Lake


What was said at The United Nations?

Last week, in a Letter to the Editor, Mr. Sneitzer questioned the Sept. 19 speech President Trump made at the United Nations. The first half of the letter seemed to praise President Trump. But then, true to form, he starts his criticism. Interesting that Mr. Sneitzer chose the Swedish Foreign Minister as his source to criticize the President’s speech. Since when do we take the Swedish Foreign Minister as the expert on what an American President should say at the United Nations?

The tough talk President Trump aimed at North Korea, Iran and Venezuela was hailed by many Americans. These three countries are well known for abusing their citizens and need to be called into account on the world stage. The United States has placated North Korea for decades in hopes PRNK would end their nuclear program. President Clinton even gave them $4B in a 1994 agreement they would stop their nuclear program. Results so far – zip.

How do you get North Korea to end their nuclear program? Many believe the Chinese are the key to changing North Korea behavior. In April, President Trump met with the Chinese President XI Jinping at Mar-a-Lago to encourage the Chinese to influence the North Korea regime. Recently both China and Russia signed on for two UN Security Council resolutions to sanction North Korea. In the past both China and Russia would oppose any sanctions on North Korea – making progress impossible. After President Trump's tough North Korea talk at the United Nations, the Chinese halted all banking activities with North Korea. That never happened before.

We should all hope that the President's tough talk about military action against North Korea will bring them to their senses before we need to use our military to defend the United States and our allies.

Phil Petersen

Okoboji