Letters to the Editor

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MIDEAST: Obama’s foreign policy follies

Letter by Brian T. Ward, Tacoma on Sep. 25, 2012 at 2:40 pm with 58 Comments »
September 25, 2012 2:46 pm

With the Middle East in desperate turmoil, the country and the world look to the United States, sometimes in spite, sometimes with hopeful pleas and sometimes (albeit rarely nowadays) fear. With America, and particularly the Obama administration’s foreign policy, under the microscope, I do not like what I see.

I see an administration blaming planned terrorist attacks that can be traced to al-Qaida on a cheap YouTube video that came out in July. I see a president making excuses for not bolstering the security on an embassy which the ambassador feared was in danger.

I see an elected leader of the world campaigning in Las Vegas days after anti-American violence started to spread like wildfire, claiming he doesn’t have time to meet with the Israeli prime minister but then turns around to go on the Letterman show, and choosing to appear on “The View” instead of meeting with world leaders while they are in New York for the U.N. General Assembly.

Obama should have no excuses. Despite what he might choose to believe, the recent happenings in the Middle East are more than a “bump in the road”; this is a world crisis. It should be no secret that Obama isn’t doing his job right.

Leave a comment Comments → 58
  1. SandHills says:

    Rather than wasting time arguing your entire letter Brian, I’ll stick to one that is really simple – where you seem to blame the President for the death of the Ambassador in Libya. It was that very same Ambassador who was given intel about security issues in Benghazi, yet HE made the call to go to a Consular office there which had yet been fully built up for required security. HE made the decision to go with just 2 hired guns (ex-SEALs) rather than taking any of the Marine Guard contingent. HE (the U.S. Ambassador, not POTUS) made that call. HIS decision can be compared to the four hikers on Rainier this past January, who still proceeded up the mountain after being told of deteriorating weather conditions.

    I would suspect that any smart terrorist had already staked out that territory, it was a soft target – not one that any Ambassador should have been, even with Marines. They must have seen this Ambassador fall into their hands – and with the added luck of a diversion of riots over that Mohammed film, they praised Allah for giving them this golden opportunity. But again, it wasn’t POTUS, anymore than Allah, who put the Ambassador in that situation – it was stupidity. But beyond the stupidity of an Ambassador who came from the Peace Corps (well that could be an excuse on his part), those ex-SEALS were getting paid a lot of money for their experience – so I guess they died for being “yes men”.

  2. Frankenchrist says:

    Usama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive thanks to our Commander in Cheif President Obama!

    Meanwhile, Mittens Robme continues to hide his wealth in Swiss and Cayman Island tax havens. C’mon, Willard! Let’s see those tax returns!

  3. claiming he doesn’t have time to meet with the Israeli prime minister

    Netanyahu himself stated on NBC’s Meet The Press that Obama has “met with me more than any other leader in the worldand I appreciate that.”

  4. menopaws says:

    You know what??? I am sooooo damn tired of these Fox News talking point letters……If the writers can’t bring something of their own to the letter—they should just be honest and direct enough to say which show they were watching to get this spin from. I have heard candidate Romney whining because Obama won’t meet with Nethanyahu. At a time when these demonstrations are ongoing because of some whack jobs horrible inflammatory movie, this President is WISE enough to figure out that a public meeting with Israel might make things worse on the ground for American embassies right now. Unlike Romney, he doesn’t want to inflame an already dangerous situation for American personnel. Plus, Mr. Nethanyahu has inserted himself into an American election………At this point, Bibi and Mr. Adelson need to stand down from attempting to control American foreign policy…..If their candidate wins they can tell HIM what to do……President Obama doesn’t take orders from Mr. Nathanyahu and I applaud him for that. This is well beyond the mental capacity of Mr. Romney and you should remember that American personnel may still be in danger before you flap your mouth……He didn’t think about that the day after the Ambassador was killed, did he?

  5. It’s about Israel’s defense strategy and survival. Stop thinking so narrowly.

    Sandhills, that was fairly cold. Coming from the PC the Ambassador was understandably not well versed in security. That responsibility falls on the State Department (Marines only provide embassy protection, but if someone can prove otherwise I’m open).

