U.S. has bungled foreign wars for decades

Columnist S.E. Cupp correctly explained that Joe Biden, like all presidents, can’t just end the wars and reverse the policies of a predecessor. It’s more complicated.

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President Joe Biden, on Aug. 31 at the White House, discusses the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.


As someone who earnestly wanted President Joe Biden to succeed, it hurt to read S.E. Cupp’s recent column “How Biden bungled Afghanistan” and know she was 100% right.

Cupp, unlike some of her fellow conservative thinkers, isn’t a frothing malcontent. She stayed on Donald Trump’s case throughout his term in office so often that I almost forgot she was a conservative.

During the last presidential primaries, I naively yearned for a relatively staid, twitter-free, campaign between grandfatherly Joe Biden and statesman Mitt Romney. This, of course, would have required Republicans to gently push Trump aside. Laughable, I know.

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Cupp asks how someone with the Biden’s foreign policy experience could make the absolute worst decisions? Her answer? “Politics.” Cupp also explains that Biden, like all presidents, can’t just end wars and reverse policies started by a predecessor. It’s more complicated than that.

If we set aside partisan bickering for a moment, we might recall that astute, scholarly leaders from both major political parties have failed at foreign wars for decades. If you’re young, google Vietnam and “best and brightest” for a primer on how well-intentioned plans have collapsed since way before the Trump and Biden administrations.

The names Kissinger, Vance, Rusk, Albright, Clinton, Powell, Rice and Pompeo might also ring a bell. They’re all part of the same vexing learning curve. Add Joe Biden to the list.

Jim Newton, Itasca

Call it a shot, not a vaccine

I just got my annual flu shot. It’s called a flu shot — not a flu vaccine — because it does two things. First it reduces, but does not eliminate, the odds of getting infected with the flu. Second, if I still get the flu anyway, it reduces the severity, meaning it reduces the likelihood that I will be hospitalized, let alone die.

In contrast, the polio vaccine is a vaccine. Get vaccinated for polio and you stand a chance of greater than 99% of never getting polio. One and done. No annual polio booster shots necessary. A real vaccine.

Viewed in this light, the COVID-19 “vaccine” is a misnomer. It is much more akin to a flu shot than a polio vaccine. It is essentially an advance therapeutic. Of course, whatever we call it, it’s still a good idea to get it, so get your COVID-19 . . . shot.

William Choslovsky, Lincoln Park

Go after gangs

National and world-wide efforts to combat Covid-19 have led to a glimmer of hope that, in coming months, the virus will be brought under control. But no such luck with gun violence. Mayors come and go, police chiefs come and go, strategies come and go, and the violence continues.

And it will continue until politicians and law enforcement find the courage and guts to go after gangs with all their might. The young thugs in gangs have no qualms about taking a human life. And they are often the product of a society that has promoted racial isolation and deprivation.

Ned L. McCray, Tinley Park

Texas abortion laws rip life-altering decision from a woman

As a former public health nurse, I’m well aware that abortion, while never a good choice, can be the best decision a woman can make when facing an unwanted, crisis pregnancy. When radical anti-abortion legislators and activists label all women seeking to end such pregnancies criminals, this shows a blatant lack of compassion and consequences.

Women must be allowed the God-given responsibility and right to determine what is best for their family themselves, even if it does not agree with the moral codes of others. These others do not have the right to make decisions when they do not know the circumstances and consultations such women have had with their doctors and spiritual pastors.

Texas abortion laws rip this heart-rendering and life-altering decision from a woman and grant sanctimonious legislators to be in control while encouraging complete strangers to spy and “tell” so they can collect monetary bounties. In cases of rape and incest, friends of the rapist could actually make money providing details about those who helped the unfortunate woman obtain a safe — and formally legal — abortion.

Let’s be clear: Such laws aren’t about protecting the sanctity of life. They’re about controlling women and taking away the basic human right to control one’s body and destiny.

Joan Davis, Huntley

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