Get Opinion in your inbox -- sign up for our weekly newsletter
Readers React
Opinion Readers React
Readers React

How much can Obama really do outside the U.S.?

To the editor: Max Boot is long on criticism but short on useful advice. ("Obama needs to work on his foreign policy, not his golf game," Op-Ed, July 29)

He says we should have "trained" the Libyan army, because that worked so well in Iraq. What should we do in the Middle East? Tell the Israelis to live with rocket fire, or tell the Palestinians to accept settlers taking their land?

And as for Russia, if the Europeans want to end President Vladimir Putin's military adventurism, all they have to do is ruin their economy by turning off their supply of Russian natural gas. There is not much President Obama can do there besides starting a war with a nuclear power, which I don't think even Boot would advise.

So go ahead and golf, Mr. President, because adding fuel to the numerous fires around the world would not likely work.

Steve Harrington, Cardiff


To the editor: Boot was too kind in his assessment of Obama's foreign policy, or lack thereof.

The president should consult with the U.S. Marine Corps, which would inform him that he can't "lead from behind" (his doctrine in Libya) successfully. To lead effectively you must lead from the front. There is no such thing as leading from behind.

Surely this much is obvious now that Obama's foreign policy is a failure.

David R. Gillespie, Bonita


To the editor: It struck me as ironic that on your July 30 Op-Ed page, you printed Boot's piece next to Doyle McManus' column, "Is global chaos the new normal?"

With the former featuring a recent picture of our president golfing, it seems evident that Boot simply has not caught on to what Obama and McManus so clearly have: that there is only so much a sitting president can do to heal the afflictions of the world.

That being so, he might as well — like Ronald Reagan chopping wood at his Santa Barbara County ranch — blow off some steam by playing a few rounds of golf.

William P. Bekkala, West Hollywood


To the editor: The world is learning that, unfortunately, America's amateur hour will last eight years.

Paul Carter, Long Beach

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
  • It's not 'the environment vs. jobs' anymore

    To the editor: The conclusion in the UC Berkeley study that stronger requirements for renewable energy would create jobs is another piece of evidence that California has known for a long time. Renewable energy regulations have helped to make California a leader in the country in creating jobs,...

  • L.A. can't fill all its potholes, but it wants the Olympics. That's insane.

    L.A. can't fill all its potholes, but it wants the Olympics. That's insane.

    To the editor: I don't live in Los Angeles anymore, but I still have an affinity for the city where I grew up, so I have to ask: Did anyone see the irony or humor in the juxtaposition of the headlines on Sunday's front page? ("Inequity is 'baked in' when it comes to L.A. city services; where you...

  • Don't take away retired cops' concealed guns

    To the editor: The Times believes that retired police officers should not be exempt from laws restricting firearms possession at schools. California law allows an honorably retired peace officer to carry a concealed weapon with the approval of the officer's agency from which he retired. Concealed-carry...

  • How the new $95,000 hepatitis C drug is really a bargain

    To the editor: Regarding the exorbitant price of Harvoni, the new hepatitis C drug, David Lazarus writes that it costs $95,000 for a course of treatment. This is misleading. ("Here's why drugmakers are held in low esteem," column, Aug. 28)

  • Don't build a new county jail until reforms are in place first

    To the editor: Bad jails will get less bad, less crowded and safer if Los Angeles County starts using long-standing strategies to reduce the inmate population while it develops experience with the reductions and diversions being newly considered. Then it will know what facilities we need. ("Men's...

  • Calabasas High football: Why so many transfers so soon?

    To the editor: When I was an assistant principal at a west San Fernando Valley high school, one of my tasks was to be certain that coaches, students and parents were obeying all the residency rules regarding athletics. We managed to stay “legal” — but too often, just barely. ("What's up with all...