Letter: Figley fails to see big picture

Mr. Mark Figley certainly takes the “short” view: “Obama surrenders U.S. to Putin.” Rather than start with Vladimer Putin’s speech before the United Nations General Assembly regarding the embarrassing position the U.S. now finds itself in, let us look at the “long” view of how this powerful nation got into that quagmire.

The state of affairs in the Middle East is in large part a result of the Arab tribes being carved up by the Western powers after WWII and by our own 50-year failure to provide for a Palestinian state as was recognized to be an integral part of the Balfour Treaty of 1948.

Furthermore, the colossal blunder of the Bush administration to go into Iraq because Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction was the beginning of the end of our domination in that region. The Bush administration, with neo-conservatives guiding president Bush, actually imagined they could lead the Arab world into a capable democracy. History will mark this decision as the greatest mistake ever made in American history.

Instead of vilifying the present administration for charting a course out of Middle East politics, we have a new group of conservative Republicans clamoring to jump back into the frying pan! When will we ever learn that in present world politics we cannot dictate how other nations conduct their own affairs

? The last thing we need is columnists like Mr. Figley worried about what Mr. Putin is doing thousands of miles from our borders. This is the kind of thinking that starts wars.

— Carl D. Liechty, Lima