    There were warnings, besides the obvious date.

    You are taking an easier route than the admin, blaming the victim instead of the movie excuse.

  6. Netanyahu showed class and statesmanship. Thanks for pointing that out to meno. We all know how he really feels…

  7. Me thinks Mr. Ward a neo-con. That’s not so good since we know what they have brought us in the recent past. Repeating mistakes of the past is idiocy.

  8. Sonofwashington says:

    Your are right, CT8 – Security would be the responsibility of the State Department. But since the ambassador is the State Department’s highest ranking man on the ground, it would certainly be his decision as to the level of security he wanted for any given situation. He may well have felt that two guards would attract less attention than an armed contingent. Granted that in retrospect, he may well have made a bad decision that cost him his life.

    Your note that “There were warnings” is reminciscent of a old warning, “Bin Laden Determined to Attack U.S.” and recent revelations that it was just the last in a series.

  9. LeePHilI says:

    “I see an administration blaming planned terrorist attacks that can be traced to al-Qaida on a cheap YouTube video that came out in July. I see a president making excuses for not bolstering the security on an embassy which the ambassador feared was in danger.
    I see an elected leader of the world campaigning in Las Vegas days after anti-American violence started to spread like wildfire, claiming he doesn’t have time to meet with the Israeli prime minister but then turns around to go on the Letterman show, and choosing to appear on “The View” instead of meeting with world leaders while they are in New York for the U.N. General Assembly.”

    I see a Republican using a tragic incident for political gain(and failing). The only thing missing is a misrepresentation of a quote from Obama, but I’m certain that CT will make one up before the thread is closed.

  10. SandHills says:

    CT8, have you ever served at an Embassy? The Ambassador makes the call, based upon his security chief (a full time Foreign Service Officer, not hired guns). That Ambassador could have put Marines at that facility (less secure than actual Embassy), and actually could have called in for more as he sees it. For whatever reason, this Ambassador made the call to go to a less secure facility outside the Embassy, with only two hired guns, it was his call. The fact that there was also intel about poor security in Benghazi, well I wonder what posting his security chief gets next – it can’t be a good one – but better than the option those ex-SEALs got for being yes men to the whims of the Ambassador rather than insuring he had proper security.

    End of the day it was the poor decision of the Ambassador – just as my example for the hikers on Rainier. This isn’t about defending POTUS, it is a plain fact that gets overlooked – kind of like the trees/facts in the forest/dogma of GOP/Fox News

    I know you may want an argument for arguments sake since I don’t drink the GOP coolaid, but you need to pick an argument you may some actual experience in – and obviously, in terms of U.S. Embassy operations you do not.

  11. alindasue says:

    CT8 said, “It’s about Israel’s defense strategy and survival.”

    So, Israel’s defense is dependent on a meeting with a man half a world away…?

    Although her comments can occasionally be on the “extreme left” side, menopaws is correct to point out that a meeting with Israel’s leader right now could complicate an already volatile situation for our troops and diplomats on the ground in the middle east.

    Unlike Mitt Romney, President Obama has shown that he understands how his actions can have an effect on world politics. I may not like everything the president has done, but in this case he has definitely earned my respect.

  12. SandHills says:

    To clarify, Marines guard Embassy facilities, not all attached Consular buildings, but certainly those determined by an Ambassador – and proper security seems to have demanded that at the Benghazi Consulate building, given the general intel, and the fact that it appeared the Ambassador was spending the night there. Again, his mistake – he made the decision to go swimming with the seals with Great Whites also in the water (if my Rainier hiker analogy was not clear enough)

  13. Interesting to see such a Darwinian view.

    The SEALs volunteered to go, most likely sensing the danger for the ambassador. Your tone toward their death at the hands of terrorists is ridiculous (I cannot say on this forum what I really feel).

    This is not about FNC but about 4 Americans dead from a terrorist attack. One that should of been forecasted. The ‘blame the video’ crap is embarrassing to the Nation.

