Obama's Mid-East policy

08/12/2014 2:08 PM

08/13/2014 8:53 AM

Re "Obama's Foreign Policy" (Viewpoints, Aug. 12): Declaring President Obama's foreign policy a failure, Michael Gerson attributes it to two seminal events that occurred in 2011: "to stay out of the Syrian conflict and to passively accept the withdrawal of all U. S. ground forces from Iraq."

Regarding the Syrian conflict, Gerson leaves out a central fact, i.e., President Obama's expressed preference to get involved militarily in Syria, but not without congressional approval. Congress dithered and didn't act. Had he acted as he preferred, Republicans would now be lambasting him for acting like a dictator.

Second, regarding the withdrawal of American soldiers from Iraq in 2011, this was the end date of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) negotiated by George W. Bush. The Iraqi government would not agree to continue protections for our forces contained in the original SOFA, so the president withdrew the troops.

Let's not let Republicans get away with rewriting history.

-- Robert N. Wiens, Sacramento

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