Did Russia, Iran help gas Syrians?
I joined Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla) in asking Secretary of State Rex Tillerson whether Russian or Iranian forces were aware of or involved with chemical weapons at Shayrat air base in Syria ("U.S. missiles hit Syrian base," Friday).
I am deeply concerned about Russia and Iran's potential complicity in Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's chemical-weapons attack. Involvement in Assad's chemical-weapons program would violate the Chemical Weapons Convention, to which Russia, Iran, and Syria are signatories. Russia's continued denial of the Assad regime's chemical-weapons attack against its own citizens, in addition to the reported location of Russian and Iranian forces at Shayrat air base, leads us to question the complicity of Russia and Iran in this attack.
— Robert Casey, U.S. senator, Scranton
Was U.S. bombing warranted?
Here I sit, after the U.S. air strike on a Syrian air base, plagued by too many questions:
How can the president spend millions of dollars to bomb a base that was able to launch warplanes just hours later, yet say that we can't fully fund education, Meals on Wheels, or the Affordable Care Act?
How is it acceptable for the president to inform Russia, who we assume informed Assad, of his plans to bomb Syria in response to the chemical-weapons attack on civiilans before informing Congress?
Considering the ongoing investigation into this administration's Russian ties, shouldn't Congress insist on being informed before the president takes military action that may involve Russia?
How can the lack of an announced comprehensive strategy not appear to be an organized distraction?
How can we compel Congress to stay focused on the effects of Russian influence on the 2016 election and on this administration?
If we wish to help Syrian children, couldn't several million dollars be much better spent on humanitarian aid?
How can our citizenry not view this attack on Syria as a wag-the-dog strategy, yet another diversion to distract their focus from the upcoming hearings regarding Russian involvement in the administration?
— Kathleen Iannacone, Williamstown
Trump takes action
There are those who will stand by while Syrian President Bashar al-Assad murders civilians but are ready to accept the survivors. Others will stand by, but will not accept the survivors. The third group will try to stop the murders.
Apparently President Trump has shifted from category two to category three.
— Arthur Rabin, Wynnewood
Syria is Obama's mess
Remember when President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and national security adviser Susan Rice turned Syria over to the Russians, ignoring their "red line" and claiming all the chemical weapons were gone? Today, there are millions of Syrian refugees, hundreds of thousands of Syrians killed, chemical-weapon attacks, and the Russians keeping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power.
Liberal Democrats have the audacity to ask President Trump, "What's your plan?" Too bad they didn't ask Obama the same question.
Trump could have done what the Obama administration did - turn away and let Syrians die. Instead, he chose to protect the innocent from chemical-weapons attacks. Sounds like a good plan.
I'm proud to be an American again.
— John Carr, Washington Crossing
Toomey all about politics
Sen. Pat Toomey's commentary defending his support for Justice Neil Gorsuch was mysteriously quiet about Judge Merrick Garland ("Allow bipartisan majority to confirm Gorsuch," Friday). Toomey and his GOP colleagues ignored Garland specifically because he was nominated by the opposition president, and the Republican-controlled Senate reneged on its role to conduct a hearing.
Toomey provided a detailed defense of Gorsuch's qualifications but ignored Garland's excellent background using the same criteria. His partisan finger-pointing was insulting to all Pennsylvania residents and infuriating in the lasting, anti-constitutional effect that it will surely have.
Shame on his partisan politics. For a senator who professes desire for bipartisanship, he takes every opportunity to show us that his party trumps country.
— Alan Woronoff, Dresher
Garland deserved seat on Court
I agree with Sen. Pat Toomey's commentary that Justice Neil Gorsuch is a man of integrity and exceptional intelligence. It is just shameful that Toomey voted for him to fill a seat that rightly belonged to another man of integrity and intelligence, Judge Merrick Garland. That will always be a mark against the Republican Party.
— Sarah Asciutto, Drexel Hill
Coleman 'a giant among men'
I was saddened by the death of legendary civil-rights lawyer William T. Coleman Jr. ("Legal community recalls a leader," Monday). What most Philadelphians don't know is that they owe Coleman a large debt of gratitude.
As President Gerald Ford's secretary of Transportation, Coleman shepherded the final phase of construction and completion of the $310-million Commuter Tunnel. He made a special trip to Philadelphia to meet with Mayor Frank Rizzo. As the mayor's press secretary, I was privileged to attend this important meeting. Coleman's complete knowledge of this massive project and his quiet demeanor was extraordinary.
During the country's Bicentennial, I met kings, queens, and heads of state. No one was more impressive than William Coleman. He was, indeed, a giant among men.
— Kenneth S. Mugler, Doylestown, firstname.lastname@example.org