    Alindasue- dependent? I could argue both ways. But significant to both parties? You bet.

  14. SandHills says:

    CT8 you are still talking out your – (can’t say that either on this forum). Those EX-SEALs are getting upwards of $1000 per day, they are gung-ho by nature, but I would bet their fellow SEALs would say there was a definite breakdown between available intel and the Ambassador’s decision to be in Benghazi in the first place. It was a stupid decision – as decisions go that involve life and death.

    Making it a political issue, is that the higher road or “tone” you want to take?

    But I will always state the obvious, regardless of visions of others clouded by political dogma.

  15. The “hired guns” were also along on an intel mission concerning the tracking of MANPADS since the fall of Gaddafi.

    I agree security was woefully inadequate, however it is the ambassador’s call.

  16. You mean you want more brilliantly original comments like this one meno?
    “Usama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive thanks to our Commander in Cheif President Obama!”

  17. menopaws says:

    The Daily Beast had a huge article by Dan Ephron about how Nethayahu has lost the confidence of his cabinet……..According to their law, he cannot launch a strike against Iran without their vote and he doesn’t have them……..And, even though it was a secret meeting, it was leaked by one of them to the Israeli press. CT8—Pay attention—his days are numbered……….He managed to piss off his own cabinet………I am not the only person who thinks he is off the rails and out of control…….alindasue agrees that any meeting right now places American lives in danger……….How stupid are Romney’s neo-con buddies to make this an issue???..I notice our President just ignores this kind of stupid, dangerous sniping—you would be wise to pay attention to the silence as much as you do to the chatter. Smart people know when to stand down and let things calm down.

  18. LeePHilI says:

    All this talk about Navy SEALS reminds me of the one I worked with years ago. He ended up in prison for murdering his partner in a little theft ring they had going in marinas around Seattle….stealing equipment and reselling it.

    Confused better learn that SEALS are not GOD, just men trained to do a job and imperfect.

  19. What I see are a whole bunch of GOPhers forgetting that one of the main reasons we are disliked is that we invaded and occupied two Islamic countries.

  20. Congrats commies, you have sunk to a new low!!!

    You are an embarrassment to the Nation. Alindasue, slow down on the kool-aid. Any bit of moderate you had is gone, you simply manage to speak your opinion without getting personal. Good for you.

  21. LeePHilI says:

    I figured someone’s head would explode….

    Nothing like a fact to put someone over the edge.

  22. bobcat1a says:

    I know one group which is not in doubt about Obama’s serious intent to wipe out terrorism…it’s the remaining few leaders of Al-Qaida.

  23. LeePHilI says:

    Yeah….ask Al-Qaida what they think of Obama’s foreign policy.

    As I read this stuff, I’m reminded that Al-Qaida is a conservative segment of Islam.

  24. What fact? That type A men, real men, scare you? That SEALs and servicemen in general are beyond your comprehension?

    Soft = leftist. They need obamabucks to get ahead, govt interference in the market to gain an advantage over competitors, and love other people’s tax dollars. Pride in food stamps and welfare.

    Leftist heroes are Clinton and JFK, two men who treated women like trash. Yet a piece of propaganda like Fluke gets them fired up. Head in the sand. They hold Islam in high regard yet claim to champions of gay and women’s rights. Hypocrites.

    Shameful.

    Julia. Beer summit. $5+tril. Expanded war. Gitmo still open. A past crossed with terrorists. Abandoned his family in Africa. Raised by communists. Raised rich yet you all are in denial. No scholarly work. The list is endless.

  25. SandHills says:

    Wow CT8….

    You’re not preaching to the GOP choir on this forum, on the Left Coast? But it is leaving the left on this forum grinning from ear to ear. It is those very points you are trying to make that has lost the extra votes Romney-Ryan need beyond the GOP choir. So if those points above is at the heart of your hopes that Romney will get enough votes (and electoral votes) to defeat Obama, well you better resign yourself to the inevitable.

