- - Thursday, July 24, 2014

Those who feign surprise at the worldwide slaughter of innocents and the refusal of leaders to call out those who commit these acts are responsible for allowing them to continue. Past U.S. presidents took the lead in rallying support to stop these evil acts.

Hamas has been firing mortars and rockets at Israel for years, and the United Nations criticizes Israel. The kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers and thousands of Hamas rockets made a definitive reaction by Israel to defend itself a necessity. The United Nations and the world watch when ISIS invades and takes control of cities and land in Syria and Iraq, beheads numerous people and threatens to kill Christians unless they convert. This is the new acceptable norm. Not only is it morally wrong, it is incomprehensible that politics can be used as an excuse for inaction.

Unfortunately, President Obama has not been the leader the world has needed. Fundamental decisions should include the following: 1.) Hamas and the Palestinians recognize Israel’s right to exist before any peace deals, and their rocket attacks, kidnappings and killings stop, or all aid will be halted; 2.) Iran has supplied support to kill our troops in Afghanistan, and provided Hamas the rockets it projects into Israel; sanctions should be reinstated with additional measures; 3.) The regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin was responsible for downing a commercial aircraft and killing 298 people, and it should be held accountable. No equivocation should be accepted.

Mistakes have left Syrian President Bashar Assad in control. More than 170,000 have been killed, and many more have been displaced. Where was the U.S. leadership? As usual, Mr. Obama was off playing golf, attending fundraisers and blaming former President George W. Bush, Republicans, nature and others besides himself. At no time did he accept any responsibility. Hopefully, the 2016 elections will provide the world a U.S. president who will address and end these mass killings.

MARVIN L. HOOVIS

Centerville, Mass.