In response to Derrik Rochwalik's Jan. 27 column "President Obama swipes left on Prime Minister Netanyahu"
Mr. Rochwalik's opinion criticizing President Obama for refusing to receive Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel fails to account for the President's long-term strategy in dealing with Iran. While Iran wants to continue its nuclear program, the West is in talks with Iranian ambassadors and negotiators to curb these ambitions in a way that would prevent the country from producing a nuclear weapon.
This is the appropriate strategy in the short-term, since while economic sanctions have certainly hurt Iran, they have failed to deter the country from nuclear aspirations. What Mr. Rochwalik ignores is that further sanctions against Iran would close negotiations, therefore destroying the possibility of reaching a peaceful resolution and achieving a monumental foreign policy win for the United States.
Mr. Netanyahu and his parliamentary coalition face an election on March 17. He derives much support from the right wing of his country that refuses to accept a peaceful settlement and will do what he can to derail these talks in order to maintain domestic power.
Speaker Boehner is actively assisting Mr. Netanyahu in his aims. The truly "irresponsibly childish" person is not President Obama, but rather Speaker Boehner who is undermining American interests and security by siding with a foreign leader instead of the President for his own political gain for the Republicans.
It is President Obama's role as chief diplomat to invite foreign heads of state, not Speaker Boehner's. While the White House may call it a “breach of protocol” it is in reality a usurpation of constitutional authority. I would hope that Mr. Rochwalik would understand the difference between snubbing a foreign leader and refusing to greet one while he undermines American national security on our own soil.
Political Science Major
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Tempe
Class of 2017