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Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | SEPTEMBER 18, 2013 5:00 AM

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Obama has mishandled situation in Syria  

In 2009, President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” This week, he was drawn from the warpath to the table of diplomacy and cooperation only by Vladimir Putin, that former KGB agent turned international peacekeeper. What a difference four years makes.

The University of Iowa College Republicans actually approves Obama’s overarching policy goals during this Syrian crisis. We think, however, that he and his administration dropped the ball when the time came for the United States to take decisive military action to stop the massacre in Syria.

The president has since been bailed out by Putin after Obama was unable to persuade the world that military action was necessary — or that America’s threat of force was even credible, despite his now-infamous “red line” comment. Clearly, Obama’s handling of the situation has been nothing short of a fiasco.

Although the blame must eventually fall on the president, other members of his administration are also at fault — including Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

Kerry, who once criticized President Bush’s 40-country Iraq Coalition as too small, has only gathered a group of 24 countries to support action in Syria, and Hagel has been practically absent from the discussion of our tactical response. The failure of these men to do their jobs is a direct result of Obama’s failed leadership.

After gaining a political victory by accusing the Bush administration of lying about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Obama should not be surprised that many Republicans doubted his administration’s Syrian intelligence. But this time, Obama has received support from key Republicans in both the House and Senate — including Speaker John Boehner and Sen. John McCain.

Just a few short days ago, Congress could have approved military intervention with bipartisan support. But Obama’s mishandling of international affairs — made all too obvious by Putin’s recent piece in the New York Times — have since derailed any chance of congressional approval, turning his “red line” comment into an empty threat and destroying America’s international credibility. It appears that this Nobel Peace Prize laureate is now nothing more than a failed, lame-duck diplomat.

University of Iowa College Republicans


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