Obama fails at diplomacy

I write in reply to your editorial, "A new security plan" (May 29). You praise President Obama's security strategy that calls for diplomacy first as a triumph of common sense. You say Republicans will no doubt jump on the Obama strategy.

Leaving the Republicans out, I believe President Obama, despite his grandiloquence in favor of diplomacy over war, knows little about the age old art of negotiating.

He has ordered far more drone attacks in Pakistan against terrorists breeding in that country's tribal areas than his predecessor, President Bush. Despite Pakistan's show of cooperation in the "war on terror," the Pakistani people are not too happy with America's high-handedness and violation of Pakistan's sovereignty. President Obama, his much vaunted diplomacy notwithstanding, is behind a good proportion of that unhappiness.

The Israeli Palestinian peace process under Obama has been nothing more than a case of George Mitchell shuttling between two implacable enemies, an indirect, mostly unproductive venture. The relationship between Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama can hardly be described as warm and fuzzy.

Presently the Obama administration has a new and disastrous complication on its hands in the form of an Israeli commando raid, on the high seas, on a flotilla of ships full of Arab protesters who were trying to bring humanitarian aid to the suffering Palestinians of Gaza. Several Arab civilians died in the raid and Turkey, which supported the flotilla's violation of the Gaza blockade. That country, once an ally of Israel, now seems quite bellicose toward the Jewish state. With the entire Arab world in a probable uprising against Israel, indirect diplomacy is a pathetic Band-Aid to apply to the bleeding gash.

Diplomacy has given Americans not a scintilla of hope that Iran will give up its nuclear ambitions. In fact, wily President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been preening more than ever and has declared Iran's nuclear dreams non-negotiable.

Meanwhile remorseless North Korea has torpedoed and sunk a South Korean navy ship killing 46 South Korean sailors. Hillary Clinton has asked the Chinese to condemn North Korea and this strategy of imploring the Chinese to cooperate seems to be the crux of the Obama approach to North Korea's lunacies.

Your euphoric editorial endorsing the Obama paean to diplomacy is all well and good, but realities on the ground show that the Obama administration is more about demagoguery and less about successful or useful action when it comes to negotiations with hostile parties.

President Obama's call for a strong domestic economy to make our nation more secure is a laugh. Why has this not materialized as yet? Every day your paper continues to report about states going broke, people going broke and "no money, no jobs" being the country's mantra.

In a world grown increasingly dangerous, where American economic power is on the wane, from what I've seen of the sophomoric and weak diplomacy coming out of the Obama White House, I wouldn't go gaga over President Obama's national security strategy as you have done in your editorial.

Usha Nellore, Bel Air

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