LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Obama’s gross Mideast mishandling

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In the aftermath of the savage attacks on U.S. embassies abroad and the tragic loss of American lives, the media has criticized GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s condemnation of the Obama administration. The Obama campaign even expressed shock that “Gov. Romney would choose to launch a political attack” at this time. Yet after an attack on a U.S. base in Afghanistan claimed nine American lives in 2008, candidate Barack Obama seized the opportunity to denounce the George W. Bush administration.

If anything should shock America, it is the fact that the Obama administration has failed so far in the crisis to give any meaningful defense of free speech. The initial U.S. government statement was: “We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.” Instead of qualifying free speech, our government should defend it rigorously as a foundation of our democracy, which is vital to peace and freedom throughout the world.

Shortly after Mr. Obama took office, he stated, “Part of what makes us … a beacon to the world is that we are willing to hold true to our ideals even when it’s hard.” How is the administration’s reaction to the current crisis holding true to our most cherished ideals, such as free speech? Our country has required cultural sensitivity training in our government in order to understand foreign ways of thinking. Where is the effort to educate the world about our way of thinking?

When Mr. Romney spoke of defending free speech, the necessity of American leadership and encouraging the world to respect and understand the principles of our Constitution, he did what the Obama administration has failed to do. Instead of lambasting Mr. Romney, America and the world should be listening.

CATHERINE JAYNE

Malibu, Calif.

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