Obama has done the best with what he was given

Published 8:13 pm Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dear editor,

This is in response to Byrd Looper’s recent letter on how he felt about Obama’s actions (or in Byrd’s case, inaction) in the last year since his election.

First off, I would be interested in seeing what Mr. Looper’s reactions to the events on 9/11/01 were. At that point George Bush had been in office only 9 months, yet there were very few people at the time pointing fingers that it was George Bush’s failures which resulted in the World Trade Center and Pentagon being attacked. Typical of Republican and conservatives, a great deal of blame was laid at the feet of the previous administration of President Bill Clinton.

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Secondly, I would like to take exception to Mr. Looper’s characterization that somehow the blame for the attacks at Ft. Hood and the attempted attack on Christmas, lay at the feet of the Obama administration. The first act was indeed a tragedy, and the second was a tragedy that was thankfully averted. The Bush administration and its policies did a great deal to create the intolerant environment that Maj. Hassan was working under. As evidenced by your referring to our President by his full name, making sure to put emphasis on the fact that his middle name is Hussein, a climate of hatred and fear of Muslims has been allowed to pervade our military and our society. Hassan’s actions were a misguided tragic backlash against that intolerance.

It was Intelligence and Defense officials within the Bush administration which ignored several red flags that appeared in the years and months preceding the attack.

As for the attempts on Christmas, many failures outside our country, resulted in the individual being allowed on the plane. Despite his father raising alarms, the would-be terrorist was ignored for the most part, afterall, I am sure there have been many parents who have been concerned about their children and have contacted authorities. Can you imagine if Intelligence and State Department officials had to follow up on every wayward child who was suspected by their parents of being a terrorist?

Lastly, I take exception with Looper’s characterizations of Obama’s policies as being Communist or Marxist. Why is it that anything which appears to be antithetical to conservative or Republican thought is immediately dismissed as such? Doing so does nothing more than show the ignorance of individual in my humble opinion. Looper no doubt comes from a generation that was taught to fear and hate the Red Menace, a threat that ultimately never materialized itself.

As a progressive Democrat, I voted for Obama in the last election. Am I happy with what he has done with the country, by and large, yes. Have there been some missteps along the way, of course, but Obama was thrust into an unenviable and impossible situation from the start.

I would like to see how Looper, or any other Republican or conservative for that matter, would handle an economy in ruins, two wars and an ever present threat of terrorism. Oh wait, we did and they nearly drove this great country into the ground.

Michael Duran