America cannot run from its enemies

President Barack Obama has awakened from his fantasy of: "If I ignore it, it will go away."

Unfortunately, his enlightenment is very late in coming. Early bombing of ISIS, when it emerged from Syria, could have brought a short and less-expensive end to their invasion. Now, it has developed into a large and dangerous situation that has rapidly expanded into widespread conflict.

If anyone believes our actions in Iraq will stay confined to humanitarian aid and limited air action, they are greatly mistaken. Even Obama has admitted our participation "going to be a long-term project."

Obama's continuous blunders and miscalculations in foreign affairs are going to have long-term negative effects on our country. And if Obama insists on withdrawing our forces from Afghanistan this year, the situation now occurring in Iraq, that was caused by his premature withdrawal there, will repeat in Afghanistan.

To ensure our national security, we must realize that we cannot run from those who seek to destroy us.

Ernest Hampson

Pittsburg

U.S. policy wreaking havoc in the Mideast

The United States is in the process of destabilizing every country in the Middle East.


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Countries with relatively stable governments in which diverse groups of people got along with few problems are now at each others' throats. And shadowy, well-funded militant groups of mercenaries are able to have their way wherever they want.

Rarely reported is the gruesome genocide of Christians in Syria and Iraq. These groups were left alone by the "dictators" we chose to eliminate.

The Islamic group ISIS is obviously well-funded and well-armed. If you follow the money trail, the U.S. citizens are unwittingly funding this horrific terror group with our purchase of gasoline. It is well known that Saudi money is funding these masked, supposedly Sunni Muslims who have orders to wipe out every other Muslim faction and Christians. Worldwide Christian genocide is occurring daily.

The United States could eliminate these grisly killers in a very short time if they wanted to. I'm glad airstrikes have been ordered. Hopefully, ISIS murderers and not innocent civilians are killed.

Marilynne L. Mellander

El Sobrante

Congress has given no authorization

Violating the Constitution has been all too prevalent in recent decades.

Only Congress has the power to declare war and spend taxpayers' money. The recent airstrikes in Iraq have no congressional authorization.

Forty years ago, President Richard Nixon resigned, largely because he assumed powers that the Constitution did not give him. All presidents -- including Barack Obama -- must follow the Constitution.

Richard S. Colman

Orinda

Humanitarian crisis in Iraq is unfolding

This is no longer President George W. Bush's war, it's President Barack Obama's war and he must man up and take ownership.

According to news reports, there's a humanitarian crisis in Iraq. I wish I were as believing of the press as I once was, but we have no other source. If reports are true, this is a rescue mission from annihilation, not strategic airstrikes.

Yes, as the leaders of the free world, these are the times when we should assist. It's justifiable and right. The reports state there are Christians being chased into the mountains. As a Christian-based nation, we are essentially assisting our own. This is not to say we shouldn't assist others, as we have proved time and again we are willing to do just that, at a heavy price.

Once again, a commander in chief is asking our brave young men and women to put their lives on the line for people they never met. Next time you see veterans, tell them "thanks," buy them coffee or lunch and give them your seat on the plane. God bless America.

Roger Stromgren

Brentwood

United States can't be the world's policeman

No, I do not approve of President Barack Obama's use of airstrikes in Iraq.

We were never appointed the world's policeman and should stop trying to act as if we were. The world badly needs a policeman, but it should be a peacekeeping force of a strengthened and democratized United Nations.

The United States, of course, will not buy into the need for United Nations reform because we would have to give up our precious veto power in the U.N. Security Council.

Robert F. Hanson

Walnut Creek

Humanitarian help desperately needed

Yes, I approve President Barack Obama's use of airstrikes and airdrops in Iraq -- at their government's invitation -- to halt the pogrom being perpetrated by ISIS against innocent minorities and the legitimate governments in the region.

I am disgusted with House Speaker John Boehner's partisan political inactivity and his incorrect and hypocritical allegation that the president "doesn't have a plan" when faced with ISIS' hostility. Besides, it is the Congress' role to declare war, yet Boehner still isn't willingly discussing this situation in the House, thereby forcing the president to act unilaterally.

Then Boehner's party complains about Obama's executive orders. They cannot have it both ways. Better still would be for such neo-cons to finally support the United Nations and let them lead in this crisis. Still, the world looks to us for leadership, and Obama has taken the reins while Boehner fiddles.

I'm anti-war at heart, yet we must all endorse the president's humanitarian efforts to thwart ISIS' active genocide, and support the valiant efforts of our armed forces, wishing them all Godspeed.

Ed Chainey

Richmond

No way U.S. should intervene in Iraq

Yet again, the United States has strapped on its six shooter and gratuitously assumed the role of global policeman.

It's time to come home, to use our limited resources here, and to recognize that we are neither responsible for nor capable of solving the world's problems.

A humanitarian crisis in Iraq? Well then, why are we not in the Congo, in northern Myanmar, in Tibet, in south Sudan? God forbid, the cowboys in Washington might soon decide we should be.

As for Americans at risk in Irbil -- evacuate them. That is what we usually do. That is what we just did in Libya. The administration's tender concern for Americans in Irbil is a transparent excuse for a police action.

It's time President Barack Obama keep the promise he made nearly eight years ago: get us out of Iraq. And it's time we turned in our badge and stopped playing cops and robbers on the world stage.

Daniel J. Leer

Pleasant Hill

No choice, we must deal with bad people

For once I have to agree with our chicken-hawk warriors in Congress. These are bad people who must be dealt with. But how does President Barack Obama accomplish this?

There are three options:

  • Provide heavy weapons to those we think are the "good guys," which hasn't worked very well so far. ISIS got most of its weapons when the Iraqi army threw them down and ran.

  • Put boots on the ground. We can eliminate that quickly. Lies have already cost us more than 5,000 lives and trillions of dollars.

  • That leaves airstrikes. Destroy the tanks and other heavy weapons (we inadvertently provided them) and that should even the odds with what's left of the Iraqi army. A squadron of A-10 Warthogs with 30 mm cannons would do that nicely.

    People in that region have been fighting among themselves for centuries and the president knows we can't change their way of thinking. We can only contain them over there.

    Where would we be if Sen. John McCain had won the 2008 election?

    Johnny Strawther

    Antioch

    Airstrikes are not part of a coordinated policy

    I don't approve of President Barack Obama's use of airstrikes in Iraq because his current policy is uncoordinated.

    We've been bombing Iraq off and on for 25 years. Bombing alone, no matter how intense, has never resulted in victory. That's only achieved by combat forces on the ground.

    We have 600 special forces who were training the Iraqi army and 200 Marines guarding diplomatic personnel. We don't have the 10,000 peacekeeping troops President George W. Bush envisioned remaining when the United States withdrew from Iraq.

    The U.S. strategy seems to be to delay ISIS and allow time for an inclusive government to form in Baghdad. ISIS is undeterred by the bombing and will learn to protect its captured equipment by surrounding it with women and children.

    The Kurds may be able to provide ground troops to save their areas.

    The bombing has raised criticism of Obama from the left and the right and increased the president's drop in approval. The administration needs to be aware there will be unintended consequences of these airstrikes.

    Gregg Manning

    Clayton