Letters to the Editor – Weekly Issue of June 20, 2011

Reader's write in to respond to Walter Rodger's column debunking the 'lie' that President Obama can't lead and one reader offers a take on Newt Gingrich's real baggage.

Is Obama a good leader?

Many thanks for Walter Rodgers's column in the May 30 issue, "The big lie that Obama can't lead is crumbling." Mr. Rodgers offers a well-documented list of President Obama's formidable achievements through his quiet, thoughtful diplomacy.

Mr. Obama remains unflappable in his pursuit of domestic needs and international peace, and wisely avoids empty histrionics. His detractors have failed to recognize the value of this kind of leadership instead of the "bravado and arrogance" of former leaders.

Norman Anderson

Mercer Island, Wash.

I can't disagree with Rodgers that Obama has been unfairly judged for his accomplishments, but his adoration of the president has warped his sense of the facts.

Rodgers speaks of Obama's "brilliant planning and direction of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden." But Obama has zero military experience or training. The United States military in Pakistan discovered Mr. bin Laden's whereabouts, planned the raid, and executed its direction. Obama himself hasn't the expertise to coordinate such a complicated operation. He gave the order to proceed and watched it unfold.

Rodgers also states, "Good taste is another facet of leadership." He praises Obama's "shrewd refusal to publish photos of bin Laden's body" in contrast to the Bush administration's "public trial and execution of Saddam Hussein, turning it into a vulgar spectacle."

The military during the Bush administration captured Mr. Hussein alive, and handed him over to the Iraqi legal system for a public trial. Would he rather Hussein had been tried in secret, or had no trial at all? Bin Laden did not even have a trial where he would have had to answer for his heinous deeds.

William Cochran

Warren, Pa.

Hurrah for praising the qualities of quiet diplomacy, restraint, and humility instead of bravado, arrogance, and showmanship. We need those modest behind-the-scenes qualities to make our world better.

Sylvia Brock

Pensacola, Fla.

Gingrich's real baggage

Regarding the May 23 "2012 GOP Hopefuls" profile of Newt Gingrich headlined "Brains vs. baggage": Mr. Gingrich violated the public trust when he was speaker of the House.

In 1997, Gingrich was reprimanded by the House of Representatives and ordered to pay a $300,000 penalty for ethical wrongdoing. During the investigation regarding the usage of tax-deductible money for political purposes, Gingrich gave the House Ethics Committee false information.

This is real baggage and should be the major issue in listing Gingrich's liabilities in a run for president of the United States.

Diane Angotti Rawson

Highland, N.Y.

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