Las Vegas Sun

August 30, 2014

Currently: 98° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Letter to the editor:

Don’t let U.S. be bullied by others

Earle Malkin’s Oct. 17 letter, “Looking back to plan ahead,” contains an interesting analysis. Basically, Mr. Malkin berates Gov. Romney as being a bully for his “proposed foreign policy to use the strength of the U.S., economic and military, to influence other nations.”

Any individual with even the slightest knowledge of history must concede that there have always been dominant and subservient countries in the world (i.e., leaders and followers).

Where there is weakness, someone or something will always step in to fill the dominant void.

Fortunately, and with few exceptions, the U.S. has been around to fill that leadership void by using its foreign policy to counter others who sought/seek that dominant role for ill will (Japan, Nazi Germany, Russia, terrorists, etc.).

Mr. Malkin labels this status as being a “bully on the playground.” I must then assume Mr. Malkin prefers that the U.S. assume the Obama “nonconfrontational” approach and relegate ourselves to the one dominated on the world playground by whatever “bully” fills the void. I hope Mr. Malkin has plenty of Band-Aids.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 22 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. Letter writer is correct. President Obama's foreign policy is simple to sum up: Apologize, appease and atone. President Obama's "leading from behind" is a slick way of saying "following." American voters know that Governor Romney is the stronger leader for our country and the world.

    CarmineD

  2. The fact of the matter is that America *is* a bully. And that is by choice. We don't want it any other way. We want to be able to walk through the valley of the shadow of death and fear no evil, for we are the meanest SOB in the valley! (If I might steal from a popular bumper sticker.)

    The perceived weakness of President Carter was a significant factor in his loss to President Reagan, possibly as much of one as the economy was. In some ways, it seems like President Obama is going out of his way with things like the drone attacks to avoid that same image.

    However, with the notable exception of the killing of Bin Laden, his brand of being a bully comes off different in some way from that of most of those who have gone before. President George W. Bush is the bridge between being the kind of bully that we admire (Afghanistan in the first couple of months) and being an insufferable, well, you know.

    Obama has continued many of Bush's worst policies, including that one unfortunately. It is this lack of change, meaning a RETURN to how we saw ourselves before Bush 43, that is ultimately the reason so many are questioning why they are going to vote (are already have) for Obama. They'll do it, but they are going to be holding their noses in more cases that one might think.

  3. Does being a bully equate with being a leader with willing and admiring followers. Hardly!

  4. Here is another way of putting it: a really good President of the United States must be a combination of Locke, Voltaire *and* Machiavelli.

  5. Abuse of power never has been or ever should be one of Americas principles, we are better than that and still today while in the face of evil we do the right thing by others.

    That is what has made America a great world power, the fact that we as a people stand for what is right and help others regardless of circumstances is not something other nations tread into easily.

  6. Objectives. Motives. Let us examine them before we talk about foreign policies.

    Why are we in the Middle East? Defense? Spread democracy? Conquer the world? American dominance?

    The only credible answer to anyone who is real is: Oil, oil, oil! Everything else is simply an afterthought, a camouflage really.

    The Middle East has been governed by despots since the beginning of time. There is this thing called conditioning and it's very hard to reverse. It will take the same number of time to uncondition. Iraq has been rid of a despot and look! Everyone else want to take over! Look at the other Middle Eastern countries. There's Libya!

    How dare us think we know better how to govern people whose language and culture we barely understand. How presumptuous of us!

    President Kennedy had a workable idea! Sending young people with something to share with the common people. He called them his Peace Corps. If you want to grow something and you want it to thrive, plant a seed and care for it. Transplanting a tropical plant in a dry desert is asinine.

    Let's cut the pretense and say, I want your oil, and by hook or by crook, I'll get it!

    I like Kennedy's and Obama's approach better. It doesn't kill many of our promising leaders. It uses brains, not braun.

  7. "Basically, Mr. Malkin berates Gov. Romney as being a bully for his "proposed foreign policy to use the strength of the U.S., economic and military, to influence other nations." (J.J. Schrader, Henderson)

    J.J. Schrader of Henderson, Nevada, many readers might think your slightly naive, or maybe a little out of touch, or maybe you don't have access to general information, or maybe your internet has be down for the last 4 years. Or maybe, just maybe, your in a bubble, having a very narrow view of the world and how the USA is part of world affairs.

    My friends, the USA has always been involved in world affairs using the economic and military influence as the core tools to achieve an end.

    Here is a charge: The writer is sending out a coded message to the extreme of the Republican Party saying, our President is not using the same tools in world affairs as past presidents have done.

    For the record this administration has made more progress in world affairs then any president in the history of our Nation. Read it again, "more progress in world affair than any president in the history of our Nation."

    How is "this" President making progress? By using the influence of USA, economically, and involvement of the US military.

    Or would you prefer to "see" bombs exploding, American boots on the ground, and lots of talk, and non-effective sanctions coming from White House. Sounds familiar? Go back and look up the Bush Administration.

    There! Now that is not a code message. Saying it straight out. I challenge anyone to counter!

