Email letters, Sept. 14, 2012

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The latest desperately empty theme in Romney-Ryan’s faith-based campaign asserts that President Obama demonstrates inadequate “resolve” in combating America’s enemies.  According to one Romney adviser (who also counseled Geroge Bush), had Romney been President, none of the turmoil in the Middle East would have ever happened!

Such assertions appeal to a misguided version of “American exceptionalism” – that, “with God on our side”, the U.S. can not only “influence” and/or “shape” world events, but indeed control them.  No idea has proven more profoundly dangerous to our national security.

In 1983, President Reagan demonstrated “resolve” by sending U.S. Marines to “control” events in Lebanon.  On October 23, 1983, 299 U.S. and French personnel were killed by suicide bombers.  While Reagan vowed “resolve”, he withdrew all American forces from Lebanon 105 days later.

In 1990, President George H. W. Bush demonstrated “resolve” by organizing a genuinely international coalition to oust Saddam Hussein from Kuwait – but not from power in Iraq (fearing unintended consequences).

In 1993, President Clinton demonstrated “resolve” by committing limited U.S. forces to Mogadishu, Somalia.  On October 3-4, the events dramatized in “Black Hawk Down” occurred, resulting in more American casualties.  While Clinton also vowed “resolve”, all U.S. and U.N. forces were withdrawn by March 1994.

In March 2003, President George W. Bush demonstrated “resolve” by invading Iraq, then declared “Mission Accomplished” on May 1, but stood haplessly by as events spun out of his “control” – resulting in 4400 Americans KIA, and 32,000 wounded, at and least $2 trillion in wasted “treasure” (more damage than Bin Laden could have hoped to inflict).

Thus, Romney should be asked “at what price, ‘resolve’?” – and when will he “resolve” to convincingly disavow his Evangelical Christian supporters who – now with American blood on their hands—still revel in fomenting violent unrest in the Muslim world?

                Bill Hugenberg

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