To the editor:
Regarding "Obama's unraveling foreign policy" (Patrick Buchanan, The Messenger 10/4/12): Had the State Department an institutional memory, or the administration any interest in having one, Secretary Clinton and President Obama would have found that thousands of real foreign policy experts, i.e., career U.S. diplomats, once advised a previous administration with near unanimity not to negotiate with, nor seek to appease, terrorists should terrorists take any of them hostage or otherwise threatened their lives for to do so would only invite further terrorism.
Twice targeted by terrorists myself, I am appalled that considerations in Washington overrode requests for additional security measures from our ambassador and security personnel in the field at as dangerously exposed a consulate as Benghazi, Libya. Even in Austria, where I and others were targeted, neither the Ford nor Carter administrations refused multiple security upgrades at our embassy there. With the ambassador and three others killed in Benghazi, the Mideast aflame, Putin shunning the much-touted "reset "of our relations with Russia, and old allies questioning our reliability, clearly Obama's policy of apologies, presidential empathy, military withdrawals and some degree of disarmament have not only failed but have proved counter-productive. One shudders to think what arms reductions may occur if Obama, post-election, has "more flexibility" as he assured Putin he would.
As for the Moslem world, our diplomats there should be making it perfectly clear to what friends we may still have that they, themselves, must rein in extremist Islamic elements everywhere and actively promote a live-and-let-live policy in both domestic religious and international political relations if animosities are not, eventually, to spiral out of control and into armed conflict.
Meanwhile, peace through strength must remain U.S. policy, although peace will not prevail in the absence of convincing evidence that maximum force will be used. JFK did so with respect to the U.S.S.R and secured peace in both the Berlin and Cuba crises, just as Ike did with respect to China to secure peace in Korea.
G. A. Anderson