    Romney has already written off 47%, some of which may have voted for him – like all those retired folks in Florida – votes he needed. Even with those excluded by new voting rules, the tide has already turned. And yet Romney flip-flopped again today, he can’t help it – maybe because he is Mormon, they make stuff up as they go as a religion too.

  26. alindasue says:

    Sandhills,
    I am LDS too. We don’t “make stuff up” as we go. We actually have a set doctrine and belief system. Try actually learning a little bit about the church before you attribute Mitt Romney’s “flip-flopped” behavior to it. That’s his own personality – not the church.

    http://www.mormon.org

    CT8,
    Last I checked, this was the United States of America, not Israel. The Israeli prime minister should not be trying to dictate policy to our leaders. It takes a blind person to miss the fact that Israel is not 100% without blame in its conflicts with its neighbors.

    You often speak of our deficit and government spending, yet you seem to have no problem with the concept of American tax dollars going to arm a country whose prime minister wants our weapons and military support to plan a “preemptive” strike on its neighbor…

    I am not against Israel or anti-Semitic. I just feel it is very short sighted and foolhardy to treat Israel like it is the only country that matters in the Middle East – especially when such attitudes turn the local peoples against us and place our soldiers and diplomats in harms way.

  27. menopaws says:

    CT8—Logic and good common sense are just beyond all your talking points and spin, aren’t they? We are all communists because we agree with our President proceeding cautiously to protect the lives of American personnel currently serving in the Middle East. So, we are to place those lives in jeopardy for a PUBLIC meeting with Mr. Nethanayhu…..WHY?????? He has alienated his own cabinet, I think his insertion into American politics was both wrong….and stupid………Outside of stroking his enormous ego, why can’t this meeting be postponed until the situation over there is calmer??? What is to be gained for US? The answer is nothing. And we place American lives in jeopardy. Most of us on this blog understand what the President is doing……It is sensible and smart…….Save your barbs for another issue. You are dead wrong on this one.

  28. Congrats commies, you have sunk to a new low!!!

    ROTFLMAO!

    ct8 is throwing a tantrum because Sandhills, et al used facts and logic to demonstrate that his delusional interpretation on Libyan rebel attack of the consulate is….delusional.

    At least he isn’t repeating the b.s. about Ambassador Stevens – who died of smoke inhalation – and sodomy like 14Jimms is.

  29. lamofred says:

    When people move toward democracy, they throw off the shackles of empire. We threw off the shackles of King George. Now the Middle East is throwing off the empire. Who do you suppose the empire is?

  30. how is Israel NOT acting in their own self interest?

    Facts? That he was in charge? Wow. Very enlightening. Still blaming the victim, not Islamist extremism.

  31. LeePHilI says:

    CT8 says:
    Sep. 25, 2012 at 9:23 pm What fact? That type A men, real men, scare you? That SEALs and servicemen in general are beyond your comprehension?”

    AFter working with one that became a murderer and who was one of the least honest people I have ever met when putting together a business deal….what’s “type A” about that?

    You read to many men’s body building magazines.

  32. LeePHilI says:

    ‘too many’ LOL

    “They hold Islam in high regard yet claim to champions of gay and women’s rights”

    I heard something on a television show the other day….conservatives are very “surface” in their thinking. They can’t get beyond superficial issues.

    I for one, don’t hold any religion in “high regard”, much less Islam, which which I have many disagreements. At the same time, I don’t draw a blanket conclusion that all of Islam is bad.

    A conservative can’t see the forest for the trees.

  33. Frankenchrist says:

    I think CT8 just read the latest poll numbers and they sent him over the edge.

  34. Brian, I can’t tell whether you are a child, completely unaware or simply chose to ignore history – either way, your argument pure folly and transparently partisan. Look at Reagan’s record. There was a time when the GOP has a modicum of respect for the commander in chief no matter what. Now you guys are so desperate, you would gladly allow Israel to dictate when and where our young man and women should go fight another war. You are a disgrace. You are also on the endangered list, soon to be extinct by demographics.
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/target/etc/cron.

