February 26

Richard Cohen’s Feb. 25 op-ed column about national security adviser Susan E. Rice was long overdue [“America’s do-nothing attitude”]. She is among the enablers who allow President Obama to believe his tales on topics from “red lines” in Syria to health care to the economy.

There was little new in Mr. Cohen’s piece. What is new, at least so far, is that no one has responded to it by accusing Mr. Cohen of being a racist, a member of the tea party or some loathsome 1-percenter. Not everyone who points out the president’s mistakes is a horrible person or a Republican or both, and a recognition of this by more journalists would help in putting people back to work, strengthening respect for the United States around the world and reducing the toxic partisanship the president blames on others.

It’s time for Mr. Obama to listen to criticism and to change, instead of lecturing and pressing on in ways that clearly do more harm than good.

Robert Brudno, Washington

In chastising the Obama administration and Susan Rice for doing little or nothing about the ongoing disaster in Syria, Richard Cohen stated that there are more avenues for action than putting “boots on the ground.” Unfortunately, I don’t recall any mention of what these other avenues might be.

Louis Candell, Williamsburg