July 8

Marc A. Thiessen’s July 4 Washington Forum commentary, “Obama, the anti-Truman,” provided perhaps the clearest explanation of the George W. Bush administration philosophy that led to the worst foreign policy decision in the history of the country. Comparing the essentially homogeneous ethnic and religious constitution of the German and Japanese populations at the conclusion of World War II to those of Iraq and Afghanistan in any historical era displays an ignorance of the relative stability of those countries.

The very possibility of establishing a democratic government in either Iraq or Afghanistan flies against all logic and the recorded histories of those countries. The rest of the informed world knew what resulted after the death of Josip Broz Tito in Yugoslavia and knew essentially the same would occur upon the ouster of Saddam Hussein. Then there is the fact that Hussein, despite his many flaws, presided over a secular state. Whatever the errors of the Obama administration, the president inherited an impossible foreign policy debacle following trillions of dollars and thousands of lives wasted on an unobtainable mission that left the Middle East far worse than when Mr. Bush took office.

Mark L. Reese Jr., Springfield