Lack of US leadership creating unstable world

Re: "GOP moves to block Hagel from secretary of defense post," Feb. 15

I fear that President Obama's abrogation of the United States' leadership role is a repetition of our post-World War I policies of disengagement, for which the nation and the world paid a high price, and is contributing to an increasingly unstable world. The nomination of Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense is a clear indication of the president's unrealistic and dangerous worldview.

Disregarding what had been the guiding principles of past U.S. administrations, Obama has failed to support our friends, such as former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and is not forcefully confronting our enemies, such as Iran.

His polices of disengagementweaken our military capabilities and diminish our position as the leading power in the world. The vacuum created by these policies is increasingly being filled byIran, the archenemy of the United States, whose Islamic extremism is responsible for thousands of casualties in Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries.

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The absence of leadership and resolve by this administration has encouraged other nations to act on their own, such as in Libya and Mali. Israel may also be forced to act against Iran, and perhaps even Syria, to eliminate the chemical weapons that are now threatening its survival.

-- Ruben Moller


Cal Thomas was right -- in 1994

Re: "Ben Carson owes Obama an apology," Feb. 11

Cal Thomas thinks that Dr. Benjamin Carson's comments at the National Prayer Breakfast were out of line, and that he owes President Obama an apology. Ironically, the Thomas of 1994 apparently disagrees.

During the 1994 Prayer Breakfast, Mother Teresa delivered a powerful indictment of abortion and abortion policy, to the immense discomfort of President and Mrs. Clinton, and Al and Tipper Gore, who were in attendance. At the time, Thomas applauded her address as "the most startling and bold proclamation of truth to power I have heard in my more than 30 professional years in Washington."

In stark contrast, Thomas said Carson "broke with a 61-year-old tradition and publicly disagreed with some of the president's policies, such as Obamacare, taxation and the national debt." He then said: "While many might agree with his positions ... voicing them at the National Prayer Breakfast in front of the president was the wrong venue."

Thomas might reply that abortion is a moral issue, and he would be right. However, policies like Obamacare, taxation and the national debt are saddling our children with crushing debt they may never be able to pay off. Is this not immoral as well?

The 1994 Thomas got it right. The 2013 Thomas gets it wrong.

-- Jon Garber


World's largest creditor now its biggest debtor

Re: "GOP needs a 'Hamiltonian' jobs-creating agenda," Feb. 11

What a surprising breath of fresh air! Robert Patterson, a former "W" staffer, finally understands that the central issue is not how the income tax pie is divided, but how the size of the pie keeps shrinking due to decades of manufacturing loss.

Our trade profile today is that of a Third World nation, exporting predominantly scrap and agricultural products. Few high- or medium-value-added items, from autos to toasters, are made in the USA anymore. Petro-backed dollars mask the fact that in one generation, we have gone from being the world's largest creditor nation to the world's largest debtor nation.

Our so-called leaders must stop listening to Wall Street and international corporations and start listening to Main Street.All their bluster about reviving the economy is so much hot air when one realizes, as Paul Craig Roberts has pointed out, "There's no economy left to revive."

-- Milton W. Grenfell