    President Obama wins re-election by 6 to 8 points.

  8. Romney will take on a little bit of Donald Trump. Be firm with other nations when the playing field is tilted in their direction. Flatten or else. That's something Obama can't fathom.

  9. If the idea that we are in the middle east is only for oil, and Obama does not want to pursue the way America has dealt with that region, then why does Obama refuse to help make America energy independent?
    I know he has thrown money at some solar and wind projects but last I checked most cars and trucks run on an oil byproduct, without reasonable market priced oil the US economy is in trouble. His two policies completely contradict each other.

  10. @Future, Do you really believe what you have posted???

    One thing I have learned---thinker like you will "beat you with experience."

    You know, the bubble does not allow for a board view on any issue. You know, the bubble is a safe place for like kind thinkers. You know, the bubble does not allow any new ideas, or thoughts from others different from your own.

    Future, your probably wondering why this response does not address your response to my post. First, you must have facts, facts that are in order, in order to have a discussion. Not talking points or sound bites.

    Many people refuse to join the bubble. At some point (pardon the...) the bubble will burst. I'm patient, I will wait to hear the pop.

    Do you really believe what you have posted??? Or would you have the readers believe you have full access to US intelligence and your getting real-time updates on the situation in the middle east.

    Your words sound liked you copied and paste from a source projecting assumptions. But, just like Rush Limbaugh, many listen for the entertainment value.

    Do you really believe what you have posted??? Really??? Do you??? And if you do, what facts from realible sources can you provide to support your position. Really, you believe all the stuff??? Wooow!

    President wins re-election by 6 to 8 points.

  11. @Peterf,

    "why does Obama refuse to help make America energy independent?" (Petef)

    Where is it written or said, that President Obama has refused to make America energy independent?

    Please, Peter, proceed....

  12. CarmineD - "Letter writer is correct. President Obama's foreign policy is simple to sum up: Apologize, appease and atone."

    Outside of the Fox bubble, I challenge you to show any evidence of what you claim.

    A note to you fools spouting nonsense about Benghazi:

    1 - at that time over 20 countries were rioting over the moronic anti Muslim video.

    2 - Republican in their zeal to say Obama is covering the facts, the clowns in the House of Representative exposed a CIA annex.

    3 - again in their haste and zeal, Issa and Republicans exposed indigenous people working with the United States by publicly posting their names.

    4 - Paul Ryan and other House members voted down funds to add more security to our embassies.

    If you are going to be exposed why would anyone continue to aide the US? I add, it is also treasonous to expose CIA agents.

  13. @Future,

    You can only stay in the bubble so long. Eventually, one has to come out.

    President Obama wins re-election by 6 to 8 points.

    PS, You really believe that stuff???

  14. @ VernosB,

    Do your really believe what you have posted?? If so, what facts from realible sources do you have to support your position.

    For all you readers, this is challenge the crazy stuff day.

  15. 1. Sovereign nations have a right to make decisions regarding their interests, nation & people.

    2. Sovereign nations requesting our help and desirous of having friendly relationships, should also be respected as the ultimate say in what is right for them.

    3. The US is not the dictator of the world (often misinterpreted as "leadership"), and if it takes on that position, it will reap the negative results it has brought on to not only the government, but all of it's citizens through numerous Administrations.

    4. Foreign Policy entails more that carrying a big stick, if it is respectful of the rights of other nations, or cut off all relations and assistance.

    5. The US has the right to respond to attacks by foreign nations. That does not mean militant groups within a nation that does not represent the government.

    4. If such attacks occur, the US must act with the approval of the legitimate government, and in consultation with said government, with diplomacy playing a significant role.

    5. What we expect from other countries is what we must give other countries. If not, what we give is what we will get.

    6. Peace should always be on the table, in spite of the over production of testosterone from either side.

    7. The US has a long history of being a bully, and that is part of the reason we are hated in so many places in the world, including with our "friends". The US is not to be trusted.

    8. Bush really screwed up our relationship in the Middle East with his dishonest intent and illicit invasion of Iraq, furthering even more hatred for the US. There was legitimate reason for Obama to apologize for our actions in Iraq. It was an honest and honorable action to take, but of course not one that US politicians are accustomed to taking. Most prefer arrogant attitudes of the entitlement of power to dictate. That is a contradiction for a country that proclaims it stands for freedom.

    9. The Bush primary goal was to stop the French-Iraq-Russia oil pipeline from being built. The secondary goal was to lock in oil contracts for US companies.

    10. The goal in Afghanistan is the wealth of mineral resources that exists there. We will likely be cut off there, just as we were from oil from Iraq.

    The reason is we mostly demand and destroy.

    10. The armchair warriors here don't seem to understand the importance and fragility of diplomacy with it's many responsibilities for developing and maintaining balance in a diverse world.

    Like Romney, they are ready to deficate on and exterminate whoever disagrees with them.

    10. Fascism, whether by governments or the people under such governments, will never win on a moral basis. It is an abject failure and abhorrent to thinking people.

