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Letter: GOP hinders Obama's foreign policy

President Barack Obama speaks on Sept. 23, 2014,

President Barack Obama speaks on Sept. 23, 2014, about the recent airstrikes in Syria against the Islamic State. He was on the South Lawn of the White House. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Win McNamee

Ted R. Bromund's column "President Obama talks big, acts small" [Opinion, Oct. 19] is a typical condemnation from the influential conservative group The Heritage Foundation. For example, Bromund states that President Barack Obama lacks "a competent, sustained follow-up" and infers that Obama's foreign policy actions are trivial. However, Obama is not all to blame.

While I am not a fan of the president's second term, I believe Bromund is manipulating information. For example, he states that the United States had "disbursed less than a third of its promised aid" to Haiti. That's because the Republicans in the Senate have held up billions in spending that would have provided money for various agencies. Haiti is apparently less important than politics.

In addition, Bromund mentions the "Islamist terrorists" Boko Haram are still advancing in Nigeria. Unfortunately, the Senate has not acted quickly on nominations for ambassadors to Cameroon or Niger. This complicates counterterrorism operations to oppose Boko Haram, which abducted more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls. It isn't a "foreign problem" making "the administration look bad," as Bromund states. Instead, it's the politics.

What is not trivial, as the November elections approach, is that Bromund's clouded comments will affect decisions. As it is, if the Republicans win the Senate, they probably would deny Obama any future success. As an example, former Republican Ohio Sen. George Voinovich said, "If he was for it, we had to be against it."

In any kind of crisis, this type of politics affects all Americans.

Peter Scott, St. James


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