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NewsOpinionReaders Respond

Obama presidency has weakened America at home and abroad

ElectionsIsraelBarack ObamaIran

Gary Dorrien must have been wearing his comedy writer's cap when he wrote the preposterous claims that appear in his recent op-ed ("Stand with Obama," March 16). I know hardly where to begin.

Referring to the president, Mr. Dorrien wrote: "He helped to inspire, and adeptly responded to, a wave of democratic revolutions in the Arab world."

In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood — that fabled proponent of democracy — now comprises 75 percent of the country's parliament, which just announced that Israel is their "number one enemy." Some inspiration.

As for the Iranians, who sacrificed greatly in their 2009 attempted revolt, President Obama adeptly distanced himself, first through a scandalous silence, then with a few reluctant words. His failure to do everything in his power to support this popular revolution was unforgivable.

Mr. Dorrien lauds what has been a disastrous Obama foreign policy. The president pulled our forces out of Iraq against his military commanders' advice, knowing that country was too unstable to avoid civil war and the possible emergence of another Saddam Hussein.

Mr. Obama's Afghan withdrawal plan is unraveling, his efforts to reset relations with Russia so far have been a total failure, his dismantling of our nuclear weapons capability is foolish, and he sold our European allies out to Russia by canceling a Bush-era plan to establish anti-missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Meanwhile both Iran and North Korea have just announced plans to test long-range missiles — the Koreans previously launched such missiles in 1998 and 2009 — and Iran seems to be going full-bore in building a nuclear weapon that has but one avowed purpose: Israel's destruction.

On domestic issues, Mr. Dorrien writes that the president "stood up to the oil lobby on the Keystone XL pipeline." No: What Mr. Obama did was postpone the Keystone decision for political purposes until after the 2012 elections — in the process blocking at least 20,000 new jobs and keeping American consumers unnecessarily dependent on unpredictable regimes for our oil supply.

North America is sitting on twice as much oil as the combined reserves of every OPEC nation, according to the Institute for Energy Research. The Canadians will sell their oil to China, while Mr. Obama promises Brazil that American taxpayers will buy theirs.

President Obama "made an historic and enormous gain toward universal health care," Mr. Dorrien writes. Yet that law has become Increasingly unpopular as more appears about the program's true cost to taxpayers.

The Congressional Budget Office just announced that Obama's claim of a $900 billion cost will nearly double to $1.76 trillion. More critically, the American Association of Medical Colleges says there will be a shortage of 62,900 doctors within the next five years, and 150,000 fewer doctors over the next 15 years.

The president's health care reform will add at least 30 million patients to an already overburdened government health care system, which will collapse. Common sense says more patients can't be treated with fewer doctors.

Mr. Obama also made major investments in "clean energy," Mr. Dorrien writes. This of course includes failed solar panel maker Solyndra — $535 million in federal stimulus money wasted.

In February, the Washington Post detailed Mr. Obama's suspicious connections to the industry, reporting that "$3.9 billion in federal grants and financing flowed to 21 companies backed by firms with connections to five Obama administration staffers and advisers."

Finally, Mr. Dorrien writes that the president "has represented the United States with consummate dignity."

Is he saying the president's embarrassing apology tours blaming our great country for the world's ills, and those servile bows before foreign leaders were dignified? Silly me for not catching that.

William Hagerty, Escondido, Calif.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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