    11. The US must avoid acting like and becoming fascist.

    12. Those who protest the actions of the US government on the citizens, must take a deep look of what they are recommending for other people.

  16. There is a new wrinkle in attacks and warfare going on. It is cyberwarfare. It is significant, and entails serious responsibility and activities on the part of the US governments.

    This changes many things, and effects freedoms within and without our nation.

    Consider how easy it is now to shutdown the power grids in the US, to screw up the financial data that is the engine of our economy.

    It is so important to develop and maintain good relations with other countries, including those we consider not so friendly to ensure the maximum security for our nation from this new form of warfare.

    The efforts of the Obama Administration leads me to think this is more significance than many citizens realize.

    Unfortunately, the DOD budget passed by Congress and signed by President Obama contained within it things that effect the freedom of citizen's of our nation at home and globally, including the Internet.

    It is a new time, with new challenges and dangers. Old ways will be met with counteractions that we need to be concerned about.

    Arrogant, belligerent, and dictatorial attitudes will not serve us well. They are a sign of insecurity and weakness, not leadership. Likewise, ignorance of the reality will more likely further lead us into more losses than wins in the long run.

    Even though we may think other cultures are ignorant, we would be wrong in respect to those who would do us harm.

    The current time of evolving changes requires intelligence and measured control, patience in determining facts, or we will look foolish and reveal our ignorance and insecurity to the world, and as it relates to the global communities.

    A further note: We need to remember that the halls of Congress are a big stage for Shakespearean like drama. The politicians are actors who project there drama's for the purpose of satisfying their fans, and drawing the anger for opponents. Drama, farce, and manipulation of a vulnerable public.

    If we want to know what is going on, we need to avail ourselves of national and international publication and studies of global conditions. It rather makes the politicians appear as they are in reality.
    This places a far greater responsibility on our shoulders.

  17. "THAT IS NOT FACT. HOW CAN YOU ASK FOR FACT WHEN YOU HAVE NONE" (Future)

    Future, your response did not answer the question. You failed the challenge.

    President Obama wins re-election by 6 to 8 points.

  18. "Outside of the Fox bubble, I challenge you to show any evidence of what you claim."

    Simple Mr. Branco:

    Starts with Cairo Egypt in 2009 with the apology tour. And continues now with the refusal to meet with Netanyahu and establish red lines for Iran and everything in between. Benghazi is the result.

    CarmineD

  19. "President Obama wins re-election by 6 to 8 points."

    Wrong. It's electoral votes that matter. Romney-Ryan win with 310 electoral votes, all the swing states and 53 percent of the popular vote.

    Start planning for 2016.

    CarmineD

  20. We expect our children to "outwit" bullies but not our State Department nor our foreign policy? We need to stand up for what we believe in without concern with how we are perceived. We must stand up FIRST for our sovereign nation (our borders and internal security) and SECURE OUR WAY OF LIFE. We should not pretend to tell others nor preach to them how they should live. The ONLY aide we should offer is for a culture that wants to progress into equality for all its citizens--such as emancipating women, children, castes. In doing so, we should NOT take over the process nor tell them how to do it.

  21. antigov 9:09 a.m. And when Japan attacked our geography it meant war, real war, where Americans were adamant about fighting and protecting our way of life. We hesitated to assist Europe when all but Finland were invaded, occupied, forced.... Since then we have erred in reverse thinking that by our military occupation in bases all over Europe that we are protecting them. We are NOT. We are committing economic injury, contemplating suicide, and not protecting THIS nation. We seem unable to assign the resources to protect all our borders, international airports, enforcing within our borders our laws regarding Visas and those here without our permission nor consent. Terrorists are known to have infiltrated within Mexico yet we encourage illegal immigration. We do nothing to deter it. Does this differ much from the sudden attack on Pearl Harbor? Illegals are destroying our economy. Their drug trade is destroying our children and adults. Their terrorism individually and collectively are destroying our culture(s).

  22. All Fascist Governments have been Church and State affairs. The rise of European Fascism in the 1930 brought the Catholic Church into the State Government as a business partner in every instance. Nazi Germany in 1938 was 40% Catholic, 55% Protestant.

    Government religion gave the Nazi soldiers something to pray to before battle to let them know they would wake up in Heaven for defending the Fatherland. This is happening now in Amerika, teaching the soldiers to join the right religion and pray for salvation in the event they are blown into umpteen pieces. Nazi religion never brought an ounce of peace in two World Wars except at the grave site.

    The Iraq war had absolutely no justification. There were no terrorists, no weapons of mass destruction. The estimate was $50-$100 billion dollars. Lives of the soldiers were not taken into account. George W. Bush had the Pentagon send him Bible quotes with the Daily War Report. This is an example of a Fascist leader.

    The fundamentalist religions are rapidly turning this country toward military diplomacy. Romney wants to spend and additional $2 trillion on defense over the next 10 years if elected. This is what Billy Graham calls 'Biblical Values'. Biblical values, aka Bush values mean Fascism, wars and international bullying.

    Don't let the US bully others because the Defense Budget will take this country into bankruptcy.