The votes are in on President Obama’s foreign policy, and like Dewey in 1948, the Republicans are declaring victory. As in that media fiasco of yesteryear, the press seems determined to be the megaphone for Republican nonsense.
Exhibit A: An Associated Press article (Beacon Journal, “Obama rudderless on Mideast policy,” Jan. 12) bases its criticism on the views of Republican Obama-hater Sen. Lindsey Graham and diplomat James F. Jeffrey, an architect and implementer of America’s Iraq policy under President George W. Bush. The article cites the president’s inability to control events in the Middle East as a proof of a policy failure. Whatever became of his magic wand?
Exhibit B: David Ignatius’ Jan. 13 column, “How did the president’s foreign policy get so broken?”, takes as its text the negative parts of Robert Gates’ recently published memoirs, in which the former secretary of defense, a major player on Bush’s foreign policy team, is said to take issue with Obama’s lack of strategic vision.
Unfortunately, Ignatius fails to report Gates’ praise for almost all of Obama’s policy decisions.
What is Obama’s Mideast strategy? Don’t commit American lives and treasure unless American interests are clear and outcomes reasonably predictable. Use military power as the answer of last resort. Act where we can succeed (Osama bin Laden, Moammar Gadhafi, Syrian chemical weapons, Iranian nuclear program). Avoid getting bogged down in sectarian or tribal quagmires (Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt).
After Reagan’s Iran-Contra scandal, Clinton’s Blackhawk Down, and George W. Bush’s “Mission Accomplished,” Obama looks like a foreign-policy genius.
Rush to judgment about the Browns
The obvious anti-Mike Lombardi bias of Marla Ridenour makes objectivity impossible (Jan. 10 column, “How can you let rising star go elsewhere?”).
She acts like Cleveland Browns assistant general manager Ray Farmer is with another franchise and can ride in on a white horse and save the day. He was in the room when many of the personnel decisions were made. I am sure he had input and some influence in those matters, even though he does not have final say.
And I am amused by Ridenour’s failure to mention trades made during the 2013 draft and how they will bolster the Browns’ position in 2014. Who made those moves?
It is way too soon to be judging anyone’s performance in the context of the long-term trajectory of the team. Time will tell. If the one-year job performance time-frame was unfair for Rob Chudzinski, then it’s unfair for Lombardi and company as well.
I watched John Wooten play at the old stadium as a kid. Good player and obviously a successful businessman. But to hear him say “that’s why we put him in Cleveland last year” is rather self-serving. I really don’t know if I want my general manager taking orders from John Wooten.
And the fact Ridenour promotes Farmer for general manager, in part because he is black, is embarrassing and a disservice to the man himself and his credentials, just as the Rooney Rule is a slap in the face to the many qualified black coaches around the NFL.
Everyone has their own opinions, but over-the-top, blatant bias has no place in the world of journalism, sports or otherwise.
Insensitive about Agent Orange
One does not receive a “bad rep” without a reason. Perhaps Batiuk and Ayers, the creators of the comic Crankshaft, and the Beacon Journal editor who allowed the Jan. 10 comic strip to be published need to see why.
Crankshaft makes fun of the “bad rep” that Agent Orange has to his garden club, and says “Hey … anything that can take out a jungle.…”
The authors and editor should be forced to spend a day, or longer, to see just why Agent Orange has such a bad rep. They should have to go to a VA or military hospital, and watch the brave Vietnam vets, like my husband, deal with the various cancers, heart problems, lung diseases and diabetes that this product brought on.
Perhaps then they would get why this is not, and never will be, a laughing matter. This comic is a slap in the face to all the soldiers who have had to deal with the consequences of having been in contact with Agent Orange for the past 45 years to 50 years. I hope God may forgive them one day, because I can’t think of anyone else who will.
Yes, the winter season is upon us. And once again, drivers are not using headlights. My fondest wish is for the police to begin randomly stopping and/or ticketing drivers to get the word out that it is dangerous driving in inclement weather without headlights.
My vehicle is red. Even red vehicles are dulled by rain and snow and by crud covering the hoods and roofs. Nearly every car is less visible in rain or snow.
Incidentally, the law says that when one uses windshield wipers, one must also turn on the headlights.
Mary F. Hazlett
Find a way to work together
I attended the Akron City Council meeting on Monday. I was there by request from a concerned citizen in regard to recent articles about Mayor Don Plusquellic and Councilman Russel Neal.
When I heard about the shoving incident on Dec. 16, it was very hard for me to believe what I was hearing. I graduated with Neal from Buchtel High School.
As long as I have known him, he has never been rude or disrespectful. I have known him to be quite the opposite. He was elected and re-elected for a number of reasons. One thing I can say for sure about him is that he is “good people,” someone who can be trusted.
We have crucial issues to address in our communities, and we want all of our elected officials to work together. If this issue is not dealt with openly and honestly between the parties involved, you can bet it will surface in passive-aggressive ways in the future. It is the citizens who suffer in the end.
I am part of a peacemaking ministry at The Chapel. We help churches, businesses, members and non-church members resolve conflicts in a healthy manner.
Some citizens are calling for ethics resolutions to be adopted. I believe that my friend and former classmate is willing to do what’s necessary to serve his ward and his city. I cannot say the same for our mayor only because I do not know him personally.
I challenge both parties as well as the council to show their fellow citizens and young people (such as the Peacemakers who work with Billy Soule) how adults — how men — resolve their differences.
It is the goal of our ministry, Peacemaking, to help parties in conflict to stay on top by getting real, gently engaging, going to higher ground and finding lasting solutions.
Regarding the Jan. 14 letter, “Put the arena on campus”: The last time I checked, part of the University of Akron campus, the Polsky Building, is downtown.
Also it is hard to miss all the new construction downtown that is new student housing. If students live in these new units downtown, wouldn’t it be convenient to attend events at an arena located in that area?
As a person on Medicare and Medicaid, I wonder how a wealthy doctor can make the comments in the Jan. 13 letter, “Two steps to curb ER admissions,” regarding tattoos and smart phones.
During a visit, most likely of less than 10 minutes, with a Medicaid patient, does the doctor ask if the tattoos are five, 10 or 20 years old? Or if that smart phone is paid for by a family member?
The doctor seems a perfect example of those who fail to understand the real world and life dealing with poverty among those who now finally qualify for Medicaid.
Such snooty attitudes have no place with those who need Medicaid.