Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol remarked on Sunday that President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign rhetoric on foreign policy stood in stark contrast to the turmoil in the Middle East stirred by threats from al-Qaida, pointing out that the U.S. closed 22 embassies throughout the Muslim world.
“Four years ago President Obama gave a much heralded speech as outreach to the Muslim world,” Kristol said. “And now, four years later we are closing embassies throughout the Muslim world. A year ago, the president said al-Qaida is on the run. And now we seem to be on the run.”
“I’m not criticizing the decision to close the embassies. That’s probably the right thing to do for the sake of trying to save American lives and others, but it’s a terrible thing,” he added. “That you know, just a year ago boasting al-Qaida is on the run and Osama bin Laden is dead.”
Kristol made his remarks on Sunday’s “Fox News Sunday” during its panel segment. He also warned closing the embassies affected tourism and further indicated the severity of situation.
“And now an unprecedented closure of 22 embassies and the travel alert, which lasts for a month, which incidentally — I’m not sure people understand that State Department hates to do that,” Kristol said. “You know, this is the highest level of the travel advisory they do routinely, and the travel alert, every host government dislikes that. It cuts tourism. They are objecting to the ambassadors there. The ambassadors are cabling back to the State Department saying, ‘Travel alert, are you sure we have to do that?’ For the U.S. government and the State Department to issue a travel alert for the next month means the threat is serious.”