In his recent column, Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. ("The Obama doctrine: Passivity where leadership is needed," Oct. 14) believes he has shown that weakness is an integral part of the Obama administration's foreign policy.
While it is true that the government of Syria has created a vicious regime that engages in torture and murder of its own people, it is also true that military action by the United States is a bad idea and will result in needless death as well squandering billions of tax dollars.
Violence in response to violence only results in further violence.
Mr. Ehrlich characterizes U.S. foreign policy as being in disarray and hopes for a "re-establishment of American influence" in that part of the world that could only benefit from a revitalized American presence. This displays what might be referred to as astounding arrogance.
What about those bastions of democracy, dictatorships propped up by the U.S. often against the will of the people: Guatemala, Chile, and Nicaragua, and more recently, Afghanistan (at war over 10 years), Iraq, Libya and Pakistan.
And possibly the most tragic of these, Vietnam, where 58,000 American troops and countless Vietnamese died in a war that tore the United States apart.
Peace groups have suggested the best hope for Syria is continued protests, strikes and other forms of non-violence. Targeted sanctions as well as a continued diplomatic and humanitarian approach will hopefully create enough international opposition to transfer to a democratic form of government, much as South Africa gained independence in 1993 with Nelson Mandela.
Organizations that promote human rights such as Amnesty International, American Friends Service Committee, Doctors Without Borders and the United Nations Children's Fund should be supported.
War is not the answer.
Lee Lears, Annapolis