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Letter: Centuries in the making

With all due respect to Donald Moskowitz (“Foreign Policy Failure,” June 30) and gratitude for his service to his country from another Navy veteran who served during the Vietnam era, he is wrong about President Obama’s foreign policy.

President Obama no more lost Iraq than President George W. Bush succeeded in establishing democracy there. The problem is that the Middle East has been riven by sectarian schisms since the seventh century. Add to this the fact that the borders imposed upon the Middle East by Britain and France at the end of World War I are artificial and were drawn up to protect the interests of the colonial powers, not those of the people who live on the ground there, and you have a rough summary of why things are as bad as they are and why the West has been unable to orchestrate a solution.

There is no military solution that can be imposed by the West alone. As was the case when a multinational coalition expelled Saddam’s forces from Kuwait in 1991, the best hope is another such coalition, including most importantly the regional players, to root out the bloodthirsty extremist jihadists of ISIL, who, with their wild proclamation of a restored caliphate led by a thug, are already beginning to overplay their hand and are making it more and more likely they will hasten their own speedy and well-deserved demise.

TED THORNTON

Northfield

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