  35. LOL at Frankenchrist. Only one in a long line of dominoes about to tumble…

  36. LeePHilI says:

    “A temperament marked by excessive competitiveness and ambition, an obsession with accomplishing tasks quickly, little time for self-reflection, and a strong need to control situations.”

    Not necessarily what we want for a President, or for military for that matter.

    “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” is not a successful military slogan.

  37. Lardn$s, you are as guilty as anyone else characterizing an entire group by the actions of one man.

    Now, if it was thousands, geographically disbursed, over centuries, you might be on to something….

  38. averageJose says:

    Obama, Obama, we are all Osama

    “Throughout American history, there have been moments that call on us to meet the challenges of an uncertain world, and pay whatever price is required to secure our freedom. They are the soul-trying times our forbearers spoke of, when the ease of complacency and self-interest must give way to the more difficult task of rendering judgment on what is best for the nation and for posterity, and then acting on that judgment.

    Kooky

  39. averageJose says:

    obsession with accomplishing tasks quickly

    “We Have to Pass the Bill So That You Can Find Out What Is In It”

  40. SandHills says:

    alidasue,

    I am sure as a Mormon you will defend your religion…still, how many times has major tenets been changed by your “prophets” to meet realities of public opinion? Polygamy was dropped so Utah could gain statehood, baptism of holocaust victims was another…so yes I can see the connection of why Romney flip-flops.

    I am sure many on this forum have issues with Christianity, voiced much more fervently than anything negative posted about Islam or Mormonism. Most Christians let such slights pass, and those who want to argue these slights I see as being a bit insecure to be baited so easily. But next to Muslims, Mormons are the easiest to bait when it comes to the insecurities inherent in their particular faith.

  41. alindasue says:

    CT8 said, “how is Israel NOT acting in their own self interest?”

    Of course, Israel is acting in its own self interests. Everyone does. That’s never been debated – although I question whether threatening a preemptive strike on a country while surrounded by its potential allies is really in Israel’s best interest. Fortunately, most Israeli’s also question the wisdom of Netanyahu’s actions and he will hopefully be out of office soon.

    Either way, he has no business inserting himself into our presidential race.

  42. Is he endorsing a candidate? No. But, he can do whatever he feels is best for his nation.

  43. “I think CT8 just read the latest poll numbers and they sent him over the edge.”

    Romney may not be toast, but there are some pats of butter with his name on them. http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/26/politics/battleground-polls/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

  44. alindasue says:

    SandHills said, “Mormons are the easiest to bait…”

    How many other Christian religions face a whole industry devoted to printing “anti” literature and such widespread misinformation about their beliefs? Southern Baptists? No. Methodists? No. When was the last time you saw an anti-Catholic or anti-Amish tract? So maybe you can understand a bit why we might get a little defensive when our beliefs and practices are misrepresented.

    However, as I’ve stated before, I am not here to argue religion. If you don’t believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet or that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet, that’s fine. You are entitled to your beliefs and I am not going to make derogatory comments about them, whatever they are.

    All I ask is that if you have questions or concerns about someone’s religious beliefs that you learn something from actual adherents of the faith before commenting on them – whether it be Mormons, Amish, Muslims, Jews, or even Buddhists. All the issues you have brought up about Mormons in your above post have been addressed on both lds.org and mormon.org.

    As I’ve said, Mitt Romney’s tenancy to cater his political standing on issues to whomever he’s trying to win over at the moment and his apparent cluelessness about how his words affect international relations are products of his personality. While he may have been an okay governor, he lacks the strength of will and balanced diplomatic ability needed to be a major world leader.

  45. I’ll cut to the chase. After watching him bobble, rush to judgement, insult, flop, flip and wing-it when it comes to foreign policy, if anyone believes Romney is world crisis material then I have some prime real estate in Iran I’d like you to also buy.

    Mr. Ward, you get first dibs:)

  46. SandHills says:

    Alindasue,

    I rest my case about how easy Mormons are to bait…

    And continuing to reference those Mormon links is no different than CT8 referencing GOP.org or FoxNews.com…

    eHill (Lee?) – as I had posted before, those retirees in Florida ain’t buying what Romney-Ryan is selling about Medicaid/Medicare….which is elect me first and we’ll let you know then (when they already know Ryan’s plan – as the “intellectual” side of the ticket has already pushed a voucher system).

