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Obama ran on, and was elected by the people on, the promise of fighting in Afghanistan. Given the Taliban's policy, in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, of punishing girls for going to school by spraying battery acid in their eyes, I'd say it is a Good War.

Incipient democracy in Iraq is one of the important factors in the likely collapse of the Iran dictatorship.

Meanwhile, about Pakistan's nuclear weapons...?

These twin fronts in the global "game" are headed towards payoffs that will benefit humanity for centuries.

It is much too early to be definitive, but the prognosis looks excellent.

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby, PA

Jan 6 2010 - 2:20am

Web Letter

Since I didn't vote for Obama because of his idiot economic advisers, I can't claim to be disappointed in him. I am not happy with how he handles foreign policy, but he is better than George Bush. Except for Afghanistan, I probably agree with 90 percent of this article.

Much as I dislike George Bush, he didn't have Afghanistan as a target. It was always about the countries he mentioned in his "Axis of Evil" speech. 9/11 was the only reason we went into Afghanistan. As with Pearl Harbor, we were attacked from Afghanistan on 9/11. I did and still do support that war.

If Bush had concentrated on Afghanistan and properly sourced that conflict, instead of his "Axis of Evil" stupidity, it would not have taken eight years, and we would have been out of there by now. We fought a war on two fronts in WWII, and that war, for us, lasted four years! Neither Bush nor Obama have a clue about making war or peace.

We have two problems resulting from this conflict. Al Qaeda and the Taliban are "one problem." The second is the "cold war" between Pakistan and India. The Northern Alliance who defeated the Taliban was partially backed by India, and any government in Afghanistan must have a balanced relationship between Afghanistan and India, and must not be viewed as a a threat to Pakistan. While we may not be able to resolve the differences between Pakistan and India, perhaps we can mitigate the tensions between them along the border with Afghanistan. This border region cannot be controlled unless Afghanistan and Pakistan have cooperative relationship. It is in everybody's interest, including India, that this border area is controlled.

Pervis James Casey

Riverside, CA

Jan 2 2010 - 3:16pm

Web Letter

President Obama bragged lately that during his first year in the White House he proved to the American public he was capable of making tough and unpopular decisions. President Obama has made another wrong assessment. If the Americans were looking for people capable of making tough and unpopular decisions, we would have elected a Republican.

Mr. Obama got his chance because we were in desperate need of a leader capable of enacting smart, correct and helpful policies. If the Americans wanted the measures recently embraced by Mr. Obama, we would have elected Joe Lieberman president. As you know, Senator Lieberman articulated those views several years earlier than Mr. Obama.

It means that Mr. Obama has already failed his voters. Unfortunately, for some reason he believes that’s something positive.

I have never imagined saying this, but Mr. Obama is on the course of being a worse president than Mr. Bush.

All Bush’s wrong policies have been enlarged and enhanced by his successor. We are still in Afghanistan and Iraq, we have spread our military involvement to Pakistan and Yemen, our relation with Iran has deteriorated, there is no breakthrough or improvement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there is no deal in Kashmir and we are still supportive of dictators in Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. All of this means that our relationship with the Muslim world keeps deteriorating. If democracy were great for the people, shouldn’t our government work hard to bring it first to our friends and not to our enemies?

By the way, Mr. Obama used to be very critical of Mr. Bush for not balancing the budget. Does it mean he should be twice as critical of himself personally for doubling our federal budget deficit? However, Mr. Obama believes that he’s doing a great job by implementing old Bush policies.

Any president that stays on the same wrong course is worse than his predecessor.

Kenan Porobic

Charlotte, NC

Dec 25 2009 - 12:40pm