‘Responsibility to protect’ doctrine has long history

I commend your June 11 editorial criticizing U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power’s “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine, as well as President Barack Obama’s conflation of “our interests and values” in foreign relations. This is not a policy, however, that he initiated or expanded.

In 2005, President George W. Bush famously proclaimed that “America’s vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one.” Sen. John McCain never tires of preaching that “our interests are our values, and our values are our interests.” Many administrations have passed since we have had a president who could clearly distinguish between what was truly our national interest and mere foreign adventuring (Eisenhower, perhaps?).

My complaint about President Obama’s foreign policy is not that his is a radical departure from his predecessors, but rather that it is too much of a continuation.

Terry Cowan



In Federalist No. 78, Alexander Hamilton wrote: “The judiciary is … the weakest of the three departments of power … the general liberty can never be endangered from that quarter.”

Hindsight being 20/20, it appears Hamilton was wrong. Today a compelling case can be made that the federal judiciary is the strongest branch of government. In the Supreme Court, as few as five unelected people can set national policy from which there is no clear avenue of appeal. To illustrate, we’ve seen religious expression banned from the public arena, abortion on demand deemed a right, and direct votes of the people overturned.

Does this have to be?

During a 2012 Republican debate, Newt Gingrich said: “The courts have become grotesquely dictatorial, far too powerful, and I think frankly arrogant in their misreading of the American people. I would … be prepared to take on the judiciary if it did not restrict itself in what it was doing.”

The mainstream media strongly criticized Gingrich, but he was actually re-introducing an issue raised previously by former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese III. While Gingrich didn’t suggest solutions, Meese did offer specific proposals, most of which entailed Congress using its authority under Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution.

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has said that constitutionally, Congress can reduce the federal judiciary to “nothing more than Chief Justice Roberts sitting at a card table with a candle.” Perhaps we don’t need to go this extreme, but this issue merits the attention of Congress.

Cliff Hickman



Amnesty for illegal immigrants is a political “hot potato.” The Democrats know that most poor immigrants will vote for them as the party of welfare handouts and free benefits. Republicans want part of these votes to win future elections, so they promise opportunity. Both try the proven strategy of “buying voter groups” with free benefits and promises.

Amnesty for the 11 million to 20 million illegal immigrants already here in the U.S. will guarantee permanent Democratic control of government.

This is especially true as millions more will keep coming here across our open border for free benefit and citizenship in our great country. This will surely destroy our American culture, mainly because they want the benefits but want to retain their culture, not learn English and be absorbed into mainstream America.

We could have easily solved these problem years ago with unlimited entry work permits but that would not have gained votes for our self-serving politicians. Sen. Marco Rubio (a presumed presidential candidate) is trying to gain political advantage by proposing immediate amnesty and another promise to close the border later. President Ronald Reagan was duped into amnesty for two million illegal immigrants with the promise of closing the border — which never happened.

Bottom Line: No more promises, close our borders first.

Harry Bergman


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