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Obama’s leadership on Syria understands our Iraq War hangover

President Obama at the G-20 summit this month in Russia.
Kevin Lamarque/Reuters/file
President Obama at the G-20 summit this month in Russia.

RE “THE world has lost respect for the US” by Jeff Jacoby (Op-ed, Sept. 15), in which Jacoby criticizes President Obama’s decision to pull American troops from Iraq: And how many jihadists would we have created by occupying Iraq more than the eight years we were there?

I don’t consider the cocksure arrogance of the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld administration to be leadership. They were bald-faced as intelligence information was manipulated to justify invading Iraq.

When George W. Bush went to Congress, the drive to go to war had the terror of 9/11 behind it. Now, when the American people perhaps could see a rationale to enforce a treaty against chemical weapons use, they also have the loss of between 4,000 and 5,000 US troops and thousands of damaged and wounded looming in their memory, and have no tolerance for anything that smacks of an invasion.


I’ll take President Obama’s version of leadership any day. We cannot get involved in Syria’s civil war, but we can make a statement to Syria’s leaders and the rest of the world about the use of chemical weapons for this particular conflict and for any others that might happen in the future.

Susan Rothstein