Dear President Obama: Last summer I watched in sadness as Neda died for her country, Iran. She died at the hands of those who represented her government. You did nothing. I didn’t expect you to. It’s wasn’t your style.
Early this year, protests started up in Egypt. Things were tense, and I think maybe a few people died at the hands of those who represented the government- but not too many, and anyway you did nothing. I didn’t expect you to. It wasn’t your style.
In late February or early March I saw a video from Bahrain. Unarmed civilians were walking down a street. It looked a lot like Santa Ana or even Newport Beach with a middle-eastern flair. The sickening scene unfolded where those who represented the government opened fire on peacefully marching, unarmed civilians, killing several. I watched in disbelief as the troops then opened fire on those who tried to assist the wounded and dying. Then they opened fire again as ambulances took away the victims. You did nothing. I didn’t expect you to. It wasn’t your style.
Last week you excercised your executive power to make war on Libya where those who represented the government have been killing rebel fighters and also innocent civilians.
Now Syria is killing its own en masse. Sharpshooters who represent the government positioned on rooftops mow down unarmed civilians with impunity.
Mr. Obama, just what is your style now? Are you a man of peace, a man of strength, or just a man of poorly executed Machavellian pragmatism? I have to wonder at a president who does not believe that America is exceptional. I still believe my country is better than the rest. You made it clear that you don’t. Our country, because of its exceptionalism is looked to by the rest of the world to at least try to make things right where we can. You seem to have a way of destroying that hope in our friends and potential friends, and encouraging our enemies all at once.
We disagree, not just over style, but substance.