Opinion

June 9, 2014

Letter: Weakness?

Weakness in foreign policy seems to be in the eyes of the beholder. When Russia invaded Georgia in 2008 conservatives gathered around George W. Bush for a hand-wringing session. Charles Krauthammer declared it beyond our control and more or less an internal problem that Bill O’Reilly agreed with. John Bolton and the Heritage Foundation threw up their hands and said there was no easy answer. They did nothing. So why is anybody astounded that Vladimir Putin moved into Crimea?

Sixty-three embassy workers and many others died in 13 terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies during George W. Bush’s presidency, not counting the attacks in Iraq. Some embassies were attacked several times and yet Bush and the Republicans didn’t increase protection. Remember David Foy? I didn’t think you would. He died in the third Karachi terrorist attack in four years in 2006. Congressional investigations? No.

The British and Red Cross had left Benghazi earlier declaring it unsafe. U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens was offered military protection twice before the attack and refused. Stevens was in Benghazi to talk to the Turkish ambassador but the Turkish embassy in Tripoli was a much safer place. The militias had given several warnings weeks before the attack that they would retaliate on 9/11 for the killing of one of their leaders. The Republican-led Armed Forces Committee assigned no blame to the military over Benghazi. The Chattanooga Times Free Press has reported constant military unrest in Libya including attacks on the government in Tripoli and fighting Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi.

Ambassador Stevens died of smoke inhalation for his miscalculation and it doesn’t matter which group is responsible. We know who the leader was that attacked the U.S. compound in Benghazi and like Osama bin Laden we will get him sooner or later. But Republican Darrell Issa wants another investigation costing millions more. In my opinion, the shame is the GOP’s  for using Benghazi and the death of four Americans as a fundraiser.

Russians and other wealthy international clients have long used U.S. real estate as a shelter for their cash. Obama has signed executive orders directing sanctions against Russian officials, 515 financial institutions and banks. Now Republicans want military equipment and training the Ukrainians with joint exercises in Poland. The Veterans Affairs hospitals are already full of war veterans that Republicans have refused to pay for. Just because you have the biggest hammer doesn’t mean every problem is a nail, or was Bush right in 2008?

David Bean

Chatsworth

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