Los Angeles Times
Letters to the Editor: Has Barack Obama told Mitt Romney he was right about Russia?
March 28, 2022
To the editor: One former president we have not heard from since Russia invaded Ukraine is Barack Obama. And for good reason. (“Trump was Putin’s dupe. That doesn’t mean the Ukraine war is his fault,” letters, March 23)
In one of the 2012 presidential debates, Obama criticized Republican nominee Mitt Romney for saying that Russia was this country’s biggest geopolitical foe. The president said that that Cold War ended more than 20 years ago.
Obama definitely owes Romney an apology.
It was during his administration that Russia took over Crimea in 2014 and made inroads in the Middle East after Obama’s failure to follow through on his “red line” warning to Syria.
For people to blame former President Trump for Russian aggression today is rather disingenuous.
Janet Polak, Beverly Hills
To the editor: In speculating on what might have motivated Russian President Vladimir Putin to wage war on Ukraine, one reader suggested that President Biden was responsible for the chaotic and messy withdrawal from Afghanistan.
It should be noted that the Trump administration created the circumstances leading to the problematic withdrawal.
It was Trump who circumvented the Afghan government in choosing to negotiate directly with the Taliban. Experts have said that these choices and actions demoralized the Afghan government and its military, encouraging the premature collapse of the government and the failure of its military to hold back Taliban advances.
Such confusion over presidential responsibility is not new. After the April 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba failed, President Kennedy assumed responsibility for the failure in his publicized remarks. Today, people still believe that story on its surface.
But the Bay of Pigs invasion was in the planning stages for a year before Kennedy’s inauguration, and he had not been in office for a full three months before the failed invasion.
If we choose to examine something in hindsight, it is important to determine the real causal links in making a conclusion. Anything else smells suspiciously like politics.
Randy Bednorz, Riverside