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

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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

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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

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

Paul Carter, Long Beach

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