On Saturday on the Fox News Channel, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton harshly criticized President Barack Obama handling of the United States’ involvement in Syria, calling him the weakest president since James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln’s predecessor.
“This is absolutely stunning,” Bolton said. “I’ve been trying to fill in the blank of the following sentence: ‘Barack Obama is the weakest president since…’ And I have to say, the best I can come up with is James Buchanan who watched the country dissolve into the Civil War. We’re watching the collapse of American influence in the Middle East and really more broadly. And I say that as somebody who has been opposed to use of force in Syria. I have to ask if your secretary of state, John Kerry, given the two very strong statements that he has made on this subject since the first indication of the chemical weapons used 10 days ago took place: Are you now thinking of resigning as a matter of principle, having laid out the case, whether you agree or disagree with Kerry, that the United States has to use force here, to see the president take this step.”
He added that this could send the wrong message to Iran should Congress reject Obama’s call for authorization.
“I’ll leave it to others to say whether Congress can approve it, but you know he needs 60 votes in the Senate to authorize force, and it’s very hard to see that he’s going to get it,” Bolton continued. “And having said, ‘I’ve made up my mind to use force, but now I’ll ask Congress’ — a failure to get it here tells the Ayatollahs in Teheran it is smooth sailing toward nuclear weapons unless Israel strikes.”
Although Bolton said he opposes United States action with Syria, he said that by making these gestures, Obama has made a once-foolish thing with his 2012 red line statement even worse.
“I favor a strong president and a strong foreign policy and strong America in the world,” Bolton said. “It was a very foolish thing to make the statement about the red line last August. He did it in the heat of a presidential campaign but the fact is as the economist say in the sunk cost fallacy, just because you do one very foolish thing, as you look ahead on your policy, you don’t make things better by doing a second foolish thing. We’re going to take a hit for his statement last August but we don’t need to compound it. He’s now compounded it twice over. He’s saying again today that the military strike will be very limited but he’s going further by saying he’s not sure he’s going to do it unless he gets authority. I think this is a mistake twice compounded now.”
(h/t The Right Scoop)