Letters: A neocon message on Ukraine

Protesters wearing gas masks hold Ukrainian national flags as they picket the Ukrainian House during a round table talks on Friday between Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, former presidents and leaders of the opposition.
(Genya Savilov / AFP/Getty Images)

Re “Ukraine’s drama, Obama’s weakness,” Opinion, Dec. 12

John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has some knowledge and perspective on foreign affairs. But his argument that events in Ukraine are important to the West would be more persuasive if he could refrain from bashing President Obama.

Whether Ukraine and Georgia remain in the Russian sphere of influence or perhaps join the European Union may be very important to the citizens of those countries. The economic stakes would be quite high.

But having those former Soviet states in NATO would be much more problematic. From both a political and practical point of view, drawing them into NATO would involve us making a commitment that maybe shouldn’t be made.


Besides, this issue is far less pressing than the political and economic issues here in the United States.

Paul Moser III

Studio City

Neoconservative Bolton cites Obama’s weakness in Ukraine’s civil conflict. Presumably to appear balanced, he mentions that Republicans also overlook this issue.

Is Bolton running out of complaints about Obama, or is this simply a lame excuse to launch into such propaganda as “the failure of America’s national leadership,” “Obama’s inattention to national security,” “hard to imagine that Obama gives even a passing thought to Ukraine’s drama” and, my favorite, “if America lacks such leaders, we face no higher priority than finding new ones, and fast”?

Bolton even trivializes Obama’s success in having Osama bin Laden killed.

The only point on which I agree with Bolton is that “politics is often a blood sport.” But not just in totalitarian countries. We’ve got plenty right here.

Julie-Beth Adele

Long Beach

In criticizing Obama for his supposed inattentiveness to the events in Ukraine, Bolton never really explains what the president should do.

Expressing outrage and vitriol at Obama is what Bolton does best. But look closely. His real beef is with NATO and not putting Ukraine on a pathway toward membership.

One can argue whether that makes for good policy or not, but look at the date: That summit where we supposedly missed our chance occurred in April 2008, when George W. Bush was president. Shameful.

Edgar Kaskla

Long Beach


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