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Newsday letters to the editor Friday, April 21, 2017

President Donald Trump talks about the Veterans Choice

President Donald Trump talks about the Veterans Choice Program Extension and Improvement Act before signing it, Wednesday, April 19, 2017, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. Credit: AP

Trump, Assad and U.S. use of force

President Donald Trump’s decision to hit a Syrian military airfield was more of a ploy to strengthen his image at home and abroad than a reflection of any well-considered foreign policy [“U.S. fires dozens of missiles into Syria,” News, April 7].

He has succeeded in deflecting attention from his well-documented connections with Russia, while projecting an air of humanitarianism and strength.

Yet for years, he championed a policy that we should work with Russia in Syria, against the Islamic State, rather than against Russian-backed Syrian President Bashar Assad. At the very least, Trump has no credibility. This is not flexibility or adaptability on Trump’s part; it’s spinelessness.

Syria and Assad are weak targets, both from a military and public relations perspective, for whom few would raise a voice in their defense. But saber rattlers out there should also be aware that for all his heinous crimes, Assad is a secular dictator who has protected the Christian community. Some of the alternatives to Assad are equally heinous.

Harry Katz, Southold


I often wonder about a world where we accept as justifiable certain ways of killing people and reject other ways.

President Donald Trump said that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons was a “horrible, horrible thing” and crossed “many, many lines beyond a red line.” It certainly was horrible.

However, so is the killing of more than 100 people, many of them children, in an air strike in West Mosul, Iraq, in March [“U.S. forces behind deadly Mosul attack,” News, March 26]. There’s a fair chance that the U.S.-led coalition was responsible.

It was called an unintentional accident of war. I’m sure that the families who lost their loved ones weren’t comforted by that statement.

Jules Jacobs, East Islip

Memorial seems too commercial

I was very pleased with the renovations to the Nassau Coliseum. I hope it will again become a popular venue and that our New York Islanders will return to their rightful home.

I’m disappointed, however, with the memorial flame and fountain plaque [“Fitting tribute to vets,” News, April 9]. It seems like an advertisement for National Grid. The memorial should put veterans first, not National Grid!

I’m grateful to National Grid for its donation, but put the emphasis on the veterans.

Robert Walles, Oyster Bay

Multicolored building disrespects history

I believe that Dominick Mavellia, owner of the corner property at Route 25A and Park Avenue, has chosen to disrespect Huntington’s Old Town Green Historic District by painting the building at the Platt’s Tavern site hideous red, blue, yellow and lime green [“Pantry at historic site,” News, April 7].

The article states that Mavellia’s proposed urgent care building was derailed because of residents’ complaints that it did not fit the character of the historic district. Mavellia doesn’t seem to have learned anything about owning property in a historic district. He continues to disregard the preservation efforts.

Cynthia Scudieri, Huntington

Schools must deter bullying by students

It is critically important for school districts to have anti-bullying policies to protect children from committing suicide.

I’m studying social work and was very disappointed to read “Boy hangs self after social media prank” [News, April 8], about an 11-year-boy who hanged himself after another young person played a prank on him on social media.

Because children can be malicious on social media, school districts need to address this issue with anti-bullying policies. In my former job as a fifth-grade teacher, I collaborated with principals to arrange assemblies that educated students about the serious and harmful outcomes of bullying. These assemblies helped students recognize that it is important to tell adults if they witness bullying, and that they can save someone’s life.

Justine Porretto, Smithtown