Fareed Zakaria's article "How the Lessons of Iraq Paid Off in Libya" [Sept. 5], detailing how Obama's foreign policies differed dramatically from Bush's and enabled the U.S. to handle the Libyan crisis much more effectively, also underlines why we need to continue with this President for four more years. To think of John McCain (or worse, Michele Bachmann or Rick Perry) calling the shots in dealing with the Arab Summer is absolutely terrifying. I hope all Americans take note of Obama's quiet competence.
Zakaria forgot a key component: the purpose of each war. The Iraq war, less than two years after 9/11, was for U.S. security, whereas Libya's was for humanitarian reasons. Of course the two have different entry and exit criteria by the U.S.
The U.S. is immune to the loss of human lives in its attempt to control oil supplies, and its policy of intervention in other countries' affairs continues unabated.
The cover line "The World After Gaddafi" seems quite wrong. Did the world change when Gaddafi disappeared? Of course Libya did, but if you are talking about the world, nothing very large has taken place because of this ousting. "Libya After Gaddafi" would have been a more suitable title.
Thank you for your Ron Paul article ["The Prophet," Sept. 5]. The media generally focus on sensationalism from people like Sarah Palin rather than the substance of a message. I must disagree with your statement that Paul is "too radical for the typical suburban swing voter." As a former staunch Republican and now an independent (I switched after the hypocrisy of the Bush Administration), I believe most of Middle America is tired of the federal government's starting wars, spending our tax dollars to defend Europe and Southeast Asia and deciding who can get married and who must have children.
Morrison, Colo., U.S.
I hate to break it to Paul, but even if the currency were tied to gold, its value would still be made up, relative and easily manipulated. As for his philosophical underpinnings, "godless capitalism" may be hyperbole, but it is an accurate description nonetheless. Paul is as fraudulent as any talk-radio "prophet," as we all know (Paul included) that he will never be in a position to put his principles into practice.
Some of Paul's ideas are good, but being incorruptible is not a virtue when what you believe in puts property over people.
St. Cloud, Fla., U.S.
It is a sad fact that Western democracies have turned into nothing less than insidious and perfidious plutocracies, imposing plenty of stress on their citizens while taking away nearly all of their freedom. Now that these economies are in shambles, I sincerely hope that a new generation of honest politicians in the U.S. and Europe will follow Paul and his views on how to run a country without messing up its economy.
Jean De Weerdt,
I want to express my gratitude to Alex Perry for his article on Somalia ["Collateral Crisis," Sept. 5]. As an African, I was struck by his words: "A mass exodus, an emptying of half a country, is an unprecedented, biblical event." The immediate cause is not only drought, but also the seemingly endless civil wars in Africa. I am stunned by the sorts of things that get in the way of progress and peace on that continent.
Your article on the famine in Somalia is extremely one-sided. A U.S. invasion 18 years ago did not create the crisis. What created it is the incompetence of Africa in looking after itself. Africa will stay a breadbasket case for the next hundred years, as all that it expects are handouts, and corruption rules the continent.
Kleinmond, South Africa
Protecting the Innocent
I agree that the West Memphis Three should get recognition of their innocence [Briefing, Sept. 5]. But most important, society should put pressure on authorities to work on new interrogation practices, given that the current ones lead to false confessions at an alarming rate. The focus should be on preventing future injustices.
Silvia Lousa Alonso,