    The thing is, whether it is personal tax returns or specific policies, what we don’t know is only part of the problem many (especially those not drinking the GOP or Democrat flavors of coolaid) have with Romney-Ryan, because the little we do know is bad enough.

  47. Frankenchrist says:

    Two potential election night parties:

    1) Romney wins – Ultra-wealthy discuss how to shaft the 99%. Next morning those who celebrated at KKK & Tea Party rallies learn that they’re not part of Romney’s inside team. Dick Cheney arrives to discuss Iran.

    2) Obama wins – Economy continues to improve. Sound, thoughtful approach to economic and global issues. Inclusive celebration that looks like American 4th of July party. Republicans disgraced and humiliated.

  48. alindasue says:

    SandHills,

    If I wanted to know the Republican’s stand on issues, I WOULD go to gop.com (redirected from gop.org). I wouldn’t look on democrat.org because all GOP references would be slanted and distorted on that site.

    That’s the very point I was making. Whether it be religion or politics – you don’t ask a Libertarian what the Green Party stand on issues is.

    Interestingly enough, through our own methods, we do both seem to agree about the Romney/Ryan ticket this election.

  49. SandHills says:

    alindasue,

    believe it or not…I have been to those sites, just as I have read the Koran (and since only the Arabic version is supposedly the only truth I guess my knowledge is suspect too).

    But just like Romney, it isn’t so much what I don’t know about those two religions (and Islam is much more open than Mormonism) that is the basis of my opinion…its what I do know. So until I am allowed to be in the inner sanctum for your Mormon “rites” – marriage is one example that is not open even to the parents of the bride and groom who do no “tithe” – so I guess I, as most who don’t tithe to LDS, will always be kept in the dark into many of the aspects of Mormonism.

    So yes, a vote for Romney would be like a non-Mormon ever knowing much about what Mormonism truly is all about….you have to go on faith that you will only find out what he is all about after he is elected. And the GOP.org/FoxNews.com reference to understand what Romney stands for is exactly like going to your sites to understand Mormonism – it can’t be done unless you drink the coolaid first.

  50. took14theteam says:

    “Either way, he has no business inserting himself into our presidential race.”

    If I could post pictures here, I would show Algore shaking hands with the Chinese at his fund raisers.

    More selective outrage from the left.

  51. “If I could post pictures here, I would show Algore shaking hands with the Chinese at his fund raisers.”

    That’s because (1) you don’t know how to post pictures, and (2) even if you did, there are no pictures of Al Gore shaking hands with Chinese citizens at his fundraisers because (3) you’re lying. Al Gore didn’t accept any donations from overseas.

    More selective lies from the wrong wing.

  52. end of italics

  53. took14theteam says:

    Message Messenger DB_hill….

    You post a picture on this forum to show us how it is done.

    I have the jpeg of algore on a thumb drive waiting to upload.

    Please enlighten me O’BTDT.

  54. Meanwhile, in America,
    Over 1000 Pastors Set To Defy IRS, Redefine ‘Separation Of Church And State’

    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/09/24/over-1000-pastors-set-to-defy-irs-redefine-seperation-of-church-and-state/

    If they are successful it is another step towards the Christian theocratic state envisioned by the Dominionists……I can’t wait till the American version of the Taliban starts patrolling the streets to enforce morality laws.

  55. averageJose says:

    Parnoia much?

    I wonder if Rev. Jesse Jackson and his ilk will stop defying the IRS.

  56. ilk

    OK – your choice of italicized word evoked a smile.

  57. RE: Jesse Jackson – please follow the link to the lyrics of Frank Zappa’s Rhymin’ Man – I agree with FZ’s take on him.
    http://www.mp3lyrics.org/f/frank-zappa/rhymin/

  58. ehill wrote: end of italics
    _______________________________________________________

    At last, an ehill comment that we can all agree on.

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