This is in response to a letter from Norman Smith (July 12). He blamed George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Colin Powell for the U.S. war with Iraq.

But unlike President Obama, who bypasses Congress regularly, President Bush asked Congress for the authority for action in Iraq. He received almost unanimous approval from the House and Senate, even from Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton. All available intelligence indicated that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. So the U.S. initiated action with the blessing of Congress.

Bush warned Saddam Hussein of the consequences of having terrorist organizations operate and train openly in his country. Bush meant it when he said, “We will hunt these people down,” and received applause from both Republicans and Democrats.

U.S. forces won the war in Iraq, stabilized the government and won the confidence and trust of the Iraqi people.

Other Middle East countries saw that, including Syria and Egypt. Both countries, yearning for freedom, started a grassroots movement in that direction.

Then Barack Obama was elected. He withdrew the troops from Iraq, leaving the country vulnerable. His policy of weakness was noticed immediately. Change in Egypt and Syria was turned into chaos. Brave American lives lost in establishing freedom for the people of Iraq — all in vain.

I place the blame squarely in the president’s lap.

The scariest part is the consequences of Obama’s weak leadership. I am petrified of what lies ahead for my children and grandchildren if things don’t change fast.

Cornelius Swanton, Rangeley

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