Presidents & war

As a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and Unity Spiritual Center of Waco, I am opposed to all war. I am very concerned about expanding U.S. military actions around the world. But even those who are not opposed to all war can agree that the U.S. Constitution states Congress has the authority to decide when our country goes to war. However, the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force have been used by three presidents to justify at least 41 military engagements in no fewer than 18 countries, according to the Congressional Research Service.

According to the Feb. 4 New York Times article, “End the War in Afghanistan,” more than 17 years after President Bush was given Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists, the U.S. military is engaged in missions in 80 nations on six continents. The price tag, which includes Afghanistan and Iraq and increased spending on veterans’ care back home, will reach $5.9 trillion by the end of fiscal year 2019.

As a first step toward reasserting Congress’s constitutional authority over decisions of war and peace, I urge Republican Congressman Bill Flores to co-sponsor Rep. Barbara Lee’s 2001 AUMF Repeal Bill and that Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas support a bill being introduced in the Senate that mirrors Lee’s bill.

More war has not brought more peace. Congress must acknowledge failed U.S. war policies have contributed to more instability. A foreign policy that looks for warning signs, invests in peace-building and engages in robust debate prior to authorizing any military attack will make the world safer.

Sandra Horne, Waco

Magnolia magic

I hope city planners, developers and entrepreneurs excited by the Magnolia Market magic will pause in their planning to consider needs other than shopping and dining. Tourists and locals need open spaces and planned areas where they can relax and enjoy surroundings, people-watch, climb, play and release energy, enjoy a cup of coffee, splash in a water pond or bask in sunshine.

Fort Worth’s Sundance Square is one example of how public spaces contribute to the wellbeing of a city and actually enhance that shopping and dining experience deemed so important to developers. Take a page from Magnolia’s handbook and note how much of the silo site is designated for play, relaxation, meandering and enjoying a sit-and-chat in lovely outdoor surroundings. They remembered the importance of public restrooms too!

Sally Martin, Waco

Fair, thorough

Trib opinion editor Bill Whitaker’s column in the Jan. 19 paper on the Hewitt City Council was excellent. The article was very fair, detailed and thorough.

Bob Potter, Hewitt